As an international UN Volunteer specialized in communication, Catalin was one of the first people to be sent to Cox’s Bazar to document the response of WHO Bangladesh. “Prior to the escalation of this crisis, there were already established partnerships between WHO, the government and other health partners. With the massive influx of people from Myanmar, strategies had to be adapted to this critical situation,” explains Catalin.
The speed and scale of the influx has resulted in a critical humanitarian emergency, with refugees reliant on humanitarian assistance for food and other life-saving needs.
Ashraful Islam is a national UN Volunteer supporting the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) in developing women-friendly spaces, gathering data from the field and distributing medical kits.
There are 27 volunteers serving in the Jonglei region for the United Nations Mission in South Sudan. They decided to make their special day about others rather than themselves in the spirit of volunteerism, which is all about giving.
The UNV Field Unit Khartoum, and the Sudanese Red Crescent held a day-long emergency first aid workshop to commemorate the International Volunteer Day under the theme “Volunteers Act First. Here. Everywhere.”.
Around 150 young people and potential volunteers met UN agencies and local NGOs during the Volunteer Fair in Pristina. The event also allowed participants to register on the Kosovo Volunteer Platform designed by the UNICEF Innovations Lab. The aim of this platform is to connect non-profit organizations and passionate volunteers for future collaborations.
UNV with the special support of UNDP Sri Lanka under the Climate Change Adaptation Project (CCAP) joined hands with farm organizations, students of the Wayamba University, DMC Srilanka, the Volunteer Task Force and nearly 500 community volunteers to plant a select variety of trees on the riparian buffer of 10 selected tanks in the region of Galgamuwa Kurunegala.
Mr. Dominic Allen, Chief of the UNV Office in New York, opened the event welcoming the over 100 participants from Member States, UN entities and other interested partners, including serving and former volunteers. Mr. Allen acknowledged the immense contribution of volunteers and the significant role that volunteers play as first responders in the aftermath of crisis and as mobilizers and campaigners in crisis prevention and preparedness.
This year, United Nations Volunteers in Egypt have collaborated with the Egyptian Red Crescent in implementing a joint 3-day event from the 5th to the 7th of December. This event aims to shed light on how #VolunteersActFirst support their communities and reinforce joint action on achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
The event, under the title “Volunteers as First Responders in Times of Crisis: Volunteers for resilience and solidarity,” kicked off International Volunteer Day (also called IVD) worldwide.
The event aligned with the IVD global campaign to promote volunteers as first responders in times of crisis and instability, helping people to rebuild their lives in the immediate aftershock of tragic events.
UNV Executive Coordinator Mr. Olivier Adam acknowledged the efforts of the Nepali people after the devastating 2015 earthquake:
With 17 national UN Volunteers assigned to field duty stations, UNV Kenya is well embedded in the host agency, UNDP programs and projects on the ground. Under the umbrella of the National Drought Management Authority (NDMA), Mr. Nahashon Lotaruk, a national UN Volunteer in the arid Turkana-county, is working closely with local communities on income generating activities to help improve livelihoods.