I became a UN Volunteer because I want to offer my skills to make the world a better place. This experience has not only been a platform to gain professional experience, meet and work with people from different cultures or improve my communication and social skills. It has also changed my life.
I used to work for Port Moresby Municipality as a book keeper for market venders when I got the opportunity to become a UN Youth Volunteer with UN Women’s Safe City Programme.
Over 80 per cent of vegetable sellers in Port Moresby are women, especially single mothers and widows who experience all sorts of abuse in public places. The programme promotes the safe use and enjoyment of public spaces by women through empowering them economically and through other means.
Around the world, people volunteer in different ways to achieve diverse impacts, both planned and unplanned. Most volunteering takes place through informal engagement between individuals, with only an estimated 30 per cent of volunteering taking place formally, through organizations. Much of this volunteerism – both informal and formal – takes place at the community level.
In 2013, South Sudan entered a civil war – a conflict which continues till today. The impact of insecurity has had a profound impact on people. Poverty has worsened, from 44.7 per cent in 2011 to 65.9% in 2018. Female-headed households (48.6 per cent of all households in South Sudan) experience more severe depth of poverty owing to detrimental social norms, and limited access to education, productive assets and resources.
Grace Otieno, a UN Volunteer who serves as an Air Operations Planning Officer at the MOVCON aviation section of the United Nations Stabilization Mission in the Democratic Republic of Congo (MONUSCO).
Posted in Goma, Grace is working in a largely male-dominated sector. Her everyday tasks include planning for daily flights, coordinating ramp activities for smooth and timely flights and briefing the crew on their daily route requirements as per UN procedures.
Education plays a very important role in eradicating poverty and improving health and sanitation, leading to better economic and social development and higher living standards. On 4 November 2015 in Paris, the international education community adopted the Education 2030 Framework for Action, the foundation that will anchor global efforts to achieve Sustainable Development Goal 4 (SDG4).
In Mali, there are many armed groups which have an impact on the lives of women. The project that I work on fosters economic and social empowerment of young women and men to help them regain some stability and social cohesion.
The Nehru Yuva Kendra Sangathan (NYKS) and the National Service Scheme (NSS) are among the world’s largest youth volunteering schemes. They aim to help young people to reach their full social, economic and human potential, while instilling a strong sense of civic engagement facilitating greater youth participation in achieving sustainable development goals collaborated with Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports, Government of India.
In Mali, more than 200 UN Volunteers are advancing peace and development with the various United Nations entities, including more than 140 in MINUSMA.
'The Voices of Courage' photo exhibition paid special tribute to women volunteers in Mali: 10 women agreed to share their volunteer experience in this West African country. Their stories are illustrated by 10 portrait photos of women volunteers in action in their work environments.
According to the National Employment and Income Survey (ENEI), in Guatemala, 58.6 per cent of women live in poverty and 22.8 per cent in extreme poverty.
Poverty is greater in the rural population, particularly in the Maya, Xinca and Garífuna peoples, communities that live under a constant condition of injustice and deprivation of their basic rights, affecting their women, girls and adolescents with greater ferocity.