At the end of 2021, country awards were held worldwide to recognize the extraordinary contributions of volunteers and show appreciation to them on the occasion of International Volunteer Day and the 50th anniversary of the UN Volunteer Programme (UNV).
Every day, volunteers dedicate time and effort to ensure the inclusion of those often left behind, to drive climate action and advance the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). For its 50th anniversary, UNV celebrated volunteers across the world through national volunteer awards. The award ceremonies were the results of our joint efforts with Member States governments, Resident Coordinator offices, many times volunteer-involving organizations and UN partners.
International Volunteer Day is a chance to thank the many individuals who act with the spirit of giving and to encourage others to follow their example. The main objective of the volunteer awards was to recognize and support the spirit of volunteerism to help and create a better future.
UNV’s regional and country offices organized country awards to show appreciation to volunteers, volunteer teams, and volunteer-involving organizations.
The award ceremony took place on 5 December 2021 in partnership with the Ministry of Local Government, Rural Development and Co-operatives, UNFPA Bangladesh, VSO Bangladesh and WaterAid Bangladesh. During the ceremony, 20 UN Volunteers were awarded.
Mst. Tamima Nasrin
Mst. Tamima Nasrin was awarded for contributions against Gender-based Violnece in Bogura District. The winner described their work as:
I work on advancing women's rights and resolving gender-based violence against women and girls. My work is focused on the whole community to be educated on these issues. I would like to continue supporting the advancement of women's rights and stop gender-based violence against women and girls.
Devisree Sen successfully maintained the unity of the community. The winner described their work as:
I encouraged 155 women leaders among the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to come forward and protected 200 families from gender-based violence. Now, women in their CDCs know how to seek legal help. I also helped 3,000 people in the community for COVID vaccination. Ensuring support to community people gives me immense pleasure and I want to keep working for them.
Nubayra Jeheen co-led the Shadow Pandemic Campaign to create awareness on and respond to the alarming spike in violence against women and girls. The winner described their work as:
My work included the design, development and dissemination of behavioral change materials. I coordinated and provided technical support in organizing inter and intra-agency events in liaison with the UN Women Comms and Coordination teams and enhanced mobilization of youth groups to become potential change makers and activists. UNV assignment has supported my personal growth in terms of gaining empathy and being a young feminist and a volunteer. Everyone should volunteer as much as possible for a better world.
Tereza Michael is a focal point for donors whose contribution amounted to over USD 45 million. The winner described their work as:
I supported the production of the different donor proposals and reports and also served as the team leader of the COVID-19 Monitoring and Support Team. As a representative, I supported staff members and their immediate dependents who are affected by COVID-19.
Md Arifuzzaman managed partnership among the child protection partners implementing quality activity at camp and host community. The winner described their work as:
I strengthened community-based mechanisms for children, adolescents, and children with disabilities through volunteering. I have gained an in-depth understanding of child protection and humanitarian programmes, such as LSB, PSS, Case management, Community Based Child Protection mechanism, and the ways to strengthen the social workforce.
Md. Nazmul Hasan
Md. Nazmul Hasan worked for communities in a poor urban area. The winner described their work as:
Through creating income-generating activities and emergency response in COVID-19, such as cash transfer, soap distribution and hand washing point establishment, I helped poor urban communities. Almost 14,000 people – specifically women and children – benefited from my work.
Doly Akter formed 410 female groups and helped women raise their voices to the governmental/ non-governmental organizations. The winner described their work as:
I facilitated community mobilization activities and developed community organizations in poor urban areas. My work is focused on supporting actions against gender-based violence and promoted volunteerism.
Lipi Ghosh, a UNFPA youth focal point, supported adolescents and youth unit in coordination with other units and field officers. The winner described their work as:
I built a relationship with other adolescent groups/clubs/organizations to ensure adolescent’s participation in UNFPA programmes. I supported 12,000 adolescents and youth, targeting five districts of Bangladesh, 250 schools and madrasah. I continued support on ASRHR, GBV programmes and promoted volunteerism.
Duti Mohema Gomes
Duti Mohema Gomes closely worked with DGHS Programme in coordination with DGFP & DGNM. The winner described their work as:
I handily sorted 600 CVs in four days and made 400 phone calls in two days for recruitment purposes of COVID-19 hospitals under DGHS. I also participated in different workshops, such as UNFPA-MOHFW Joint Coordination Annual Progress Review and Planning Workshop and Better Health in Bangladesh: Health Systems Strengthening, UNFPA. I continued programmatic and administrative support to the SRHR program team and promoted volunteerism.
Md. Yeasir Arafat
Md. Yeasir Arafat ensured all the data and documents are categorized and stored in the UNICEF ECM system. The winner described their work as:
By developing more than 10 visual documentaries and short videos, I made people acknowledge the hard work of the Nutrition workers to the world and to the donors. I published a number of stories/articles and publication on Sectors Social pages also shared with the donors. I also developed platforms and tools for knowledge sharing and data visualization.
Jannatul Ferdaous Sathi
Jannatul Ferdaous Sathi monitored the mainstream and social media to find trends and drivers of social tensions in Cox's, including host community and Rohingya. The winner described their work as:
I try to find the trend in the humanitarian context that creates analytical capacity of different ministry and governments. I continued providing humanitarian supports and promoted volunteerism.
Sabrina Sharmin developed an indicator-wise master database and supported real-time monitoring and partner reporting during the COVID-19 pandemic. The winner described their work as:
I supported gap analyses at the field level for the programme and emergency preparedness and visualizing. I also worked on maintaining ‘Dashboard’ in response to the COVID-19.
Md. Rokonuzzaman promoted gender equality and protection and prevention of women and girls from gender-based violence. The winner described their work as:
I developed a unified register along with a follow-up register for women help desks of GBV cases and GBV survivors' information in the 699 police stations. I helped the survivors to seek their need-based emergency GBV service. I also developed a common shared drive template, stored 33 Women Help Desks' information and designed GBV Risk Messages during the COVID-19 Pandemic.
Ranil Tripura contributed by supporting remote area in Rangamati — ensured people to get the right information about COVID-19, awareness on virus. The winner described their work as:
From the awareness briefing and solidarity distribution period, most of the farmers and beneficiaries could get support from UNDP and local NGOs project. I supported 29,000 households in the Rangamati district and ten Upazilas area at the community level.
Md. Jahangir Alam Pollob
Md. Jahangir Alam Pollob monitored and supervised constructions site motoring and supervision. The winner described their work as:
I could help more than 4,000 households in urban poor areas and they were directly benefited. I assisted the Community Development Committee (CDC) in developing a Community Action Plan (CAP). I believe volunteering can improve the quality of life, environment and infrastructure of the community.
Saleha Banu mobilized more than five households for savings. The winner described their work as:
I supported a number of meetings related to project implementation — through this, about 25 apprenticeship grants, 120 business grants, and 8 education grants have been provided among the community people. I also conducted Safe Community Committee (SCC) meetings which aimed to reduce gender-based violence against women and girls. During the COVID-19 period, I led 20,000 community people to maintain safety measures.
Ashiful Hoque’s work benefited almost 10,000 beneficiaries. The winner described their work as:
I mobilized people in the community, increased women empowerment and helped community people use improved sanitation facilities & clean drinking water. I continued support in livelihoods improvement of urban poor people to achieve the SDGs.
Md. Abdur Razzak
Md. Abdur Razzak mobilized community and improved resilience infrastructure for low-income settlements. The winner described their work as:
My work includes community development, improvement of resilience infrastructure in low-income settlements.
Mohammad Mosaddakur Rahman
Mohammad Mosaddakur Rahman maintain to cluster, CDC, community-level activity. The winner described their work as:
I shared communication strategy with related stakeholders and general COs. I also maintained and supervised CF for SIF activates. I supported capacity building at the community level by organizing meetings, training, workshop, CAP for SID construction.
