In 2015, I got the opportunity to become a UN Volunteer Child Protection Officer with UNICEF in Sudan. In a country severely affected by armed conflict, displacement and food insecurity, the humanitarian needs remain critical. In addition to an estimated 2.2 million people displaced internally, Sudan has received over a quarter of a million refugees fleeing the war in South Sudan. Approximate 70 per cent of these displaced people are children.
“I served with the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) in Lao People’s Democratic Republic. My six-month assignment helped me gain many invaluable experiences that contributed to my personal and professional growth,” says Karinda Chuntavorn, a UN Youth University Volunteer in Resource Mobilization. Her assignment was supported by the Agency for Volunteer Service (AVS) and the Government of Hong Kong Special Administrative Region’s Home Affairs Bureau (HAB).
Today’s dialogue expands the current collaboration – specifically in support of peacebuilding and climate action, two key priority areas for Korea.
Soon he would be carrying out a host of duties to help Timor-Leste’s citizens take action against global warming.
I had never been to South East Asia nor had I ever worked in the UN System – it was a big change for me, professionally and personally.
Volunteering abroad took me out of my comfort zone. It was nerve-wracking the first couple of weeks, navigating the busy streets, meeting new faces every day, and attempting to communicate in Khmer, all while starting a new job in an unfamiliar setting.
The training is a way to inform and prepare the youth volunteers to better understand the role of UN Youth Volunteers in the context of the United Nations.
The Governments of Korea, Ireland, Luxembourg and China are funding the volunteer assignments of these UN Youth Volunteers. After their training, they will serve in Myanmar, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Ethiopia, Fiji, Ghana, India, Indonesia, Kosovo, Mongolia, State of Palestine, Panama, Sri Lanka, Timor Leste, Zimbabwe, Viet Nam, Senegal, Kenya, Malawi, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia and Thailand.
Sudan is a vast and diverse country with many facets. The landscape itself is reminiscent of this diversity – Sudan goes from hot deserts to green areas around the Nile. The same diversity applies to the faces of the people you meet. My experience in engaging with women as part of my assignment has also been quite diverse.
Armed conflict has incessantly affected the country. The role of women in the full spectrum of society is fluctuating. My volunteer assignment enables me to look at facets of this spectrum and contribute in any way I can.
Le Soudan est un pays vaste et varié, arborant de nombreuses facettes. Les paysages témoignent de cette diversité, qui s’étend des déserts chauds aux régions verdoyantes situées autour du Nil. La même diversité caractérise les visages des personnes que vous rencontrez. Mon expérience qui consistait à investir les femmes dans le cadre de la mission s’est révélée également pleinement variée.
Witnessing the current context from a close perspective has brought up many feelings going from fascination, frustration but also inspiration. It inspires me to excel further in my assignment and beyond, in order to give my small contribution towards more sustainable peace and development, because at the end of the day, that is the underlying essence of why we do what we do.
My assignment as an international UN Volunteer began in May 2015 as Education Officer with UNESCO Ramallah Office in Palestine. Looking back it has truly been an amazing rollercoaster on all levels.
The training was meant to inform, prepare, engage and make the volunteers better understand the role of UN Youth Volunteers in the context of the United Nations.
These 30 youth volunteers were part of UNV’s Full Funding programme. They left today for their funding countries, the Czech Republic, France and Switzerland. In just a matter of days, they will start their volunteer assignments in Asia, Africa and Europe.
Their enthusiasm and desire to make a difference to the world resonated throughout the induction training.