Volunteering for Peace and Development in the Sahel

“Volunteerism as an essential strategy that makes distinctive contributions to the challenges of development, now and in the future.”
It's a first. The main volunteering organizations for peace and development in the Sahel region, from Mali, Niger, Chad, Mauritania and Burkina Faso, hold their first international round table on volunteering in the Sahel.

Ouagadougou, 19th November 2019 

This meeting is timely, the Sahel region being in focus with many challenges related to peace and development. Among the solutions and initiatives, volunteering is positioned as a solid value, hence the theme: "Volunteering contributions to peace and development in the Sahel".

The round table will be a platform for consultation and inclusion of several development actors, to provide an in-depth and factual analysis of the contribution of volunteerism in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in the Sahel.

Afke Bootsman, Regional Coordinator of the United Nations Volunteers (UNV) Program, explains the relevance of this "meeting of the family of volunteers in the Sahel":

"Volunteers' contributions promote an inclusive future, as they facilitate the participation of all segments of society, especially women and youth, in the quest for peace and development. In the implementation of the United Nations Integrated Strategy for the Sahel (UNISS), volunteerism plays a key role for greater coherence and effectiveness in the initiatives for the Sahel.”

As a result, UNV, the African Institute for Economic Development and Planning (IDEP), the International Organization of La Francophonie (OIF) and other actors from the public / private sector including associations, civil society and United Nations agencies will hold a two-day meeting in Ouagadougou, capital of Burkina Faso, in 19th and 20th November 2019.

During the roundtable, the participants will gather intelligence and pick up new ideas on how volunteerism can further enhance the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals in the Sahel for the coming years. Discussions will lead concrete solutions and proposals for the representatives of the United Nations, the governments, the organizations of the civil society and volunteering organizations in the Sahel.

Reinventing volunteerism in West and Central Africa based on  the Sahel experience.

The key objective of this high-level event is to take stock of the survey conducted over three months (August-October 2019), with the collecting of data, facts and figures on volunteerism in the Sahel region, to assess the contribution of volunteering to the main challenges and its impact on peace, resilience and youth.

After the summary of the survey, combined to new ideas on how volunteerism can further projects for the Sahel, a positioning paper will be produced. The document reflects a set of facts and evidence on the essential role of volunteerism for the development of the Sahel.


Following the launch of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in 2015, the United Nations General Assembly adopted an action plan developed by UN Member States to help all volunteering actors to strengthen the recognition and integration of volunteerism in the SDGs. Thanks to the concerted efforts of volunteers, governments, civil society, the private sector and the United Nations, the Plan of Action seeks to strengthen people's ownership of the 2030 Agenda, to fully integrate volunteerism into strategies and policies and to better measure the impact of volunteers.

The Sahel region is increasingly aware of the untapped potential of volunteerism to implement the 2030 Agenda, thanks to the support that volunteers bring at individual and community levels in many of the thematic areas covered by the SDGs.


For more information, please contact:

Mr. Paul Armand Menye, Program Specialist, United Nations Volunteers Regional Office in Dakar: paul.menye@unv.org

Ms. Clara Véronique Sagna, Knowledge Management Specialist, United Nations Volunteers Regional Office in Dakar: clara.sagna@unv.org