Md. Shamim Mia
Md. Shamim Mia helped poor slum dwellers and their work helped 85,000 people. The winner described their work as:
I supported SIF works as Semi Deep Tubewell, Tubewell platform, Twin pit Latrine, Footpath, Drain and Slab implementation.
The award ceremony took place on 11 December 2021 in partnership with the Ministry of Social Solidarity, and with the support of UNESCO, UNFPA, FAO, Plan International, life Makers Foundation, Egyptian Red Crescent, Egyptian Foundation for Family Planning, and with the participation of Wataneya NGO, British Council, CEOSS NGO, Ambassadors of Volunteering Work NGO, Agyal Misr NGO, Ruwwad Egypt Foundation, John D. Gerhart Center at American University in Cairo, RAED network, Arab Council for Social Responsibility, Very Nile NGO, Ana Masry NGO, Cairo International Model United Nations CIMUN, Egyptian Food Bank, Y-Peer Network and The Scout. During the ceremony, 6 UN Volunteers were awarded in the nominations of Initiative, Innovations and Teamwork.
Nadine El Zeiny - Initiative
Nadine El Zeiny has been actively and passionately supporting the policy and partnerships at UNDP for the past 2.5 years. The winner described their work as:
I have a high sense of responsibility and always willing to take up new tasks no matter how challenging they could be. I was able to learn most of UNDP's internal operations requirements in a short time and became proficient in using all the needed platforms to advance UNDP’s work. I have taken up the role of knowledge management focal point.
Mohamed El Fawy - Initiative
Mohamed El Fawy, a Y-peer Coordinator at UNFPA, is a person with a deep understanding of work on the ground. The winner described their work as:
With my knowledge, I managed to build strong on-ground networks and relations with youth & CSOs. I tried to push mandate and maneuver logistics and challenges to implement activities in the most challenging environments.
Moataz Selim - Innovation
Moataz Selim played a key role in maintaining the Management KPIs dashboard at WHO. The winner described their work as:
KPIs dashboard is a tool designed to help 34 budget centers review progress in performance in operational areas, timely identify performance gaps and intervene in corrective measures. I used my proficient knowledge in data management and M/S Excel application to manage dashboards including data input, analysis and output/visualization.
Kenneth Tamang - Innovation
Kenneth Tamang made tremendous efforts to strive for innovation within the WHO Regional Office for the Eastern Mediterranean. The winner described their work as:
I accomplished huge milestones and introduced breakthrough innovation platforms and Power BI Dashboards.
Nada Ahmed Hafez - Teamwork
Nada Ahmed Hafez did a great work in collaborating with all units in WHO. The winner described their work as:
I built up a strong team with other colleagues involved in communication, planning and implementation of the health awareness campaign on world disease day.
Kanako Sakae - Teamwork
Kanako Sakae has been a great support to the child protection program at UNICEF and has always shown initiative and willingness to contribute to any task. The winner described their work as:
I made significant efforts to research various topics and consistently delivered all assignments on time with exceptional quality. I always try to be proactive in offering support to the team members.
- Fiji, Samoa and Federated States of Micronesia
The International Volunteer Day was celebrated in partnership with UNRCO, UNDP, IFRC, FCOSS and Pacific Disability Forum. The award ceremony took place on 5 December 2021 and 16 volunteers were awarded.
List of Winners
Shakutla Permal (Outstanding Volunteer), Dr Innocent Nyandwi (UNV Award), Lynette Sifa (Youth Volunteer), Amelia Bai (Inclusivity Champion Award), Sivendra Michael (Resilience Volunteer Award), Komal (Resilience - Oceans), Itinterunga Rae Bainteiti (Resilience Community), Amin Taumoefolau (Youth Volunteer), Tevita Cegunayavusa (Community Volunteer - COVID-19), Jone Wesele (Community Volunteer - Sports), Frank Kade (Faith-based Nominee), Youle Beatty (Special Mention - UNV), Tiffany Chan (Special Mention - UNV), Vika Faranise (Special Mention - UNV)
The award ceremony took place on 3 December 2021, in partnership with Centro de Voluntariado Guatemalteco, the National Youth Council (CONJUVE), and the Ministry of Education. The partners acknowledged the most active volunteer-involving organizations and their volunteer teams.
OACNUDH Guatemala - UN Agency Implementation of UNV
OACNUDH Guatemala has integrated volunteering as an invaluable tool to fulfil its mission in Guatemala and work for human rights.
UNDP Guatemala - UN Agency Implementation of UNV
UNDP Guatemala has integrated volunteering as an invaluable tool to fulfil its mission in Guatemala.
UNHCR Guatemala - UN Agency Implementation of UNV
UNHCR Guatemala has integrated volunteering as an invaluable tool to fulfil its mission in Guatemala and work for refugees.
Bomberos Voluntarios Volunteer Firefighters - Medical Impact
Bomberos Voluntarios Volunteer Firefighters serves for the Guatemalan population, non-stop 24h a day, 365 days a year. The organization is guided by the principles of discipline, honour and abnegation and provides help to people in need to save lives and goods. They work on prevention and attention of emergencies - either natural or provoked - to minimize the social and economic impact.
Fundación Carlos F. Novella Carlos F. Novella Foundation - Youth Social Impact
Fundación Carlos F. Novella Carlos F. Novella Foundation is an organization with more than 30 years of work in Guatemala. They aim to develop capacities and teach values for a positive transformation in the environment. They mainly work in operational areas of Cementos Progreso. Through active listening, work with and for the community, the organization share care about people’s needs.
Skd Guatemala - Impact on Children and Adolescents
Skd Guatemala works to identify children and youth with a high connection to streets and the high-risk factors. The daily work on the streets is generally the most challenging part of the job because volunteers daily try to rescue children and youth from the streets and give them a strict follow-up to keep them alive.
Conred - Trajectory and Legacy
Conred is responsible for coordinating with public and private institutions, national and international bodies and civil society. They are concerned about disaster and risk management and contribute to sustainable development in Guatemala. During the Eta and Iota hurricanes, Conred activated different volunteer support for the affected communities.
Cancer Cero Zero Cancer - Disclosure Institution
In En Cáncer CERO, Cancer Cero Zero Cancer supports people diagnosed with cancer. The organization builds recovery means for people who are suffering from cancer.
The award ceremony took place on 5 December 2021 in partnership with the Ministry of Youth, UNICEF, Nahno and Crown Prince Foundation. The partners acknowledged the most active individual volunteers and volunteer-involving organizations.
Lubna Al-Bsharat - The Highest Volunteering Hours (Individual)
Lubna Al-Bsharat's total volunteer time is 2,164 hours. The winner described their work as:
My volunteering career began ten years ago when I participated in a campaign to clothe poor children. I volunteered in several fields, including environment, community service, health, education, and many others. I also volunteered with many civil society institutions, most notably the Nahno. Volunteering for me is not just a passing word. It is the great spirit through which we light up all other souls in this world.
Nehayah Wajdi Fawaz Abu Dmeidah - The Highest Volunteering Hours (Individual)
Nehayah Wajdi Fawaz Abu Dmeidah reached 1,725 hours of volunteering. The winner described their work as:
I have a varied experience in volunteering with a lot of NGO's like CARE and UNICEF and projects such as the Ta'leem project and Shabab ilak wa Feed, which aimed to raise awareness on COVID-19 and encourage people to get the vaccine. I also got a peace ambassador certificate for writings on refugees' rights and coordinated a focus group discussion for youth. I advise everybody who wants to make a change in their life and become proud of their selves to start volunteering.
Moyad Khreesha - The Highest Volunteering Hours (Individual)
Moyad Khreesha's total volunteering time reached 2,022 hours. The winner described their work as:
I have rich volunteer experiences with different organizations and projects, such as the USAID Youth Force project, UNICEF skills programme, distance learning support programme with the Nawa Initiative / Crown Prince Foundation, We platform, the Shaghaf family initiative, Human Bank of Voluntary Work, Tahfez Association for Entrepreneurship and Development and Association of Reformers of Jordan. Being a volunteer means that you are a candle that lights the paths of others.
