Today, over 25 million people worldwide live outside their countries to escape violence and persecution. Refugees leave nearly everything behind to seek safety: their homes, their jobs, and sometimes even their families.
Countries surrounding the Mediterranean Sea have witnessed some of the highest levels of migrations over the past few years, leaving millions of migrants and refugees in need of critical assistance and life support. For this year’s World Refugee Day, UN Volunteers Regional Office for Arab States, Europe and CIS, in partnership with the UNHCR, is launching the #volunteers4refugees campaign, telling real stories of UN Volunteers helping those who had fled or lost their homes build new fulfilling lives.
Starting June 20, and over the following three weeks, we will be sharing real stories of six UN Volunteers from the Arab States, Europe and Central Asia region, who have 1 mission – to help save lives and build better futures for those forced from home.
From Armenia, Elsie Aroyan shares her experience in writing a new chapter in the lives of refugees, and in her own.
Farah Nassef walks us through her volunteering journey which started during her college years and how she ended up providing protection of vulnerable refugee children in her home country, Egypt.
Likewise, Liliia Huzeieva explains her role in helping refugees integrate and transition to new normal lives in Ukraine.
Anja Ingabire shares the lessons she learned throughout her volunteering experience for refugees, the latest being with UNHCR in Jordan.
Witnessing egregious violations of human rights growing up, Ann Kamunya, volunteering for refugees in Turkey, talks about how this experience motivated her to speak up for those without a voice.
From Iraq, Endah Ayuningsih Yuliarso recounts how volunteering for refugees has been a life-changing decision for her.
Since 1976, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) has been partnering with the UNV programme to deliver vital humanitarian assistance to refugees, asylum-seekers, internally displaced and stateless people.
Every year, around 900 UN Volunteers in some 70 countries provide critical support to help UNHCR deliver on its mandate to "ensure that everybody has the right to seek asylum and find safe refuge, having fled violence, persecution, war or disaster at home".
Do you also volunteer for refugees? We want to hear from you! Share your story on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram using the hashtags #volunteers4refugees #WithRefugees.