SDG 8: Decent work and economic growth
Despite the situation, Falmata Haruna Bwala did not hesitate to seize the opportunity offered by UNV to serve as a UN Community Volunteer on a UNDP project with funding support from the European Union Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid (ECHO). She serves as a Village Supervisor in a region with many displaced and distressed communities, including the Mafoni community.
Falmata says that she has been inspired by one of Mahatma Gandhi’s quotes: “The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others”.
UNV and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) are on the ground since early 2018, with funding support from the European Union Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid (ECHO), to assist the communities affected by the humanitarian crisis. The Sengere community, located in the Adamawa State is one of them.
Ndachem Abubakar is one of the UN Community Volunteers who are deployed in 10 communities across crisis-affected North-East Nigeria, with a focus on Borno, Adamawa and Yobe States.
Jumpstarting economic recovery in the community of Sengere.
Mustafa Al Soufi, a 29-year-old from Yemen, has just started serving as an international UN Volunteer in Erbil, Iraq. He arrived in Erbil at the end of June 2018 and joined the Funding Facility for Immediate Stabilization (FFIS) at UNDP Iraq.
“As a Yemeni citizen who came from a conflict zone, I think it’s very useful to apply my experience to a country like Iraq, which has many similarities with Yemen in terms of security challenges and culture. Moreover, sharing experiences from different conflict zones can help beneficiaries in their recovery process,” he explains.
To respond to these challenges, UNV's adoption and implementation of youth initiatives, including providing young people with the opportunity to contribute to peace and development through UN Youth Volunteer assignment, has been successful in many parts of the world, such as in West and Central Africa.
In this region, UNV continues its efforts to provide more young people with opportunities to advance peace and development and build their capacity through volunteering.
Volunteering is an essential tool for strengthening national capacities, promoting the implementation of development actions and the social inclusion of youth. In this regard, the United Nations Volunteers (UNV) programme helps Member States to create an enabling environment for the promotion of volunteerism and the development of volunteer infrastructures.
Young people are a driving force for peace and development. Their energy and creativity are key in building a better future, and they are often the first to come up with innovative solutions to the world’s most pressing issues.
Yet millions of young women and men are affected by conflict, violence and deprivation, and are unable to fulfil their potential. The world’s youth need safe spaces where they can participate, express their views and exercise their rights.
According to World Bank data, half of Sub-Saharan Africa’s population is under 25 years of age and each year until 2035, there will be half a million more 15-year-olds than the year before.
While Africa’s youth bulge could present an opportunity for innovation and economic growth for the continent, many countries still struggle to provide sufficient perspectives for their youth. Youth unemployment continues to be a challenge for Sub-Sahara Africa with rates being as high as 60 per cent in some countries.
The Growth and Development Strategy III (2017-2022) recognizes the value of volunteerism in increasing the productivity of youth and unemployed Malawians. It envisages the establishment of a national volunteer service programme.
The Ministries of Labour, Youth, Sports and Manpower Development and Finance, Economic Planning and Development will work closely with the National Youth Council of Malawi to develop a legal and regulatory framework on volunteerism, as well as an effective national coordination and implementation framework.
In Burundi, more than 68 per cent of the population is under 24 years old. This demographic structure, with a majority of motivated and ambitious youth, could fuel the economy and lead to economic growth for the small African country. However, the demographic dividend is yet to be realized. Instead, Burundi faces a major challenge of providing its youth with employment opportunities and future perspectives.
The objective of this workshop was to help participants better understand both the UNV programme and their role as UN Youth Volunteers, the value of engagement and participation, and to think about ways to promote volunteerism during their assignments.
For four days (from 2 to 5 July 2018) in Saly (90 km from Dakar), 15 young and talented people received high-level training aimed at strengthening their capacities and enabling them to adopt the best professional practices before their deployment as UN Youth Volunteers with UNV partner agencies.