Tahfiz for pioneering and development-Irbid - The Highest Volunteering Hours (Host of Volunteers)
Tahfiz for pioneering and development-Irbid works to stimulate building and developing youth skills and experiences through training and practical activities and events for youth in several fields. The winner described their work as:
We promoted community service campaigns, cleaning, painting, restoring, distributing clothes and planting seedlings. Moreover, we conducted awareness-raising work for young people through the Capacity Building Project of Working Conditions in Jordan. We carried out activities for children in terms of education and development of sports skills. Indeed, volunteering is a letter of giving framing efforts and mobilizing energies.
Al Safi Company (Amman) - The Highest Volunteering Hours (Host of Volunteers)
Al Safi Company is a pioneering platform that aims to create a community of university students. The winner described their work as:
We share university educational content of study summaries and notes in an easy and fast way and enable students to transfer knowledge between students at universities. We provide volunteer positions and opportunities to participate in education on the web platform. We carried out the largest number of volunteering activities through the Nahnu platform for 2020-2021. Volunteering is a journey to know yourself more; why you exist? Where do you want to go? what motivates you?
Al qantara center-Maan - The Highest Volunteering Hours (Host of Volunteers)
Al qantara center-Maan was established in 2012 as the first non-profit company in the governorate of Ma'an. The winner described their work as:
Since our establishment, the center has sought to build youth capacities, enhance their self-confidence, provide them with skills, encourage them towards leadership and creativity, and actively participate in social, political, and economic life in Governorates of the South. We carried out the largest number of volunteering activities through the Nahnu platform for 2020-2021.
RBCs Team (Amman) - The Highest Volunteering Hours (Initiative)
RBCs is a pharmaceutical team established in the Faculty of Pharmacy at Al-Zaytoonah University. The winner described their work as:
We consist of a group of students from the Faculty of Pharmacy. We invest youth energies for the advancement of society. RBCs carried out the largest number of volunteering activities through the Nahnu platform for 2020-2021. Volunteering is a way for a to be the change he/she wishes to see in the world.
Shagaf Family Initiative (Karak) - The Highest Volunteering Hours (Initiative)
Shagaf Family Initiative is a youth volunteer team that aims to stimulate youth energies and develop the skills of volunteers. The winner described their work as:
Through training and dialogue programmes that help refine youth and volunteers' abilities, we try to activate their role in society and elevate the thinking of Jordanian youth. Indeed, it is from youth to youth. We carried out the largest number of volunteering activities through the Nahnu platform for 2020-2021.
Creative team - The Highest Volunteering Hours (Initiative)
The creative team is an ambitious volunteer youth team that carries out various volunteer work that targets all members of society with the aim of forming societal awareness on building sound life decisions. The winner described their work as:
We provide aid, offer courses, conduct workshops, provide psychological counselling, motivate and support. We carried out the largest number of volunteering activities through the Nahnu platform for 2020-2021.
- The award ceremony took place on 2-3 December 2021 in partnership with the Ministry of Information and Social Development of Kazakhstan and the National Volunteer Network of Kazakhstan. Twelve volunteers were awarded for their contribution.
Aitkul Omarova provided advisory assistance on medical, social and vocational rehabilitation for persons with disabilities. The winner described their work as:
I conducted functioning and capabilities assessments of persons with disabilities for their subsequent employment. I am glad that using my experience and knowledge, I can help people who need my support and help.
Diana Beisova worked on psychological support and counselling. The winner described their work as:
I identified the barriers to employment and found ways to solve the issue. I also conducted psychological training sessions and used therapy, associative metaphorical maps and transformational games. I consulted over 100 applicants and 50 of them are employed permanently.
Ainash Imangaliyeva volunteered in the social sphere, namely in the professional rehabilitation of persons with disabilities. The winner described their work as:
I advised on legal issues for people with disabilities at the employment stage and supported them preparing documents. In addition, I advised employers who are ready to hire people with disabilities.
I personally think people with disabilities cannot develop, live a full life, and work without knowing their rights. You will realize the importance when you see their success stories.
Tatiana Spiglazova is the head of the public charity fund for the Seriously Ill 'Faith in Goodness.' The winner described their work as:
We provide palliative care and help seriously ill people at home. After many years of helping ill people and work results, I thought it's my life to help people! This is not about one-time help but permanent medical and social assistance. We want to prove that every citizen is important to us and our state and the future without a barrier should become a reality!
Diana Murzagaliyeva helped children with disabilities by teaching free classes to support parents and give them hope and faith. The winner described their work as:
I would like to say that nothing is impossible in this life. I am a living example of how one can achieve great results and find a way to unlock the potential by doing good. Even hard volunteer work brings a lot of joy because you see their tears of joy. Their whole warmth is shared with you.
Nadezhda Gordova work is focused on searching for a new home for animals of the city and region. The winner described their work as:
I started with the animal welfare project 'Kind Hands,' and the project did a lot of work in this short time. I now promote the protection of homeless animals and the construction of a center in the city to isolate homeless animals for their safety in the city. Dear volunteers, thank you for your kind hearts, deeds, and pure thoughts.
Sergey Kurilov is a leader of the charity project 'Kind Heart.' The winner described their work as:
I helped in the reception and distribution of good clothes, buying products and distributing them to vulnerable people and promoting a healthy lifestyle. I want to thank the team of the UNV in Kazakhstan for the excellent organization of the event. I wish every volunteer prosperity and well-being!
Danara Saranova has been actively engaged with volunteer activities. The winner described their work as:
I ensured the three components of sustainable development: economic, social, and environmental development. I conducted online and offline training sessions for volunteers and youth in Kazakhstan. I also developed international cooperation for volunteering and achieving the SDGs.
Sanzhar Tolemis provided social assistance, conducted first aid training and volunteered in the field of emergencies and fundraising. The winner described their work as:
I took part in first aid training and distributed PPE for doctors, distributed humanitarian aid.
The award ceremony took place on 3 December 2021 in partnership with UNRCO, UNDP, UNEP, Kenya Red Cross Society, Government of Kenya, Volunteer Involving Organization Society, World Scout Association Kenya, Africa for SDGs, Youth Alive Kenya, Presidential Award Kenya, Voluntary Service Overseas (Kenya) and Mount Kenya University (MKU).
Lerne Adams Foundation – Community Engagement
Lerne Adams Foundation (LAF) is an indigenous Kenyan NGO registered as a non-political and non-profit organization. The winner described their work as:
We are based in Kisumu and works with communities in Siaya Migori, Kakamega, Homabay and Siaya Counties. We support local community-based organization in promoting volunteerism in western regions. We helped millions of people to make change happen by giving people a voice in sustainable development and peace efforts along with Lake Victoria.
Shining Hope for Communities (SHOFCO) – Community Engagement
Shining Hope for Communities (SHOFCO) is a non-profit organization based in Nairobi, Kenya, focused on combating poverty and gender inequity through a transformation in urban slums. The winner described their work as:
We supported public awareness through distributing soap, hand sanitizers, trained 97 community health workers, and mobilized 630 SUN volunteers. We completed 847,328 screenings for COVID-19 symptoms through our clinics and household-level outreach. Suspected cases were referred to the Ministry of Health for quarantine and testing. On the other hand, we supported the provision of clean water providing 8,268,770 liters of free water in Kibera via our innovative aerial water piping system on emergency Food Support — so far, we have reached 32,789 slum dwellers. Our gender department has responded to 2,064 cases of gender-based violence.
Women Volunteer for Peace - Gender Inclusion
Women Volunteer for Peace works with women and men in promoting gender inclusion. The winner described their work as:
We work with young women by supporting and promoting their role in peace-building activities. For instance, as the government put a directive for Kenyans to wear face masks, we teamed up with women volunteers to design and tailor cloth face masks and distributed over 25,000 masks free to disadvantaged and vulnerable families, children, street venders and the elderly. Our Slogan is do good, do it now! There is power in giving, there is power in showing care and love to the people around you. It starts with one person, one person to change the world to a better place, you and I, we can make that change happen.”
