UNICEF partnering with UN Volunteers


Since 1971, the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) has been partnering with the United Nations Volunteers (UNV) programme to assure the protection and promotion of children’s rights. Some 781 UN Volunteers have served with UNICEF in 95 countries over the past ten years, supporting UNICEF’s mission to “advocate for the protection of children's rights, to help meet their basic needs and to expand their opportunities to reach their full potential”.

UN Volunteer Mahmoudou Ben Bello, completing school registrations of young Central African refugees in Bertoua, Cameroon, a joint project of UNICEF, UNHCR and UN Women. (UNV, 2014)

UN Volunteers are experienced personnel available to support UNICEF in creating a world where the rights of every child are safeguarded and realized. UN Volunteers serving with UNICEF contribute towards child survival and development, basic education and gender equality, HIV/AIDS and child protection. They are Nutrition and Protection Officers, Monitoring and Evaluation Specialists, Communications Specialists, and Programme Officers. UN Volunteers promote nutrition and health, analyse data, engage in outreach to children, caregivers and communities, and contribute to policy dialogue.

We are grateful for the UN Volunteers based in Ethiopia who dedicate themselves to improving the lives of women and children, often in remote and challenging environments. Their capacity building efforts have significantly enhanced service delivery, appropriate use of resources, coordination of efforts and timely reporting. UN Volunteers are positive agents of change for sustainable development who contribute immensely in bridging critical capacity gaps. --Peter Salama, Representative, UNICEF Ethiopia

In addition to the ongoing mobilization of UN Volunteers within UNICEF’s projects, UNV and UNICEF have joined forces on the Youth Champions Programme. This initiative targets engaging youth in a peer-to-peer programme that contributes to achieving UNICEF’s strategic goal of empowering youth worldwide.

The Youth Champions programme is designed to provide an avenue for local youth to partner with UNICEF through volunteerism, and directly act as agents of change within their communities. UNV's Youth Volunteering Strategy is the perfect match, as it prioritizes youth empowerment, with emphasis on skills development, knowledge sharing and youth participation in decision-making. Youth Champions will facilitate the engagement of local youth in global peace and sustainable human development through volunteerism and help young people to realize their full social and economic potential.

UNICEF was one of the first UN entities to partner with UNV. The first six UN Volunteers assigned to UNICEF in 1971 were recruited to support relief operations in East Pakistan (now Bangladesh). Throughout more than four decades of partnership, UN Volunteers have contributed across all of UNICEF’s sectors of activity. Today, youth engagement and opportunities for UN Youth Volunteers with UNICEF are rapidly increasing in demand.

More information: