UN Volunteers bolster UN system coordination and information management

Bringing health and well-being to youth of Moldova: before and during COVID-19

UN Volunteer with UNICEF Moldova, Polina Listopad, decided to explore innovative solutions in the response to COVID-19. As a professional in IT solutions, she contributed to the regular monitoring of youth and adolescents with the UNICEF IT product U-Report, thus improving data collection and analysis. 

Moldova has the third largest community of U-Reporters in Europe and Central Asia region, some 25 thousand young people and adolescents. Recently, UNICEF launched a virtual chatbot to provide speedy answers to questions that young people might have about COVID-19, while also raising their awareness about the harmful effect of fake news, myths and associated stigma.

View Polina's story.

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Health volunteers in Uzbekistan establish new approach to fight COVID-19

In Uzbekistan, a group of 400 UN Health Community Volunteers with the UN Development Programme (UNDP) were trained and equipped by UNV. In the face of COVID-19, they re-arranged their services to elderly and disadvantaged groups of population, iincluding people with disabilities, to ensure continuous support. As face-to-face interactions are limited, the UN Health Community Volunteers in Uzbekistan are contacting affected people in their respective communities, using all available means of remote communication.

They advise on social care, offer counselling, flag the challenges to respective focal points, and provide legal and other support to the community members. The pandemic was not able to stop them. In addition, the UN Health Community Volunteers share their best practices and tips with other partners that enhances the quality of support provided to the communities.

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Photo: Kurbanbaeva Shukurjan, health volunteer from Navruz Village, Uzbekistan, works via Telegram messenger and calls families in her community to explain measures to prevent the spread of coronavirus infection. ©UNDP, 2020
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Leaving no one behind: supporting refugees in Tajikistan to tackle COVID-19

Ruhafzo Nekushoeva, engaged as a UN Volunteer Protection Assistant with the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) in Tajikistan, is part of a multifunctional team for COVID-19 response support to refugees. Through this team, the World Health Organization (WHO), UN Children's Fund (UNICEF) and UNHCR develop and disseminate materials through partner non-governmental organizations to reach the most vulnerable groups.

Read more here.

My task is to coordinate and check the work of translators. The materials have to be created in English and Russian, and also in one of the local and rare languages relevant for the refugees, Dari. --Ruhafzo Nekushoeva, UN Volunteer Protection Assistant with UNHCR, Tajikistan

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Contributing to emergency response for children on the move in Bosnia and Herzegovina

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic and state of emergency declared in Bosnia and Herzegovina, vulnerable children, especially unaccompanied and separated children, are at higher risk of experiencing a disruption of basic social services. 

Seulbee Lee (Republic of Korea), UN Volunteer with UNICEF in Bosnia and Herzegovina, serves as Child Protection Associate, working with the data received from partners conducting field monitoring. Recently, she contributed to drafting a concept note for the child protection response to COVID-19.

Read Seulbee's story.

Seulbee’s support to UNICEF’s humanitarian response to children on the move has been significant. She has supported the office in raising much-needed funds, developing human interest stories, collecting and consolidating data to inform the response, and providing recommendations on how to better safeguard and protect children transiting through/stranded in the country. -- Antonia Luedeke, Child Protection Specialist with UNICEF


Photo: Seulbee Lee (fully funded by the Government of the Republic of Korea), UN Volunteer with UNICEF, during a field monitoring visit on outreach activities in Una Sana Canton, Bosnia and Herzegovina. ©UNV, 2020
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Volunteering to support humanitarian response in eastern Ukraine amidst the COVID-19 pandemic

Civilian casualties in eastern Ukraine just reached their highest levels since September 2019 as a result of the current health crisis caused by the Coronavirus. The Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), which has a well-established coordination mechanism, has become central to COVID-19 response in the country, supported by UN Volunteers.

National UN Volunteer Iryna Koval has been supporting OCHA as a Humanitarian Affairs Specialist since March 2019. Soon, she will start her new position as a coordination and monitoring consultant with the World Health Organization (WHO), a key partner in addressing COVID-19.

At the onset of the pandemic, OCHA and its partners re-oriented their work in eastern Ukraine to address the health emergency and the current need for humanitarian aid.

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Photo Iryna Koval, national UN Volunteer, during a visit of the inter-cluster coordination group to the Mariinka checkpoint in eastern Ukraine. ©OCHA, 2019

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UN Volunteer Valentine Nathalie Debonneville supports UN Women in Bosnia and Herzegovina with information management. UN Women is advocating that a gender perspective be included in the COVID-19 response. Together with partners, it is developing a targeted response to support specialized services for survivors of domestic violence, primarily safe houses.

We are also working on improving the multisectoral response during the crisis and afterwards, with a focus on marginalized communities. When it comes to socio-economic response to COVID-19, UN Women is also advocating for rebalancing budgets in a gender-responsive way, to make sure no one is left behind. -- Valentine Nathalie Debonneville, UN Volunteer with UN Women in Bosnia and Herzegovina

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Award-winning Roma UN Community Volunteer initiative tackles COVID-19

In Serbia, 10 UN Community Volunteers, young Roma, started their service within the UN Serbia response to COVID-19, to deliver health emergency preparedness measures and social support schemes to the most vulnerable communities. Their assistance is crucial to those with limited communication and insufficient support.

One of them, Nikola Josipovic reached out to Representatives of Lajkovac Municipality: with the support of the Association of Roma Coordinators, they visited the Dubrava settlement and provided water reserves for 50 households with no access to drinking water.

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Photo: Roma UN Community Volunteers Milena Reljic and David Georgiev at an event of the Local Initiative for Improved Social Inclusion of Young Roma events in Serbia. ©UNV, 2018
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