Kenya Red Cross Society - Climate Action
Kenya Red Cross Society works with the volunteers in planting growing and trees at the county branches in Kenya. The winner described their work as:
We supported the growing of 500,000 trees in the Northern Eastern region of Kenya and these efforts have increased the greening of the tree cover at the county level. The society is interested in working with our volunteers to forward the agenda on Early Warning and Early Action with communities’ involvement.
Renew our World Initiative - Climate Action
The Renew our World Initiative reaches out to schools, youth-involving organizations and universities in the public and private sector. The winner described their work as:
We engaged youth in the community through training programmes for SDGs, awareness sessions, research and focus group discussions, waste management activities and innovative volunteerism for climate action.
Inspiration for Girls Africa (IFGA) - COVID-19 Response
Inspiration for Girls Africa (IFGA) is a community-based organization (CBO) based in the urban slum of Nairobi's East lands area. The winner described their work as:
We try to resolve the challenges that families face in the urban slum area, especially during the pandemic. In fact, countless school-aged girls fall into early pregnancies, mental health issues and depression, to name a few. We empower girls through a life skills approach, mental health awareness, sexual reproductive health education, mentorship programs, social programmes and offer support with feminine hygiene products such as sanitary towels. Our objective is to help girls and teenage mothers navigate life after life-changing events brought about by the effects of the pandemic. We hope that we can create a lifetime impact and support our future leaders together.
Hands of Hope (HHI) - COVID-19 Response
The Hands of Hope Initiative (HHI) was founded to coordinate community-based programs aimed at breaking down stigma and changing mental health narratives through volunteerism. The winner described their work as:
We believe the power of shared experiences, as well as educating and sensitizing society about mental health. The initiative raises awareness in the community by advocating for better management of mental health issues. We support people vulnerable to mental health problems because of their individual life experiences and circumstances to overcome stigma, discrimination and sensitize the community. From June 2020 to October 2021, we addressed the mental challenges facing families and individuals by conducting activities every week in the target rural areas.
Petronila Nguono - Youth Volunteer
Petronila Nguono is a community development enthusiast with a professional and educational background in sociology and conflict resolution. The winner described their work as:
I am a team leader at Enkare Oltau, an organization dedicated to volunteer service that inspires, equips, and mobilizes people to take action that changes the world. I believe that volunteerism is a lifestyle, this is the reason I established Enkare Oltau Volunteers, to create a platform of change driven by young people who understand that they can bring about the change they want to see in their communities.
Rosemary Kinuthia - Senior Volunteer
Rosemary Kinuthia is a founder of the African Boy Child Network (ABNet). The winner described their work as:
ABNet investigates contemporary boy perceptions of culture, education, work, and real-life challenges, best practices for dealing with them with consideration, compassion, and kindness. It addresses the psychosocial challenges affecting the well-being of the boy child. The organization delivered their advocacy work through sports and art. I have also realized that there is so much we need to do for the boys and men in our society that will automatically eradicate the many ills witnessed today.
Janet Okatch - National Volunteer
Janet Okatch leads training, mentoring, coaching, linkages, community networking, advocacy, peer education and resource mobilization. The winner described their work as:
My work empowered 114 women, amongst who 37 women have started their small-scale enterprises; 68 young women and girls have joined vocational training colleges; 230 women have been taken through soft skill training that has enabled them to have voices and make a decision at the household and community level; 35 women got employment interns; 200 women in village were trained how on savings and budgeting; HIV-positive women can now access necessary medications from nearby facilities
Adow Mohamed Ibrahim - UN Refugee Volunteer Award
Adow Mohamed Ibrahim mobilized community youth to inspire the spirit of volunteerism. The winner described their work as:
I am fully engaged in volunteer activities to promote peace, justice, and strong institutions among refugees and with the host community. My work includes FGDs, home visits, community forums, training, awareness campaigns on COVID-19 hygiene and sanitation. I contributed to fast-tracking services for the PSN by training partners refugee staff on PSN assessment and referral pathways and encouraged quick service delivery. On the other hand, the reporting tool of Youth activities that I developed have empowered the youth on reporting writing skills.
Lokai Lokuno - UN Community Volunteer Award
Lokai Lokuno worked on community mobilization national government and county government engagements. The winner described their work as:
I conducted client orientation during missions in order to help site visits. Also, hey helped people with disabilities and refugee communities. Be of more help, be reliable when needed, and be an example to others in serving the community.
Volunteer's Mela was a one-day carnival model event held on 5 December 2021, where volunteers and partners came together to celebrate. The major highlight of the programme was the inauguration of the Volunteers Catalogue and the announcement of the Volunteer Award 2021.
The award ceremony took place in partnership with Creasion Nepal, YUWA, We for change, Debate Network Nepal, UN Youth Group (UNICEF and UNFPA), VSO, Restless Development and Raliegh Nepal.
Dr. Shisir Giri - Contribution to the Fight against COVID-19
Dr Shishir Giri is an independent volunteer serving as a medical officer in the Mahabu Hospital, the one that lies in the rural part of Karnali Province. The winner described their work as:
As a medical officer, I served selflessly and contributed to the well-being of the people of Karnali Province. As the rural municipality is extremely undeveloped, none of the doctors were convinced or willing to work there. However, I continued my journey and initiated health camps, prevention and awareness programmes on COVID-19 for communities in Dailekh. I also conducted door-to-door examinations and follow-up and check-ups.
Kusum KC - Contribution to the Fight against COVID-19 (Runner-up)
Kusum K.C is an activist who initiated and coordinated 32 episodes of 'Happiness Challenge,' a weekly virtual youth engagement programme aimed at improving skills and providing psychosocial support. The winner described their work as:
The programme has been piloted since the COVID-19 pandemic's second wave and more than 480 teenagers were directly engaged through Zoom, and about 10,000+ youths were contacted via Facebook Live. A virtual programme called 'Youth Action' was also held in August to commemorate IYD2021 in partnership with the National Youth Council, Girls Kick and Action Aid Nepal. I also coordinated a National Level Self-Defense Training (TOT), and trained 21 young people from across Nepal (3 youths from all 7 provinces). In honor of the 16 days of activism in 2021, the 'Cycle Ride Campaign to Stop Rape' was organized and empowered.
Sanjay Bhandari - Innovation on Transforming the Food System
Sanjay Bhandari, a self-motivated young man from Kafalghari hamlet in Kaski District, is a software engineering graduate and a cybersecurity enthusiast who works at the policy level. The winner described their work as:
There is no alternative to sustainable development except organic productions using modern innovations. Because most villages in Nepal face issues such as lack of improvised seeds for various crops, limitations in market crops to be produced, and proper youth labor due to emigration. I formed Merit Pokhara and Merit Nepal (World Merit's national wing) to work in rural areas where the need for all-around development is evident. I led a team of change makers to solve very deep-rooted problems through the initiative ‘Empowering through Farming.’ With a sequence of acts, farmers were provided with more improvised local crop seeds - such as Foxtail Millet. They were taught to grow them and this made the traditional farming process easier and more efficient.
Sumitra Magrati - Gender Economic Empowerment
Sumitra Magrati is a social activist and social mobilizer who belongs to the Dalit ethnic group. She is a co-founder of Dalit Dignity First, which focuses on and speaks out against caste-based injustice. The winner described their work as:
I am currently a mentor for the fellowship of YWPLI for Women LEAD Nepal's 2021-2022 programme, as well as a past fellow of YWPLI for Women LEAD Nepal's 2020-2021 programme and a Global Goodwill Ambassador. I have led many campaigns on caste-based discrimination, sexual exploitation, environment, health, blood donation, free medical camp in remote parts of Nepal every year, girls' empowerment, and various social media-based campaigns through Dalit Dignity First. I am currently working as an Educational District Field Officer with REED Nepal in Okhaldhunga and is currently directing 80 government by partnering with the local government to ensure gender equality and social inclusion, women empowerment and educational stability.
