Alexandra Palmquist, UN Youth Volunteer in Environment and Climate Change with UNDP Bolivia
Alexandra arrived in Bolivia six months ago and works on environmental management, monitoring activities, assessing outputs, and preparing reports.
My arrival in Bolivia at the end of 2015 coincided with two important milestones for the country and for the organisation I came to serve. On the one hand, Bolivia was looking forward to its first Justice Summit, as a result of a long and comprehensive process of reflection and consultation on the reform of the country’s justice system. On the other hand, UNODC was on the verge of developing a new multiannual assistance framework for the period 2016-2020 that needed to fully take into account Agenda 2030 for Sustainable Development.
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.
La Paz, Bolivia: During my one-year assignment in Bolivia as a UN Youth Volunteer, I worked at the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) within the Indigenous Peoples Unit. I became familiar with indigenous peoples’ rights in a country where 42% of the population identify themselves as indigenous.
My background as a human rights lawyer helped me to understand the serious challenges and threats that are living the Guarani peoples in the Chaco region.
La Paz, Bolivia: When I heard about the opportunity to come to Bolivia as a UN Volunteer with the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), I was very excited to be able to take on new challenges in my professional and personal life. With a Master’s Degree in International Studies, specializing in Human Rights, and experience in Latin America, I felt that this volunteer opportunity was ideal for me.
La Paz, Bolivia: As a UN Volunteer I am a part of the Communications Department at the United Nations Population Fund in Bolivia (UNFPA Bolivia). I contribute to different communications projects such as the development of the online communications strategy. Its implementation quadrupled UNFPA Bolivia’s online visits in less than a year.
La Paz, Bolivia: My name is Teresa Calderón; Im a social communicator. I joined UNICEF in 2008 as a UN Volunteer to support community health actions with a focus on nutrition.
La Paz, Bolivia: I have been working as a UN Volunteer in La Paz, Bolivia, since 2009. I work in the Water and Environmental Sanitation section of UNICEF as a UNV Water and Sanitation Officer.
Volunteerism and water and sanitation dont seem to have a lot in common at first sight. However, those who are familiar with water and sanitation projects know that community participation and development and therefore a certain degree of volunteerism are key to sustainability.
La Paz, Bolivia: My experience as a UNV Human Rights Specialist working with the High Commissioner for Human Rights in Bolivia is, after two years of work, exceptional.