Partners for Prevention (P4P) is a UNDP, UNFPA, UN Women and UNV regional joint programme for the prevention of violence against women and girls in Asia and the Pacific. After 10 years of operation, the project came to a close in March of this year. A final report on the programme assessed the role volunteerism played in the primary prevention of such violence.
In Indonesia, two in five women experience some kind of violence in their lifetime. Growing up watching her childhood friends struggle with domestic violence, Grace, a national UN Volunteer in Papua Province, Indonesia, is highly motivated to contribute to preventing violence against women and girls.
Since the ambitious group of young women and young men was brought together in June 2016, UNV and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) are supporting the network of youth and volunteers by facilitating knowledge-sharing and assisting young leaders to engage in regional and national initiatives. Throughout the initiative, UNDP and UNV have organized capacity-building webinars, arranged opportunities for young leaders to share their opinions in multi-stakeholder conferences at regional and country-level, and collaborated in online and offline activities.
The report includes examples of how empowered Cambodian youth make a difference in their communities. It presents volunteering models that helped Cambodia recover from the decades of war and contributed to the country’s development, some of which can be replicated across the world.
According to the results presented in the report, volunteer programmes in Cambodia have made a difference in reducing poverty, eradicating illiteracy, improving health, promoting gender equality, and protecting human rights and the environment.
While roughly a fifth of Cambodia’s population is estimated to live in poverty, reportedly 300,000 young people enter the labour market seeking job opportunities every year. The report “Volunteerism and youth employment in Cambodia” presents ways to leverage volunteerism as an essential mechanism for skills development amongst youth.
As many as 68 per cent of women and girls aged 15-49 in Asia and the Pacific face some form of violence in their lifetime. This is one of the highest levels reported in the world.
I had never been to South East Asia nor had I ever worked in the UN System – it was a big change for me, professionally and personally.
Volunteering abroad took me out of my comfort zone. It was nerve-wracking the first couple of weeks, navigating the busy streets, meeting new faces every day, and attempting to communicate in Khmer, all while starting a new job in an unfamiliar setting.
Mony Pen is National UN Volunteer, Specialist for Improving the Rights of Persons with Disabilities within Disability Rights Initiative Cambodia (DRIC)
Maeve Anne Halpin, UN Youth Volunteer from Ireland, talks about her year as Communications, Youth and Outreach Specialist at UNV Cambodia Field Unit.
Naomi Umeda, UN University Volunteer from Japan, talks about her 5 month placement at UNV Cambodia Field Unit.