Dilnawaz Sheikh Ali - Gender economic empowerment (Runner-up)
Dilnawaz Sheikh Ali is a passionate feminist who is the co-founder of Political Literacy for Women (PLfW), a registered non-profit organization that aims to create spaces to increase Nepali women's knowledge about politics by providing learning, networking, and leading spaces. The winner described their work as:
I have actively educated 397 girls on politics and am a core campaigner of the #NOTANYMORE Campaign, a social campaign designed to stand in solidarity against online sexual harassment and advocates for stronger cyber-laws in Nepal. I have also been a part of the campaign #AjhaiKatiSahane the campaign for the rage against rape. My work is focused on various women empowerment projects.
Machiko Kitagawa - UN Volunteer Category
Machiko Kitagawa is a UN Volunteer serving as the Generation Unlimited Coordinator at UNICEF Nepal, supporting partnership building for adolescents and youth. The winner described their work as:
With my passion to build linkages among development partners, government, CSOs, and private sector companies, I have been focusing on creating a meaningful platform for adolescents and youth in Nepal, especially from marginalized communities, and advocating for youth-centric programs. My work cannot be complete without the collaboration with fellow UN Volunteers in Nepal and I think every one of us is worthy of receiving a medal. I consider this award to be a collective win!
Kenji Kitamura - UN Volunteer Category (Runner)
Kenji Kitamura is an international UN Volunteer working for UNICEF as an Early Childhood Education and Development officer. The winner described their work as:
I joined UNICEF as an international UNV in May 2020 with a full of passion for bringing benefits to young children in Nepal in this difficult time. Over the year and a half, I have faced many challenges, but my passion and enthusiasm for this work have never faded away. I mainly support the Education Review Office of the government in child development and educational assessment and research activities. I'm excited to continue working hard with my UNV fellows to realize a world where every child can fulfil her potential even in this challenging time.
- The award ceremony took place on 30 November 2021 in partnership with UNFPA, UNDP, RCO, VSO and Lagos State Government.
Dr. Oluwatosin Jegede - Contribution for Fight against COVID-19
Dr. Oluwatosin Jegede has been working with UNODC as a National Programme Associate since 2019. Oluwatosin was awarded for building the capacity of staff of the Nigerian correctional service on how to prevent, detect and respond to COVID-19 in custodial settings. The winner described their work as:
Since the training in September 2020, there have been no reported cases of COVID-19 among the over 70,000 inmates in Nigeria. I am always motivated to give my everything to people and this can be done through volunteering, a platform which can contribute to the improvement of the health of the general population.
Umar Idris - Women Empowerment & Gender
Umar Idris has been working with UNFPA as a Programme Support Officer under the Spotlight Initiative, since 2019. Umar is awarded for being the best in women empowerment and gender among UN volunteers in Nigeria. The winner described their work as:
Being a northerner in the country, where there are complex gender issues, I played a vital role at UNFPA and often tagged as the 'He4She' champion. To me, it is a great joy to be part of the generation that is empowering women and saying no to GBV through volunteerism. I believe we all have a role to play in nation-building. My dream is to inspire, empower and promote a new generation of volunteers.
Emokiniovo Otarigho - Innovation
Emokiniovo Otarigho is the Executive Director and co-founder of an NGO, Impact Driven Young Leaders Initiative. Emokiniovo Otarigho is awarded as an innovative volunteer in the country. The winner described their work as:
I was awarded for my achievement in setting up Pandemic Volunteers, a platform that mobilized over 1,000 volunteers across Nigeria, to combat COVID-19 and supported over 4,000 Nigerians with palliatives. I initiated a weekly virtual interactive session on COVID-19 and reached thousands of Nigerians. I would like to tell people that no one should give up easily.
Dr. Eze Sunday Victor - Community Empowerment
Dr. Eze Sunday Victor was awarded for his great contribution to community empowerment in a rural area in the northern part of the country. The winner described their work as:
I developed a ten-point project which included a donation of four oxygen cylinders to the community that was used to revive babies at birth. I also conducted free HIV tests for 1,000 pregnant women, reduced mother to child transmission of HIV, and established a theatre and sterilization unit for the local hospital. Similarly, I carried out drug abuse awareness campaign, free blood pressure, and blood sugar screening, sickle cell awareness program and donated three equipped first aid boxes to three schools reaching thousands of school children.
Moyosoluwa Olabisi Oladayo - Volunteer's Impact on government selected project
Moyosoluwa Olabisi Oladayo is awarded for her contribution to the review of the Nigerian national policy on inclusive volunteerism, during her time as a volunteer with VSO Nigeria, where she served as a National Policy Advisor. The winner described their work as:
I work with VSO International as the Global Volunteering for Development Officer. In addition to providing technical support to the review of the national policy, I also initiated a national campaign on volunteering for development. I chose to become a volunteer for life, knowing that my contribution is a catalyst for development and helps create a fair world for the marginalized and vulnerable in society.
The award ceremony took place on 3-4 December 2021 in partnership with the Ministry of Women and Vulnerable Population, Special Bicentennial Project, France Volontaires and I'm Volunteer.
Ñawinchasun - leamos juntos - Good Volunteering Practices Recognition (Academic volunteering)
Ñawinchasun - leamos juntos work is focused on the rural areas of Andahuaylas and Chincheros provinces. The winner described their work as:
We targeted first and second-year students of the primary school whom can't access the educational strategy due to socioeconomic problems. Thus, students from the different specialties in the Instituto Superior Pedagógico Púbico José María Arguedas de Andahuaylas, volunteer to teach how to read and write in their communities to attend those marginalized in the process of learning how to write and read Quechua.
Young Peruvians Leaders (YPL) Programme - Good Volunteering Practices Recognition (Civil Volunteering)
Young Peruvians Leaders (YPL) Cajamarca seeks to teach young secondary school students about some key topics to understand how volunteering works through the initiative 'Aprender para crecer' (Learn to grow). The winner described their work as:
Through sessions, youth receive knowledge on innovation and creativity to materialize it in social service and show interest in being a leader and, thus, an agent of change. It's a pleasure to be recognized in the civil category. Being recognized in International Volunteer Day allows us to continue encouraging our activities and have the governmental support to achieve our objectives.
Science in your Community - Good Volunteering Practices Recognition (Community Volunteering)
Science in your Community seeks to divulge science and technology among children and youth, using e-learning methodology and a STEAM approach, especially in vulnerable sectors. The winner described their work as:
We spread knowledge of research among youth and provide technological educational tools to science teachers to strengthen their skills. This is to resolve community challenges and promote development. Currently, we have 19 regional headquarters and one international branch in Mexico. During the pandemic, we manged to connect many young people from different parts of Peru who are interested in sharing their knowledge in science and technology.
Innova tu Mercado (Innovate your market) - Good Volunteering Practices Recognition (Corporate Volunteering)
Innovate your market is an initiative that promotes digital transformation in traditional markets of their country. The winner described their work as:
The purpose of the initiative is to accelerate the economic recovery of our entrepreneurs and promote more secure buying transactions. More than 100 entrepreneur women were trained to lead the digital transformation. Today, those innovative ambassadors share their knowledge and promote the digital culture among the merchants. Thanks to this recognition, we can showcase the volunteering efforts where teachers and students made possible Innova tu mercado.
Municipal Lima Volunteering - Good Volunteering Practices Recognition (State Volunteering)
The Municipal Volunteering of Lima is an initiative that designs and implements volunteering initiatives in different parts of Lima Metropolitana. The winner described their work as:
We tried to help the most vulnerable, such as children, elderly people, beneficiaries of ‘ollas communes.’ We promote civic actions of high social impact and sensitize on relevant topics such as environment, gender equality, reading promotion, and cultural promotion.
