Stepanka Pechakova (Czech Republic) fully funded UN Youth Volunteer Communications, Outreach and Youth Officer in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia
Stepanka Pechakova, a fully funded UN Youth Volunteer from the Czech Republic giving presentations to children in Mongolia. Stepanka is one of the 418 fully funded volunteers who promote volunteerism through their assignments. (UNV, 2015)

New UN Youth Volunteers in Bonn before their deployment to Africa, Asia and Europe

Twenty-eight UN Youth Volunteers are taking part in the assignment preparation training from 6 to 9 March before they are deployed to United Nations programmes in three continents around the world.

The training is a way to inform and prepare the youth volunteers to better understand the role of UN Youth Volunteers in the context of the United Nations.

The Governments of Korea, Ireland, Luxembourg and China are funding the volunteer assignments of these UN Youth Volunteers. After their training, they will serve in Myanmar, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Ethiopia, Fiji, Ghana, India, Indonesia, Kosovo, Mongolia, State of Palestine, Panama, Sri Lanka, Timor Leste, Zimbabwe, Viet Nam, Senegal, Kenya, Malawi, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia and Thailand.

Part of the UNV Full Funding programme, these UN Youth Volunteers will work on the frontlines of peace, development and humanitarian operations with 11 UN partner agencies.

In addition to attaining international exposure and  experience within the UN system, their assignments are a way for the United Nations Volunteers (UNV) programme to underpin volunteerism as a valuable solution to the Sustainable Development Goals. Youth volunteers are best at engaging others at the grassroots level, seeping into communities and making the impossible possible.

The countries where they will be deployed have a very large youth population. Plugging youth in areas such as peace building, gender equality, education, innovation, community development and climate action are seen not only as positive, but also as necessary precursors to development in the global context.

Sophie Kräuchi Guillen, whose UN Youth Volunteer assignment is funded by Switzerland, is currently serving as a UN Youth Volunteer in Children’s Rights for Social Inclusion with UNICEF in Bosnia and Herzegovina.  She traveled to Bonn to share her experiences at the training. “I support the UNICEF Country office through efforts to accelerate the universal realization of child rights by fostering greater social inclusion. This includes children with disabilities, children of minorities, especially Roma, and children in impoverished communities.”

Sophie has also become an active member of the ‘IT Girls’ initiative and elaborated on her experience. “Together with a group of national UN Volunteers, interns and young colleagues, we were able to break gender barriers for women in the field of Information and Communications Tecnology (ICT) by providing young girls with trainings in coding skills, building confidence and empowering girls to think about IT programming.”

Paul Pointillart, whose assignment is fully funded by France, was a UN Youth Volunteer in Monitoring and Evaluation with the UN Resident Coordinator's Office in Cape Verde. His assignment ended in 2016. He travelled to Bonn to share his experience. “During my assignment, I was the focal point for the monitoring and evaluation of the Cape Verde United Nations Development Assistance Framework (UNDAF). I was engaged in following up on a number of programmes and initiatives at inter-agency level with the 17 UN entities working in Cape Verde.” Paul also spoke about supporting the Resident Coordinator’s office, including coordination, fundraising, partnership building, as well as the SDGs' roll-out in the country.

The newly inducted UN Youth Volunteers will serve with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), the United Nations Environment programme (UNEP), the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UNOCHA), the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), the World Health Organization (WHO), the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), the United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women (UN Women), the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV and AIDS (UNAIDS) and the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR).

In 2016, UNV deployed 6,590 UN Volunteers in 126 countries. Some 418 were funded by partners of the UNV Full Funding Programme. These included the UN Youth Volunteers. UNV partners with governments and universities, civil society organizations and the private sector to fund UN Volunteer assignments through the UNV Full Funding Programme.