Farah Nassef, 26, knows how easy it is to lose everything and be driven out of your home.
“One of my relatives was forced to leave the country to avoid the forced military conscription of her sons. She left her house, friends, and the life she had built up for decades due to the devastating consequences of the war,” Farah explains.
When I arrived in South Sudan in August 2017, I knew very little about the country, its people and culture. But I came with an open mind and absolute willingness to learn from the experience as I began my new role as a Child Protection Officer serving with the United Nations Mission in South Sudan in the Western Equatoria region.
I am a lawyer by profession but I have chosen to be a diplomat and an advocate for the rights of children. My passion to be a UN Volunteer is a motivation since it enables me to contribute towards making a difference in people’s life and most importantly to me, children.
I have chosen to make my contribution through volunteerism. Upon graduation, I could have chosen to remain in legal practice, either in private or public, but I chose to live my passion first, volunteering. --Faith Manyala, UN Volunteer Child Protection Officer with UNICEF in Kenya
Systems for the social and legal protection of children in Sierra Leone are generally weak, under-resourced and poorly coordinated. These child protection challenges are often exacerbated in emergency situations.
Bangui, Central African Republic: I am Italian and define myself as a soul traveller. Prior to moving to the Central African Republic (CAR), I have been working, living and studying overseas for the last 10 years. Over the time, I developed expertise in the areas of capacity building, migration, and human trafficking across different countries mainly from South/Southeast Asia, and Africa.
Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of Congo: My story
I am from Burkina Faso, a West African country located on the southern edge of Africas Sahara desert. Minimal rainfall makes living conditions very hard for people. In 1976, when I started primary school, less than 20 per cent of all children had access to education. Millions of children do not attend school due to poverty. I could have suffered the same fate like these millions of children being ignored in this remote part of the world, unable to write, nor read.