Potenciando una América Inclusiva (Encouraging an Inclusive America) - Good Volunteering Practices Recognition (International Volunteering)
Potenciando una América Inclusiva is an initiative that strengthens the educational adaptation of children from 2017 to 2020 who finished in Cebe Manuel Duato school. The winner described their work as:
We offer a virtual space of training, learning, emotional support, and financial backing for families with disabilities, as well as a teacher of special and regular education in different institutions in the North of Lima. It's a comprehensive programme that attends diversity in students from cebe Manuel Duato school. Regular schools from Saanee also are considered with emotional support, family entrepreneurship, curricular adaptation, and teachers training.
The Initiative Pizarra Móvil (Portable Blackboard) - Good Volunteering Practices Recognition (Community Volunteering)
The Initiative Pizarra Móvil consists of teachers moving around the communities with a portable blackboard to provide extra classes to those children who can't attend due to the lack of technological devices. The winner described their work as:
By moving the portable blackboard around with a moto-taxi, we teach students at home with the corresponding sanitary protocols. The initiative was created thanks to the teachers who decided to look for our students who couldn't attend classes, some of them even during the whole year of 2020. We'd like to thank the Ministry of Women and Vulnerable Population, as well as UN Volunteers Peru.
UN Volunteers Peru - Reconocimiento Voluntarios del Bicentenario Bicentennial Volunteers Recognition
With the celebration of 50th anniversary of the UN Volunteer Programme, there was a recognition for UN Volunteers’ invaluable work, important contribution and support in building a better citizenship.
Special Bicentennial Project of Peru's Independence - Reconocimiento UNV 50 Country Awards
In the framework of Volunteering Week, it's a recognition for work on volunteering for its 200 years of independence.
Individual volunteers - Reconocimiento Voluntarios del Bicentenario Región Amazonas
The Bicentennial Volunteers Programme identified 26 volunteers that invested their time and talent to volunteer. The volunteer demonstrated:
1) an outstanding amount of service hours in the formative program in the virtual learning community of the Bicentennial Volunteers Programme, i.e., a greater amount of courses finished.
2) an outstanding amount of hours destined in mobilization activities for their different campaigns.
The list of volunteers awarded: MAYLIN LOOEZ BUENO, INÉS ROSARIO CASAS MARTÍNEZ, KEVIN VARGAS CAMACHO, ALONSO HENRY PORCEL ARISACA, DENÍS HUAMANÍ HUAMANÍ, SHEYLA FIORELLA ARANA BERNUÍ, ANGEL ENRIQUE RONCEROS COMENA, BERIOSCA CUETO AMUDIO, LHINA MHELISSA HUAMANI LUCERO, KIMBERLY YIZA SANTIAGO LUICHO, KATHERINE CELIA UTANI VILCAS, JUAN KLAUS PAUCAR HUACCHO, MIGUEL ANGEL SOLANO ARTEAGA, LINDA JELINNE VELÁSQUEZ ÁNGELES, ANDREA ZEBALLOS FUENTES, JAIME MARTÍN PÉREZ GONZALES
YURDI YUSVELI AGUILAR HUAÑA, MIGUEL ANGEL QUISPE ELESCANO, VIOLETA ZELADA HILARIO
AMARILIS DINA CHAMBA LÓPEZ, LEIDY ELIANA PARI USCAMAYTA, ANNJULIETH YESSENIA RUTH CHATE BARROS, JANE MARISOL VALERIANO CHOQUE, GRISELLI MOGOLLON GARABITO, GREGORIO DANIEL IZQUIERDO MARIN, LUIS ALBERTO CARBAJAL CAMPOS
- Republic of Congo and region
- The award ceremony took place on 3 December 2021 in partnership with UNDP, OMS AFRO, RCO, France Volontaires, Corps des Jeunes Volontaires du Congo, Ministère de la Jeunesse, RAVSI Congo and Ambassade de France. During the ceremony, 9 volunteers were awarded for their great achievements.
Jusvi Didier Mabika Ngassaki - UN Agency-based Award (Prix Inspiration en Action)
Jusvi Didier Mabika Ngassaki has worked on the alert application aimed to prevent and report acts of violence during the electorate period. The winner described their work as:
A few cases of violence have been reported through the application and the police have been alerted to respond. We are now trying to strengthen the alert system and make the security services much more operational. I also have coordinated the implementation of the peacebuilding project in the areas affected by the conflict in the department of the pool and its surroundings, which made it possible to support over 4,000 people through the development of income-generating activities.
Musabyimana Pudentienne - Gender Award (Prix Africa Women Health Champions)
Musabyimana Pudentienne is a UN Volunteer International Specialist, Technical Officer-Violence & Injuries Prevention, with WHO Regional Office Africa. The winner described their work as:
Since joining WHO, I raised awareness on women's empowerment and leadership in the context of COVID-19. I have also represented WHO in consultation processes for the development of voluntary guidelines on gender equality and the empowerment of farms and girls in the context of food security and Nutrition. I work closely with different OHS/AFRO units (Gender, Equity, and Equal Rights; Disability Service and Rehabilitation) to strengthen the country staff in gender mainstreaming and the prevention of gender-based violence.
Mpeke-Ntollo Lurole Elfried - Gender Award (Prix Africa Women Health Champions)
Mpeke-Ntollo Lurole Elfried is a National UN Volunteer Specialist working on Risk Communication and Community Engagement with WHO Regional Office Africa. The winner described their work as:
My work involves ensuring that risk communication principles and practices are integrated and implemented in all phases of the health incident management cycle. I ensure that partners are coordinated, high-quality risk materials are developed and disseminated, and misinformation is dealt with. Our team has developed new communications materials on public health measures and social distancing including vaccination in October 2021. We have revitalized our partnership at the regional, national and local levels to engage and mobilize communities in Llalutte and put an end to misinformation about this disease and vaccination.
Makounga Joshy Labarb - Community Engagement Award (Prix Engagement Communautaire)
Makounga Joshy Labarb has addressed the early school dropout problems in rural area by organizing a framework for cultural animation and reading. The winner described their work as:
The objective was to give young people the enthusiasm to keep studying at school. I tried to mobilize all the necessary resources to help young people, such as audio visuals. Another important achievement is awareness-raising activities on the fight against radicalization and the importance of schooling in the fight against poverty and social inequalities.
Nkounkou Yann - UN Agency-based Award (Prix Inspiration en Action)
Nkounkou Yann is a National UN Volunteer Specialist, an Assistant to the School Canteen Programme with PAM Congo. The winner described their work as:
I support programming, coordination and monitoring of school canteen activities throughout the department of LIKOUALA where WFP assists 16 primary schools with about 5,178 students. I also support cash transfer activities and the distribution of food to Central African refugees, flood-stricken populations, vulnerable groups including pregnant or breastfeeding women, and children aged 6 to 59 months.
Tamba Bonazebi Triphène Vanessa - Community Engagement Award (Prix Engagement Communautaire)
Tamba Bonazebi Triphène Vanessa is a volunteer of international reciprocity as part of the Africa 2020 season in France. The winner described their work as:
Being part of the international design biennial Saint-Etienne, I worked with members of international relations, as an artist actress from Congo Brazzaville and promoted exchanges of interculturalities. I do cultural mediation by making the work of the students in the realization of their tasks. I help students who have difficulties in reading. I make sure that they find a smile and continue their studies because they are the future. I also work on the library development project. I want to continue this commitment for life. Volunteering is about serving others without any constraint and committing to a common world, it is also about exchanging, sharing and learning.
Andzi Iz Dan Christa Fallye - Government selected national volunteer award (Prix du meilleur volontaire national du Corps des Jeunes Volontaires du Congo)
Andzi Iz Dan Christa Fallye is a National Volunteer with Corps des Jeunes Volontaires du Congo (CIVC). The winner described their work as:
I am a feminist activist, born in 1994 in Sibiti, Congo. I worked as an independent advisor for Avenir Nepad Congo in 2020 to the study on the problem of gender-based violence in Brazzaville and also worked for radio programme. This experience allowed me to acquire solid skills that I was able to apply volunteering as a local animator of the intercultural exchange project. For me, volunteering is the acquisition of new skills, building a profile of the international cooperation and sustainable development professional; a springboard to formal employment.
