My name is Jelena Maric Lukovic. I serve as national UN Volunteer Resilient Programming Assistant with United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in the Republic of Serbia.
The earthquake, which hit Nepal on 25 April 2015 with multiple aftershocks, brought about widespread destruction across the country and resulted in 8,790 deaths, 22,300 injuries and 755,549 houses that were either damaged or completely destroyed.
Mostly engineers by profession, including some experts in agriculture, forestry, accounting and administrative and logistical support, the UN Volunteers were integrated into the UNDP Demolition and Debris Management Project and the Comprehensive Disaster Risk Management Programme (CDRMP).
The United Nations Volunteers (UNV) has been supporting implementation of the United Nations Plan of Action on Disaster Risk Reduction for Resilience in South and East Asia and the Pacific since 2014.
The 4th kick-off event took place on 25 April in Sittwe, Rakhine State, and gathered more than 60 participants, including State Departments representatives, Disaster Risk Reduction Working Group members, and Sittwe Youth Volunteers.
Ahlem Özdemir is a talented seamstress living in the multicultural community of Moerwijk, a diverse neighbourhood near The Hague, Netherlands. For the past 10 years, she has spent two days a week teaching migrant women how to make and alter clothes. Last year, she won the 'Hero of The Hague' award in the Culture category for her work.
Volunteerism enables youth engagement, leadership and participation
Within Latin America and the Caribbean, young people between the ages of 15 and 24 account for 20 per cent of the population. This is the largest percentage of youth in this region, ever. The statistics are dire: 35 million of these young people never attended school, 39 per cent live in poverty and 25 per cent are unemployed.
Good governance is essential to public service delivery
By decentralizing decision making and assuring local participation, the Devolution Project, managed by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in partnership with the United Nations Volunteers (UNV) programme, UN Women, and Kenyan national and county government offices, promotes collaboration between local communities and national public service providers.
As one of the thirteen women who served as engineers in the demolition and debris management operations of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), Anima supported the earthquake-affected areas by using her skills in a traditionally male-dominated field.
“Engineering is for boys while girls are supposed to study management and work in banks,” she recalls her uncle as saying when she was still a student asking for career advice years ago.
The United Nations Volunteers (UNV) programme launched today the report Rebuilding with the Community after a Disaster: Volunteer Engagement in the 2015 Nepal Earthquake. The report examines the role of volunteerism in the earthquake response efforts based on the work of 107 UN Volunteers who served in the disaster-affected sites.
Furthermore, the report posits that through their engagement in response efforts at the community level, UN Volunteers were able to help advance the social inclusion of women, promote volunteerism among local people and decision-makers, and create opportunities for youth participation and capacity development.