Since 1979, UNICEF has been working in Benin to promote and protect children's rights. To support these efforts, the United Nations Volunteers (UNV) programme deployed 15 dedicated UN Volunteers with diverse skills and backgrounds, 53 per cent of them women. They are deployed in Cotonou, Parakou, and Natitingou zone offices, where they contribute to planning, implementation, monitoring and evaluation interventions.
Meet Sabilou Ibrahim, a national UN Volunteer specialist responsible for monitoring and evaluation. Sabilou recalls his first week with UNICEF Benin, where he quickly felt welcomed and motivated to start his assignment. “It just took me 72 hours to be adopted by my colleagues” he states.
Sabilou collects data on population displacement due to the Sahel security crisis and works closely with partners to strengthen the humanitarian response.
His efforts led to the provision of UNICEF's Protection and Dignity Kits to over 2,000 internally displaced and refugee children, ensuring their safety and well-being in challenging circumstances.
UN Volunteer Sabilou Ibrahim conducting a mission to monitor the distribution of kits at a school in Tanguiéta. ©UNV, 2022.
Aymard Konti, is a national UNV Communications Assistant, who promotes COVID-19 vaccination in the Borgou department in eastern Benin. Through community engagement and regular communication efforts, vaccine acceptance has significantly increased, thanks to the active participation over 72 individuals composed of local leaders, U-reporters, women, and youth in the four health zones of the Borgou department.
Aymard’s drive to volunteer for an agency like UNICEF is deeply rooted, as he says, “I have always wished to work for the wellbeing of my community in general and for the women and children, in particular, who are the most vulnerable”.
Aymard family Konti, a National UNV Communications Assistant (in the middle wearing a vest) conducting community engagement activities for vaccination acceptance. ©UNV, 2023
Mr Aby Mze-Boina, Head of Education Section, acting Deputy Representative of UNICEF in Benin, states, “The UN Volunteers provide expertise and are an enormous asset for boosting programme implementation and fulfilling UNICEF's mandate in Benin.”
Benin has a network of "U-Reporters" engaged in social and civic actions known as "U-Actions." With the support of Elvis Adjahoungba, UNV Coordinator of the U-Report platform, the number of U-Reporters in Benin increased from 14,000 to 123,000, covering all 77 municipalities throughout the country from September 2022 to June 2023.