Bahoumina Nkounko Krys - Government selected national volunteer award (Prix du meilleur volontaire national du Corps des Jeunes Volontaires du Congo)
Bahoumina Nkounko Krys is a National Volunteer with Corps des Jeunes Volontaires du Congo (CJVC). The winner described their work as:
I have been a national volunteer at the Case Dominique special school for almost six months. Its mission is to ensure the psychological accompaniment of children with special needs, particularly children with disabilities. Throughout my interviews with parents, I realized parents also experienced great emotional distress while taking care of their children. Together with my colleagues, I set up counselling and parental guidance sessions to address their emotional distress, accept to love their children despite their difference. Volunteering is giving without expecting anything in return. It is also about sharing knowledge with others for the good of the community and the nation.
Karambiri Michèle Diane - Innovation Award (Prix de l'Innovation durant la COVID-19)
Karambiri Michèle Diane is a UN Volunteer International Specialist who is responsible for communications, advocacy, partnership, and resource mobilization with United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) in Congo. The winner described their work as:
I have contributed to the following achievements: 1) Development of an application (EduCovid) to raise awareness against covid-19 and reach approximately 10,000 people, which is a good result for a country with less than 10% internet penetration. 2) Drone technology for raising awareness against Covid-19 among indigenous and marginalized populations living in the forest and remote areas. This innovation made it possible to sensitize approximately 1,270 people on the respect of physical distancing, reproductive health, and HIV AIDS, in connection with the mandate of UNFPA. These two technologies have enabled hundreds of people to avoid contracting COVID-19.
- Sri Lanka
The UNV50 Country Awards took place on 7 December 2021 attended by the Minister of Youth and Sports, UN Resident Coordinator, UNDP Resident Representative and Heads of UN Agencies and the World Bank in addition to a host of other dignitaries representing the Government, Academia, Private Sector, Civil Society and Volunteer Involving Organizations.
State Sector Awards
Six Government organizations were recognized for their contributions in promoting the value of volunteerism through citizen engagement within Sri Lanka. The Department of Social Services established of RO Plant to facilitate villagers with pure drinking water and renovated a primary school including establishment of new library and Computer Lab with equipment for student. Inland Revenue helped those in need by arranging donations of dry food items for the flood victims, food packs and school items, library books for students, and fundraising for COVID relief. Irrigation Department involved farmers and farmer organizations to maintain and improve irrigation systems, reduce water scarcity and prevent damage from the flood. National Youth Services Council engaged youth with projects promoting public health, environment, and education through the launch of the Blood Donation Program and awareness building of the Covid-19 responses and environment protection. Sabaragamuwa Provincial Department of Education involved volunteers in projects to create enabling environment for equal education for all. State Ministry of Rural Roads and Other Infrastructure mobilized volunteers to improve the livelihood of the people by increasing the mobility of rural areas islandwide, ensuring that the environment is protected in the development plans and some tourist areas, and knowledge sharing through webinars.
Corporate Sector Awards
Three corporates were recognized for promoting the value of volunteerism through citizen engagement within the Corporate Sector in Sri Lanka. Dilmah Ceylon Tea Company PLC involved volunteers in raising awareness of people with disabilities, charity market, dry rations distributions to beneficiaries, beach and wetland clean-up, raising awareness about elephant protection and tree planting. Kelani Valley Plantations PLC implemented multiple environment protection projects with thousands of volunteers, such as tree planting projects, Organic Rubber Project, Municipal waste compost project, conducted awareness programmes on Child Protection, and is developing a universal tool for sustainable business practices. Oxford College of Business contributed to diverse areas in need by donations facilities and commodities, awareness campaign, organizing workshops about societal issues, scholarship for a student, distributing food and PPE items during the COVID-19 pandemic and vocal training.
Media Sector Awards
Three media companies were recognized for promoting the value of volunteerism in Sri Lanka. Power House Limited addressed the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic, provided rations to those severely affected, medical equipment to frontline workers and masks to the general public. Sri Lanka Rupavahini (TV) Corporation initiated a series of documentary programs based on the stories of volunteers to highlight the volunteering efforts of the public and promote the value of volunteerism. The Gammadda Movement conducted capacity-building programs for 20,000 participants with the support of volunteer speakers and carried out a series of awareness programs on the effects of drug use and various environment protection projects.
Tertiary Education Sector Awards
Four educational institutions were recognized for integrating and promoting the value of volunteerism within the Tertiary Education Sector in Sri Lanka. National Institute of Business Management empowered youth and university students by organizing the first NIBM International Model United Nations Conference with the participation of Delegates to address and discuss SDGs and Critical Enabling Skills. NSBM Green University implemented CSR projects with volunteers to address issues around drug prevention, the elderly's life and wellbeing, rehabilitation, and mental health, and arranged donations to children with disabilities, stationaries, libraries, and books for communities. Sri Lanka International Buddhist Academy (SIBA Campus) contributed to boosting public conversations around mental health by hosting a mindfulness and stress management programme and donated basic needs for school children. University of Moratuwa – The Department of Computer Science and Engineering and Students developed the online real-time volunteer management system for the National Volunteering Secretariat.
UN Volunteers - Inspiration in Action
National UN Volunteers who have served the organization for several years and contributed through multiple assignments were awarded in recognition of their invaluable contributions, dedication and spirit of volunteerism. The winners: Sam Stembo, Sahani Dikkumbura, Dinithi Wijayasekera, Ralani Janadarie Weerasinghe, Menaka Liyanage
UNV V-Force Volunteers were recognized for their invaluable contributions exemplifying the spirit of volunteerism. This group is among the pioneers of V-Force who have served selflessly contributing to key initiatives:
Naveen Ratnayake, Ahamed Nishadh, Abdul Basith, Krishan Balaji, Azeemullah Abdeen, Muradh Mohideen, Nafli Mufthi, Prarthana Liyanage, Sadhani Rajapakse, K Milinda Shanaka De Silva, Shevandra Wijemanne, Sisini Thrikawala, Sudaraka Arthanayaka, Tharindu Damith Abeyrathna, Zainab Ismail
Volunteering Involving Organizations
Three Volunteer Involving Organizations that engaged closely with UNV over the years were recognized for advocating, promoting and leading volunteering efforts in the country. Lanka Jathika Sarvodaya Shramadana Sangamaya, Rotaract in Rotary International District 3220 – Sri Lanka & Maldives, Sri Lanka Scout Association.
Two individuals and seven organizations were recognized for their close engagement with UNV in driving the volunteering agenda forward through the National Steering Committee on Volunteering supporting key initiatives.
(Individuals) Professor Siri Hettige, M.Ramamoorthy
(Organizations) Australian Volunteers program, Ceylon Chamber of Commerce, Lanka Jathika Sarvodaya Shramadana Sangamaya, MTV for News 1st, National Youth Services Council, Sri Lanka Scout Association, and United Nations Development Programme.
V-Awards Celebrities/Performing Artists/ Ambassadors
Nine celebrities and artists were recognized for the inspiration they have created through volunteering. Below is the list of celebrities who were awarded for UNV50 Special Awards:
Kumar Sangakkara, Mahela Jayawardena, Bathiya Jayakody, Santhush Weeraman, Pooja Umashankar, Umaria Sinhawansa, Heshan Gamage, Prashadi Dance Academy, Naadro
UNV partner organizations were recognized for their contributions towards integrating and promoting the value of volunteerism by mobilizing UN Volunteers and V-Force Volunteers collaborating with UNV:
United Nations Office of the Resident Coordinator, World Food Programme, International Organization for Migration, World Health Organization, The World Bank, United Nations Population Fund, Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, United Nations Children's Fund, United Nations Development Programme
Volunteering Excellence Awards
Roshan Mahanama and Kushil Gunasekara were awarded in recognition of their remarkable contributions through volunteerism and engagement with UNV. Roshan Mahanama has long identified his passion for volunteering due to the inspiring figure of his father. He devoted his time to numerous causes and projects and am the brand ambassador for different foundations, such as SOS Children's Villages Sri Lanka, Hemas Outreach Foundation, 'ARRYA' Welfare Foundation for Armed Forces, and others. Kushil Gunasekera set up the Foundation of Goodness which delivers humanitarian programs emphasizing rural empowerment. The impact is well reflected through over 400,000 beneficiaries spread across 500 villages islandwide, during its journey of two decades. The initiatives have ensured the bridging of the urban-rural divide by empowering countless rural children, youth and women using English and digital literacy among others. He has raised US$ 20 million over 16 years towards humanitarian work and played an integral role in emergency response for earthquake and COVID-19 pandemic.
