The award recognizes the important contributions UN Online Volunteers are making to the work of the UN, NGOs and governments, and demonstrates how active citizens engage in addressing global challenges via www.onlinevolunteering.org: getting vital information to communities in the Caribbean affected by Hurricane Irma; leading a campaign for ending child marriage in Zimbabwe; mentoring women farmers in Kenya, making life-saving information available to victims of gender-based violence globally; or raising the profile of blind football by building advocacy networks with China and African countries.
Congratulating the winners, UNV Executive Coordinator Olivier Adam emphasized:
Being on this year’s jury for the award has been an eye-opener for me. I read so many inspiring stories of how UN Online Volunteers are engaging in the Sustainable Development Goals through the Internet – volunteering their skills, time and commitment from wherever they are to seek to end poverty, reduce inequality, and help keeping people safe. On this International Day of Happiness, the winners of the 2017 Online Volunteering Award demonstrate how volunteering is a vehicle for innovative change and contributes to a more inclusive, equitable and balanced approach to sustainable development, happiness and the well-being of all peoples.
The five winning stories have been published on the Online Volunteering service website, where everyone can vote for their favourite award winners. The team that gets the most votes will be announced as the public’s favourite on 3 April.
Lulu Ileho Poultry Group Team: Under the mentorship of UN Online Volunteer Zuzana Filipova, a Czech national and development professional, the organization based in rural Kenya succeeded in setting up a poultry business and generating income to improve the livelihood of its members and support the community.
Simuka Africa Youth Association Team: Working to alleviate poverty in the communities of Norton, Zimbabwe, the organization engaged UN Online Volunteer Bianca Dayrit, Publishing Specialist for Thomson Reuters, to lead a campaign for the abolition of child marriage and raise funds to assist vulnerable girls and households with food, education and mentorship for over 700 people.
The International Paralympic Committee Team: Bringing prior knowledge of disability sports to the project, UN Online Volunteer Keon Richardson displayed extraordinary commitment in raising the public profile of blind football, managing the official social media pages of this Paralympic sport, establishing new networks in African countries and attracting attention from public figures in mainstream media.
The Red Elephant Foundation Team: Thanks to the help of a team of committed UN Online Volunteers, the India-based NGO launched Saahas /The GBV Help Map, which provides guidance and resources for getting support to survivors and bystanders of gender-based violence worldwide.
UNICEF Global Innovation Centre Team: To prepare the affected communities in the Caribbean for Hurricane Irma, UNICEF launched its boldest social media messaging Disaster Risk Reduction exercise to date through its U-Report platform, and partnered with Facebook, Viber and teams of UN Online Volunteers to get life-saving messages out to the communities living in Hurricane Irma’s path.
The jury of experts in volunteerism and development cooperation chose the winners based on their commitment and contributions, the results of their collaboration and their impact on the activities of the organizations they supported. Besides UNV representatives from regional offices and headquarters, the jury included:
· Mr Alejandro Blancas, Participation and Democratic Governance Coordinator, Ibero-American Youth Organization (OIJ)
· Ms Christele Hage, Human Resources and Admin Manager, Danish Refugee Council in Lebanon
· Ms Paola Martinez, Talent Management Specialist, Amadeus IT Group, Spain
· Mr Antonio Molpeceres, United Nations Resident Coordinator and UNDP Resident Representative in Mexico
· Ms Elaine Tan, Executive Director, ASEAN Foundation
· Mr Milos Tousek, Multilateral Development Cooperation Expert, Development Cooperation and Humanitarian Aid Department, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Czech Republic
For media inquiries and to schedule interviews, kindly contact:
Jennifer Stapper, Communications, External Relations and Communications Section
Elise Bouvet, Online Volunteering service, Volunteer Solutions Section
About United Nations Volunteers
The United Nations Volunteers (UNV) programme contributes to peace and development through volunteerism worldwide. We work with partners to place qualified, motivated and well-supported volunteers into development programming and promote the value and global recognition of volunteerism. Through its Online Volunteering service (www.onlinevolunteering.org), UNV enables the collaboration of highly skilled and committed UN Online Volunteers with organizations working for the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).