It has always been my dream to step out and contribute to the greater agenda of sustainable development and to be able to support the world towards a better future. The decision to enroll in UNV’s pool of applicants allowed me to challenge the barriers women often face in Pakistan, which can prohibit us from pursuing our dreams of independently living and working abroad. Being a part of woman headed family, my mother encouraged me and stood by my decision, making sure that I am not alone throughout the process.
Saima Mohammad works as an Associate Public Health Officer for UNHCR in the North-East of Jordan, near the Syrian border. Approximately 50,000 refugees, mostly women and children, are residing in Rukban camp without access to any other health facility than the local clinic.
Every morning, Saima travels almost three hours from her office in Ruwaished to Rukban, driving through sensitive military posts on a partially-paved road. In this desert area, no facility or shop are to be seen for kilometres.
There are different interpretations of the concept of volunteering across cultures and regions, and this is equally true within Arab countries. When a wealthy citizen reacts to a natural disaster by offering to contribute money, or makes donations of blankets and food to the people affected by the disaster, this is often seen as voluntary and therefore volunteerism. Charity is a vital component of humanitarian assistance, but it is not volunteerism.
Nadeen participates today in the side event "Harnessing the Power of Volunteering to Achieve the 2030 Agenda" organized by the International Forum for Volunteering in Development (Forum) in New York, in the framework of the High-Level Political Forum for the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
The United Nations Volunteers (UNV) programme continues to demonstrate its ability to meet contemporary development and peace challenges. In 2016, UNV’s response to the refugee and migrant influx showcased this flexibility and rapid action capabilities through the deployment of hundreds of UN Volunteers who support humanitarian and development initiatives benefiting Syrian refugees and their host communities.
Responding to the refugee and migrant influx in Europe
Given record levels of youth unemployment, and political and social instability, young people in the Arab Region and around the world need positive role models more than ever.
When young people themselves provide those role models, in those who have overcome social exclusion, underemployment and poverty to bring about positive changes in their communities and countries, the effects are even more powerful.
In a region where more than sixty percent of the population is younger than thirty years old, it is imperative to engage young people meaningfully in sustainable development. The TOT in Amman will enable participants to maximize the impact of youth volunteers as partners for positive change.