SDG 10: Reduced inequalities
As a UN Youth Volunteer with a disability, Kasunjith provided a unique and personal input to the discussions related to inclusion and played a key role in advocating for needs specific to the disabled community.
If not us then who? ‘Inclusion’ cannot be fostered without the participation of people with disabilities. It is very important that the disabled community is not left behind in the recognition of Sustainable Development Goals. --Kasunjith Satanarachchi Devesurenda, during the 2019 ECOSOC Youth Forum
The Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) is a vast country with a large number of UN Volunteers (currently almost 460) serving in 25 different duty stations (including the Entebbe Support Base in Uganda). Over 80 per cent of these volunteers serve with the United Nations Stabilization Mission in the Democractic Republic of Congo (MONUSCO). The remainder serve with seven other UN agencies, funds and programmes.
The opening ceremony saw entertainment in the form of group dances and musical interludes and included speeches from funding and implementing partners and the local government. Similar to the first facility launched last year, this centre boasts meeting rooms and halls with a capacity of 220 seats, a solar powered lightning systemand two sports fields.
I used to work for Port Moresby Municipality as a book keeper for market venders when I got the opportunity to become a UN Youth Volunteer with UN Women’s Safe City Programme.
Over 80 per cent of vegetable sellers in Port Moresby are women, especially single mothers and widows who experience all sorts of abuse in public places. The programme promotes the safe use and enjoyment of public spaces by women through empowering them economically and through other means.
According to UNICEF-WHO Joint Monitoring Programme data from 2015, only 16 per cent of the population in Eritrea have access to basic sanitation facilities and 76 per cent practice open defecation.
I support my team in achieving SDG 6 through planning and monitoring of programme activities and enhancing the capacity of government partners to enhance their monitoring and reporting.
What was your UN Youth Volunteer assignment?
My UN Youth Volunteer assignment in 2013 was as a WASH Specialist for UNICEF in Burundi. I was based in the capital Bujumbura and supported various aspects of UNICEF’s water, sanitation and hygiene programme, mostly targeting rural areas of Burundi. My tasks included among others the follow-up of emergency relief activities for returning refugees, the supervision of partner organizations and contractors who implemented project activities and the development of proposals on WASH innovation.
My time serving as a UN Youth Volunteer in Education for a year, between February 2017 to February 2018, was a great learning experience. Due to my proactive attitude, I participated in an array of activities that were instrumental to my contribution to the efforts of UNESCO IICBA in building a sustainable educational framework using ICT for schools in Ethiopia and other countries in the African Union.