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.
The Soviet Union’s programme of aid to Africa, closed after the dissolution of the USSR, was recognised for sending talented professionals abroad. As the programme’s activities gradually came to an end, many professionals returned home to their families. Dr. Teljan Jounisbekov, however, felt the need to continue serving the people of Burundi. He opted to remain in the country and pursue his passion, a decision that was valued by the Ministry of Health of Burundi and supported by the offer of an extension of his contract. Dr.
Daloa, Côte d’Ivoire: I served as UN Volunteer head of the public information office of the United Nations Operation in Côte d’Ivoire (UNOCI) in Daloa, the third largest city of the country. My duty was to use all public information means to create a peaceful environment, to build confidence and help the people of the region fulfil their dreams of peace and reconstruction in an environment of stability, security and cohesion.
Man, Côte d'Ivoire: Originally from Niger, My name is Samira Keita and I am a United Nations Volunteer Civil Affairs Officer in Man, Ivory Coast. Having earned a Masters Degree in NGO Management and Development from the London School of Economics in the United Kingdom, I was first introduced to the work of the United Nations while interning at the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) in Geneva, becoming a consultant in the aftermath.
Abidjan, Côte d'Ivoire: In June 2014, 500 highly qualified and committed young Africans arrived in the United States to participate in the Young African Leaders Initiative (YALI). Among them was UN Online Youth Volunteer Jordan Sera from Côte d’Ivoire.
Launched by President Barack Obama in 2010,YALI is a United States Department of State initiative aimed at educating and promoting networking among young African leaders. This includes a fellowship to study in the United States for several weeks.
Chantal Raharimalala is from Madagascar. Since July 2012, she has been working in Toulepleu, not far from the border between Côte d'Ivoire and Liberia. It's her fourth posting as a UN Volunteer in Côte d'Ivoire, where she has been serving since 2007. Her career, which has evolved in parallel to the country's political situation, is a perfect example of the multiple facets and responsibilities of UN Volunteers who work for peacebuilding and democracy.
Duekoue, Côte d’Ivoire: When I received the offer to serve as a UNV Electoral Advisor with the United Nations Operation in Burundi (ONUB), all I knew about elections was that there were electoral campaigns and voting; and as for volunteering - I am speaking here of the program - I had only a vague idea.
The first few years were a true apprenticeship in which I was happy to learn how to do the work I had signed on for in a multicultural and diverse environment that was at times quite hostile, with regard to both my colleagues and the local population.
The International Day of Zero Tolerance to Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) is on 6 February. According to data from the World Health Organization (WHO), an estimated 120 to 140 million women have been subject to this harmful and dangerous practice and 3 million girls continue to be at risk each year. Although in many countries this practice has been radically prohibited, there are places where genital ablation is still practiced, as it is considered an ancient ritual linked to cultural, religious and social factors within families and communities.