Dr. A. T. Ariyaratne - Lifetime Achievement Golden Award
UNV bestowed this special award on Dr. A. T. Ariyaratne for championing principles of non-violence, rural development, and self-sacrifice. Dr. A. T. Ariyaratne has united development with selflessness and compassion both within the country and abroad. He led by example in emphasizing the value of volunteerism to both youth and other civil societies, which has penetrated all parts of Sri Lanka. This includes several programmes ranging from the development of infrastructures to micro-loans to preschool programmes. He has also played an important role in carrying out acts of peace to pacify the ethnic and racial issues which have plagued the country and thus indicated his commitment to social transformation.
The International Volunteer Day was celebrated in partnership with UNRCO, UNDP, WHO, UNRC, UNFPA, Peace Corps, The Secretary of State for Youth and Sports, Australian Volunteer Program, JICA, KOICA, Peace Corps Timor-Leste and VSA-New Zealand. The award ceremony took place on 4 December 2021.
Madalena Bidau "Kasian"- Contribution to the well-being of communities and the strengthening of cohesion
Madalena Bidau, more known as Mana Kasian, a compassionate older sister, was awarded for her contribution to the well-being of communities and community cohesion. The winner described their work as:
I haven’t had a chance to attend school as they fled their village as a refugee during the outbreak of war in 1975. Even though I am illiterate, it has not stopped them from founding six pre-school and a junior school for children. Our schools offer the only local educational opportunities for young children, particularly girls. Along with that, I turned my attention to peace activism and improving the lives of others. I founded the organization Feto Haluk Hadomi Timor which works with widows of ex-combatants, providing training for income-generating activities like farming and crafts.
Maluk Timor - Contribution to Fight COVID-19
Maluk Timor is an association registered both in Timor-Leste (Associação Maluk Timor) and in Australia (Maluk Timor Australia). The winner described their work as:
We worked closely with the Ministry of Health (MoH) and the MoH National Institute of Training to support the development of the national case management and triage guidelines. We developed the COVID-19 training package with MoH, which was delivered nationwide over three weeks in April. Maluk Timor also supported the MoH to establish the isolation facility, which included the relocation of Maluk Timor’s HIV Centre.
Asosiasaun Halibur Defisiénsia Matan (AHDMTL) - Contribution to the Well-being of the Community
Asosiasaun Halibur Defisiénsia Matan (AHDMTL) was established in July 2011 with the purpose to serve and protects the right of blind and visually impaired people in Timor Leste. The winner described their work as:
We became an active voice in all fora to advocate and raise awareness for the rights and issues facing blind and visually impaired people, including their vulnerability to sexual assault. We conduct field visit survey and research to identify vision-impaired people with physical, medical, mobility and advocacy needs. We also provide training in braille, mobility orientation, IT, music, and life skills in their small live-in training center in Dili. We focus on advocacy for the rights of the blind community in Timor-Leste and providing counselling. We advocated for people with disability during the COVID-19 and Natural disaster 2021.
Saúde Ba Ema Hotu (SABEH) - Contribution to Fight COVID-19
Saúde Ba Ema Hotu (SABEH) seeks to improve the health and wellbeing of individuals and families in rural Timor-Leste through the direct work of our healthcare professionals as well as through partnerships with government and non-government organizations. The winner described their work as:
Our key objectives are to: 1) ensure that all Timorese have access to quality healthcare services, including women, children, the disadvantaged, and the disabled; 2) provide effective and sustainable service provision in remote areas, through innovative, collaborative, and community-led approaches; and 3) promote education that creates and sustains healthier communities. During the pandemic and government vaccine implementation, our volunteers vaccinated more than 10.000 people from remote areas.
Centro Formação Professional Dom Bosco Comoro (CFP - DBC) - Contribution to the Well-being of the Community
Centro Formação Professional Dom Bosco Comoro (CFP - DBC) is a professional training center. The winner described their work as:
During difficult times (i.e., 1999 referendum crisis, a political crisis in 2006 and the recent 2021 natural disaster in Dili), we always have provided supports and shelters for the community. In 2021 natural disaster, we accommodated more than 190 households including 250 children in their houses. The CFP-DBC also voluntarily built temporary accommodations for the victim of the natural disaster in April 2021.
MOVIMENTU TASI MOOS (MTM) - Contribution to Fight COVID-19
MOVIMENTU TASI MOOS (MTM) was established on the 15th of June 2015 by young Timorese. The winner described their work as:
During the covid-19 pandemic in the country, we contributed voluntarily to some preventive activities including disinfecting public spaces, offices, and local community areas. We also voluntarily conducted food outreach activities and other necessities to students across the country as well as to people living with disabilities during the sanitary fence due to the COVID-19 outbreak. During the natural disaster in April 2021, we continued our support in providing food and other necessities for the victims located in IDPs, churches and government office sites.
- Tunisia and region
- The award ceremony took place on 5 December 2021 in partnership with France Volunteers, Ministry of youth and sports (observatoir de la jeunesse), UNICEF Tunisia and IOM. During the ceremony, 3 volunteers were awarded for their great achievements.
Aziz Zaguia - Contribution to COVID-19 response
During the pandemic, Aziz Zaguia demonstrated leadership on COVID-19 response. Having crossed over 1500km for vaccination campaigns, Aziz was a behind scene champion, solving technical issues of the vaccination platform Evax and facilitating vaccination for over 300,000 citizens. The winner described their work as:
I stepped up to tackle technical problems, to help people access the vaccination and facilitate the overall vaccination process, from registration to vaccine centers management. To reach a wide number of citizens, I created a social media group, that now regroups more than 7000 people, where people can get timely assistance and where they can virtually contribute to the good proceedings of vaccination campaigns.
Hayfa Sdiri - Innovation and Creativity to Inspire New Forms of Volunteering
Hayfa Sdiri trained 50 girls in leadership public speaking and gender advocacy techniques as part of thier volunteer work with GirlUp. The winner described their work as:
I delivered 10 design thinking training, 10 business plan training sessions and provided personal mentorship to five emergent entrepreneurs on start-up building during the involvement with She Starts Africa. As a volunteer and president of SDG Camps Tunisia, I trained 500 youth on innovation and SDGs and took part in the incubation of 45 entrepreneurial projects. Having served as Youth and Innovation analyst UN Volunteer specialist, I contributed to building an inclusive incubation program for young entrepreneurs and community leaders, and she created a network of 10,000 Tunisian youth in the 24 governates of Tunisia.
Houyem Boukassoula - Contribution to Social Cohesion and Community Well-being
Houyem Boukassoula is one of the first psychologists who responded to the prevention and treatment of drug addiction, a phenomenon (a public health problem) that is alarmingly developing in Tunisia, and endangering communities. The winner described their work as:
Having worked in an addiction center, I observed the stigma associated with addiction, that resulted in the unwillingness to seek help. I took action to contribute to the fight against this problem and took the initiative to pass on my knowledge and know-how to others, bringing forces together to change the situation. I helped 30 members of the Tunisian Red Crescent overcome their prejudices and become peer educators to spread information and knowledge around them. I helped 40 Scouts members become vectors of prevention among their networks.