12 August 2014
After my master’s degree in economics, I decided to change my career perspective to work in the humanitarian sector, in cooperation and development. I had two objectives: to fulfil the dream of knowing new cultures and countries, and to contribute, even in a small part, to improving the living conditions of people in developing countries. This altruistic motivation is what moved me to become a UN Youth Volunteer
Andrea Giaretta, UN Youth Volunteer with the World Food Programme (WFP) in Guatemala, shares data with participants in the Food Security group through the dedicated website of the WFP. Andrea's work with the WFP is to support coordination between the various actors working in the field of Food Security. Much of this work involves collecting and managing data so that it is always current and can be shared among the various actors. According to Andrea, "the importance of this type of work grows during emergencies, when the coordination of activities among the various actors can help save more lives." (UNV, 2014)

Guatemala City, Guatemala: After my master’s degree in economics, I decided to change my career perspective to work in the humanitarian sector, in cooperation and development. I had two objectives: to fulfil the dream of knowing new cultures and countries, and to contribute, even in a small part, to improving the living conditions of people in developing countries.

I always had the desire to get work experience within the United Nations System, because I like the idea of working for an organization that recognizes, and is based on, values of neutrality, impartiality, equality, justice and transparency.

Secondly, the United Nations, thanks to its global presence, has a great strength - the ability to have a wide-ranging impact in the countries where it works. In addition, a volunteering experience may have a positive impact on my future employment prospects.

Choosing to volunteer also has roots in my personal history. From a young age, I participated in volunteer activities at a community and local level. This helped me to understand that a volunteer's motivation is special. I say "special" because doing something voluntarily implies contributing without necessarily getting anything in return. This altruistic motivation is what moves me to be a volunteer. I also think that this is the most important added-value that volunteers in general bring, beyond what can be the cynicism that exists around this type of figure.

In my opinion, the World Food Programme (WFP) in Guatemala chose to have the support of a volunteer firstly because it has a good history of collaboration with the United Nations Volunteers (UNV) programme, and secondly because I think they are looking for the opportunity to have young, motivated people who can at the same time learn and contribute to the team with their spirit and energy.

I also understand that the presence of a United Nations Volunteer offers the possibility of having another perspective, with an unbiased view, which ultimately may translate into positive change.


Article translated from Spanish by UN Online Volunteer Amanda Moody.

Latin America and the Caribbean
Sustainable Development Goal: