Cairo, Egypt: My name is Mohammad Abbas. I am a national UN Volunteer in Egypt. An accountant for many years, I was really unhappy with my job. I wanted out. I got my chance in 2014. I became a Community Service Intern with the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR). Interacting with people, guiding them, answering queries were all part of my job. In January 2015, I became UN Volunteer Reception Coordinator for UNHCR in Cairo.
New Delhi, India: Working as a UN Volunteer in an organisation like UNHCR is a life changing experience. It takes you out of your bubble and gives you the opportunity to understand real issues faced by people—people like you and me, people who have similar dreams and ambitions. As life forced them to become refugees in a land that is not their own, challenging their life skills and adaptation capabilities, they somehow find the resilience, the courage and determination to rebuild their lives.
During the first UNV Partnerships Forum that took place in Bonn, on September 30th and October 1st 2014, eight UN Volunteers were given the floor to share their experience as UN Volunteer. In this video, Bobbie Baker, International UN Volunteer from Ireland tells his experiences about providing Basic social services in a refugee camp in Sudan.
Iriba, Chad: Zo Eorintany from Madagascar is a UN Volunteer with the World Food Programme (WFP) in Iriba in Eastern Chad where she has been assigned since July 2010. Before going to Chad, she worked with WFP in her home country for eight years, and says, “I felt, I could help somewhere else, where people would be even more in need.”
Zo has a background in law and dreamed of becoming a magistrate. But when she joined WFP in 2002, her path took another direction. “I really believe in what WFP does, because we provide food assistance directly to refugees,” she says.
Today, 20 June, is World Refugee Day. There are over 43.7 million refugees and internally displaced people around the world. The United Nations established World Refugee Day to honour the courage, strength and determination of women, men and children who are forced to flee their homes under threat of persecution, conflict and violence.
Monrovia, Liberia: I am the focal person for World Refugee Day in Liberia. As a Public Information Officer, working with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) gives me the opportunity to listen and tell the stories of people torn apart by war - nursing mothers, children, pregnant women and the elderly.
Im motivated to volunteer my services because I worked with UN Volunteers professionals who tremendously contributed to peace and development in my home country, Sierra Leone, some of whom paid the ultimate price.
Caracas, Venezuela: I have been working as a UN Volunteer Associate Protection Officer at the Protection Unit of the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) in Caracas since April 2012. My role is to provide legal advice to asylum-seekers and refugees in the country, as well as to contribute to the compilation and analysis of country of origin information that shall serve as the basis for the drafting of legal and policy documents.
Volunteering is one of the best ways for young people to turn their energy and creativity into a tool for development and peace. During a conference organized in Gitega (Burundi) by the Ministry for Youth, Sports and Culture, UNV pushed for encouraging young people to take part in local and national volunteering initiatives throughout Burundi. The conference was backed by the Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation (NORAD). The article is in French.
Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic: It was my first assignment as a UN Volunteer in the field representing the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees in the Dominican Republic (UNHCR DR). Since the beginning of my collaboration as a UNV Field Analyst for the UNHCR programme I have been working as a focal point focusing on a community-based approach, which has totally changed my perspective.