SDG 8: Decent work and economic growth
By signing this partnership, ISM, a leader in francophone Africa, becomes the first university in Africa to integrate the UN University Volunteer category in the academic curriculum and offer its students the opportunity to promote volunteerism as a key asset for sustainable peace and development in Africa.
ISM students will be deployed in UN agencies in Senegal as UN University Volunteers, to leverage their knowledge and skills in several areas of expertise and dedicate their creativity and energy to peace and development in their six-month assignments.
At the training held in Bangkok, the young women and men came from their duty stations in Iraq, Jordan, Nepal, Samoa, Sri Lanka, Syria, Tunisia, and Turkey. Almost 90 per cent of them are working in their countries of nationality, and for some of them, this was the first opportunity to travel outside of their countries. The participants are also working in various UN agencies, such as UNDP, UNFPA, UNICEF, and WFP, with different areas of responsibilities, from field monitoring, research, engineering, communications and to data analysis.
The UN University Volunteer scheme enables young students enrolled in a University to broaden their personal and professional skills and gain experience in the field of international development and peace, while contributing to the work of the UN. In 2017, 98 UN University Volunteers served with 16 UN host entities in 34 countries, 75 per cent of them women.
In Turkey, three UN Volunteers worked together for 22 months with Kirkayak Kültür Sanat ve Doga Dernegi, and Mardin Meydanbaşı ÇATOM-Community Participation and Development Association on integrating high quality and well-supported UN Volunteers and volunteerism in their programmes to tackle challenges in social cohesion, assist in volunteer-related capacity building for non-governmental organizations, and empower Syrian women.
"This has been the most useful and fun training I have been to," says Edgar Kiliba, UN Youth Volunteer Web and Social Media Communications Associate for the UN Resident Coordinator’s Office in Tanzania. Edgar was one of 17 UN Youth Volunteers who participated in the Assignment Preparation Training in Nairobi and are being deployed to five countries on the African continent.
Women in Loja, mostly of indigenous descent, play a critical role in their economy, by managing small businesses and/or providing informal care for family members. They participate in crop production and livestock farming, and provide food and fuel for their families. However, indigenous women in Loja are disproportionally affected by poverty, gender inequalities and discrimination and do not enjoy the same rights and opportunities as men. For example, Ecuadorian’ women bear disproportionate responsibility for unpaid care work.
Ms Valerie Crab, Programme Specialist and Innovation Lead, has been working with two national UN Youth Volunteers and one national UN Volunteer in the twenties on innovation, such as the U-Report Indonesia, a polling system that uses social media to help deliver youth opinions to policymakers. “I think that UN Volunteers should be recruited to bring an added value to a programme that otherwise we wouldn’t have access to,” she says. On the value of having a UN Youth Volunteers in her team, she describes,
In the pursuit of its mandate to advocate for the protection of children’s rights, UNICEF recognizes that youth over 18 years old have proven to be key advocates and change makers. UNICEF has historically engaged modest numbers of youth volunteers in their advocacy and programmatic work. The organization is now looking to strengthen this by engaging youth in a systematic and formalized programme to deliver results for children.
The UNDP-UNV Talent Programme will offer young people with disabilities the opportunity to acquire practical work experience and exposure to the work of the UN Development System through assignments with country, regional or headquarters offices of UNDP and other UN entities. UNDP-UNV will identify relevant assignments and select applicants. Programme participants and host offices will benefit from dedicated support, guidance and professional development opportunities as part of the programme.
Out of 220 applications, three winnings teams strengthened their business models and expanded their activities through receiving mentorships and a small grant. Read more about how they made significant moves forward in the three-month mentorship with volunteers from SAP, a market leader in enterprise application software.