Quito, Ecuador: I am a 27-year-old lawyer and I just finished my one-year assignment with the United Nations Volunteers (UNV) programme at the Office of the Human Rights Adviser in Ecuador.
Working on Human Rights in South America was an experience I was ready and eager to take on again. My previous volunteering experiences in Peru and Mexico had left me with a strong desire to work again as a volunteer. When I learnt about the UNV assignment I was doing an internship at the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) in Geneva and I was already familiar with the functioning of the organisation, but I was keen on gaining experience in the field.
During my assignment I was entrusted with the organization of an event on International Human Rights Day, which is the most important annual inter-agency event for the UN System in Ecuador. I enjoyed this great challenge as it allowed me to make use of my creativity, my artistic talents and contacts in order to organize a musical event.
In two months I managed to organize a song-writing and a poster design contest, which drew significant participation. The award ceremony took place during the musical event. We invited a great number of artists from different genres in order to promote diversity. I participated in a tango show aimed at raising awareness about gender prejudices.
Later, a video was produced of the winning song written by a young and talented indigenous girl from the Northern Sierra.
I created an alliance between my office and the Inter-American Human Rights Institute. We jointly organized a course on the Inter-American and Universal Human Rights Systems for government officials. I also took the initiative to organize a conference on corporate volunteering for International Volunteer Day.
My passion for volunteering inspired me to gradually take on more activities outside my working hours and get involved in several projects. I believe that this year as a United Nations Volunteer will be one of the most memorable of my life. I have grown as a professional and as a person. I will carry this experience with me always.