On the occasion of the International Day of Persons with Disabilities, serving UN Volunteers with disabilities share their reflections on their assignments and the specific COVID-19 context.
"An inclusive world is an accessible world." --Pelgrina Ndumba, UN Volunteer Project Officer with UNDP, Namibia
UN Volunteer Namchok Petsaen (Thailand) serves as a Communications Assistant with the UNV Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific in Bangkok, Thailand. He shares his reflections on the occasion of the International Day for Persons with Disabilities, 3 December.
"Joining the UN Volunteers under the Talent Programme for Young Professionals with disabilities has been a good opportunity for me to contribute to peace and development through volunteering and raise awareness on inclusion in the UN system and society during COVID-19 – so that we can make sure we leave no one behind in times of crisis," Namchok says.
UN Volunteer Pelgrina Ndumba serves as a Project Officer with the UN Development Programme (UNDP) in Namibia on an assignment funded by Sida, Sweden. She shares her experience with the accessibility of UN House in Namibia on the occasion of the International Day for Persons with Disabilities, 3 December.
"As a UN family, we need to work towards making our communications accessible towards persons with disabilities, including the online platforms and tools we use, as it is sometimes difficult for me to participate in surveys and online meetings, due to them not being accessible for a person like me."
Azima Zaidi is a UN Volunteer Social Inclusion Officer in UNDP’s Youth Empowerment Programme, Pakistan.
"Through fostering social inclusion and empowerment of marginalized communities and people, I have gained immense knowledge in the field alongside seeing myself grow over the course of my assignment," she shares. "I absolutely love the fact that I get to work every day knowing that I am working for an organization that shares the same commitment and vision towards bettering lives on a global scale as I do. I always aspired to advocate human rights and inclusive development and this assignment is a perfect match for my career goals."
Tayyaba Arshi is another UN Volunteer Social Inclusion Officer with UNDP in Pakistan. She says:
“I enjoy working with UNDP for its professionalism; a well-balanced environment with the freedom that keeps me motivated. It is a great opportunity where we can have a career growth, not just a dream job. I am working with a great team that has enabled me to work for inclusion and I feel happy to come to work every day. I appreciate that recognition is given when it is deserved, and help is offered when needed. ”
Huyen Trang is a national UN Volunteer with the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) in Viet Nam who works on the rights of children with disabilities. Her assignment is fully funded by the Swedish International Development Agency (Sida), Sweden.
Huyen Trang herself has congenital cataracts and a visual impairment. And this empathy inspired her to apply to UNICEF Viet Nam to contribute and protect the rights of all children, especially children with disabilities, through volunteering.