UN Volunteer Youth Advocates with UNICEF with their certificates after completing a career development training workshop in Nairobi, Kenya

UN Volunteers skilled-up for greater impact with UNICEF and the UN

UNV East and Southern Africa Regional Office (ESARO) organized two youth training workshops in Nairobi, Kenya last month. The training workshops brought together more than 60 UN Youth Volunteers from various continents and nationalities to be deployed with UNICEF and other UN agencies.

The first workshop that took place in Nairobi was organized in partnership with UNICEF for 40 UN Volunteer Youth Advocates drawn from 28 countries across the globe.

During the two day workshop, the UNICEF volunteers were involved in learning on career planning and professional development. The UN Volunteer Youth Advocates also strengthened their capacities and professional skills in communications, leadership, conflict resolution, and teamwork.

UN Youth Volunteers learning about the importance of the SDGs at a workshop in Nairobi, Kenya. 

Ms. Sarah Anyoti, UNV Regional Portfolio Manager at UNV ESARO, and Ms. Suzanne Monaghan from UNICEF opened the workshop. Ms. Anyoti reminded the participants of their opportunities in different career paths within the development world, while Ms. Monaghan focused on building careers within UNICEF.

During the training, the UN Volunteer Youth Advocates explored several principles of career success such as: leadership, conflict management and communication skills. They also learned about identity, inclusion, living and working in a cross-cultural environment, personal and professional development, peer support and knowledge-sharing.

The Youth Advocates program has opened my mind. I am now a better writer, public speaker and mobilizer. I have learned the techniques of actively engaging to create opportunities for young people, " Cynthia Nyongesa, UN VolunteerYouth Advocate, UNICEF Kenya

The workshop was closed by UNV Regional Manager, Mr. Njoya Tikum who emphasized the need for humility, excellence and focus as key success factors for career development. Mr. Tikum also reiterated the significance of the youth advocate’s role within the UN system has -  and the need to make optimal use of their time and opportunities to influence positive change in their assignments. 

My greatest take away from this program is the organisation skills that I have learned while working at UNICEF. The experience has been a process of self-discovery and I am now fully aware of my competences,"- Jean Junior, UN Volunteer Youth Advocates from Congo Brazzaville.

The second workshop brought together 18 Youth Volunteers from 12 Countries across the world.The workshop focused on giving young volunteers a deeper understanding of how volunteerism can advance progress towards the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and how they could successfully engage in their assignments.

The UN Youth Volunteers were able to develop an understanding of the skills, competencies, and personal qualities needed to contribute to the work of the UN agencies effectively. They also discussed key aspects of leadership, team-work and conflict resolution skills, and how to leverage available learning opportunities to build a strong career path.

The training was really concrete and the contents very relevant to my professional development. I look forward to applying the new experiences and lessons in improving my contribution within my assignment," Fleury Ineza, one of the participants from Burundi said.

Additionally, the UNV Youth Volunteers discussed the role of youth in achieving the SDGs, sharing challenges and experiences in contributing to the goals.

Always have a power-point in life, a sense of purpose, and a positive attitude. If your mind is set on the positives, you will be able to break barriers," said Mr. Njoya Tikum, UNV ESARO Regional Manager while addressing the participants at the Youth Learning Journey Workshop.

At the end of both trainings, the participants were recognized by UNV and each went away with a better understanding of the work of UNV and their role in contributing to the achievement of SDGs within the context of UNICEF and the UN.