Having been raised in a socially conservative environment, Natalie explains that she was one of the lucky ones. Empowered to pursue her education, she obtained a Master’s degree in Media and Development from the United Kingdom.
Perhaps this is why joining UN Women as a volunteer after she settled in Jordan seemed like a natural move. Though she acknowledges that gender inequality is a worldwide issue, she says, "It’s hard to be a woman from the Middle East and not be affected by the issues around women’s rights."
Since 1950, the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA) has been working to ensure recognition of the rights of five million refugees in the Near East. Among them are over half a million children who continue to receive quality education.
Born in Donetsk region in Ukraine, Liliia was forced to leave her hometown because of the armed conflict. This displacement catalyzed an urge to help those who were in a similar situation and less fortunate than her.
Liliia's first experience of working with refugees and asylum seekers was a short-term European Voluntary Service education project for refugees in Gaziantep, Turkey, and it led to an awakening within her of how her contribution could bring about a change for the better in both herself and society.
A Somalian refugee who has spent the last 20 years living among 185,000 refugees like himself in the Kakuma camp, Mohammed oversees the subsection Kakuma 1, representing more than 20,000 people with nine different nationalities.
He makes sure that services are running smoothly, with “teachers in the classrooms and water in the taps”. He regularly meets with UNHCR and the Kenyan government to make sure enough support is being provided and works with the Lutheran World Relief Peacebuilding Unit to prevent conflict within the camp.
I enthusiastically joined the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), sub-office Gambella, as an international UN Volunteer to contribute towards addressing the plight of persons of concern and provision of protection services which is the core mandate of UNHCR.
Since December 2015, I have been the ‘boots on the ground', managing and coordinating the fleet and transport facilitation for UNHCR staff.
A public affairs specialist, Tommaso was working with the UN Regional Information Centre (UNRIC) in Brussels – after stints in The Hague and Rome – when he decided to upload his profile into the United Nations Volunteers (UNV) database. One night, while walking home with a colleague, he received an email asking if he was interested in joining OCHA’s sub-office in the North Kivu Province of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). "I wasn’t convinced I could make it to the end of the selection process," Tommaso shares.
There are more than 240,000 refugees and asylum seekers currently registered with UNHCR Egypt. Many are women and children.
The United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) provides registration, refugee status determination, and protection assistance to refugees and asylum seekers from 58 nationalities, in coordination with national and international NGOs.
Yulia graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in Oriental Studies from the National Research University Higher School of Economics (HSE) in Moscow and a double Master’s degree in Public Policy and International Relations from HSE the University of Bologna.
Saima graduated from Rawalpindi Medical College in Pakistan and obtained her diploma and Master’s degree in Public Health from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. After completing her studies, Saima worked as Gender Officer in UNHCR Afghanistan, as well as Medical Officer in University Teaching Hospital in Lusaka, Zambia.
Saima joined UNV in Jordan in May 2017 as UN Volunteer Associate Public Health Officer at UNHCR, and recently finished her one-year assignment.