The enhancing security, co-existence and protection through refugee outreach volunteer’s project in Kalobeyei was launched in 2017 by UNV. The project, funded by the German Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) was implemented by Lutheran World Federation LWF with support from the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR). In Kakuma, it is the first time that a UN Agency piloted a refugee youth volunteer project through an organized structure.
I am a lawyer by profession but I have chosen to be a diplomat and an advocate for the rights of children. My passion to be a UN Volunteer is a motivation since it enables me to contribute towards making a difference in people’s life and most importantly to me, children.
I have chosen to make my contribution through volunteerism. Upon graduation, I could have chosen to remain in legal practice, either in private or public, but I chose to live my passion first, volunteering. --Faith Manyala, UN Volunteer Child Protection Officer with UNICEF in Kenya
The training was implemented through UNV Regional Capacity Development and Learning Facility (CDLF), a facility developed to support UN Volunteers' learning needs. The participating UN Volunteers enhanced their managerial and leadership skills for success in their assignments and contribution to Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) while facilitating learning and experience sharing between UN Volunteers from different locations. The participants also utilized UNV’s online learning system, eCampus, as a platform for off-site engagements among themselves.
For about four years now, 16 UN Volunteers have been helping build local capacities for lasting peace in 12 regional clusters across Kenya through the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).
UN Volunteers are serving under UNDP's Deepening Foundations for Peacebuilding and Community Security project and the joint programme for Strengthening National Capacities for Conflict Prevention of UNDP and the UN Department of Political Affairs (DPA).
Kenyan communities have always voluntarily organized themselves, whether formally or informally, to help each other in times of need and in times of celebration. At independence, this volunteering spirit was adopted by the government of the day as “harambee”, loosely translated as “pooling resources for community development”. This spirit of harambee is the backbone of today’s volunteerism in Kenya.
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On Wednesday 04 July, UNV East and Southern Africa attended the official opening of the Community Volunteerism Center in Kalobeyi settlement in Kakuma Refugee Camp. The opening saw entertainment in the form of group dances and musical interludes and included speeches from funding and implementing partners and the local government. The center consists of 220 seats, a solar powered lightning system, different halls and meeting rooms, and two sports fields. The center will give an opportunity to the communities of Kalobeyi to come together for meetings, events, and sports.
Ann Kamunya is an international UN Volunteer with UNHCR in Ankara, Turkey, where she she joined as a UN Volunteer Associate Refugee Status Determination Officer in December 2016.
This is not Ann's first volunteer experience. Prior to Turkey, she served with UNHCR as a national UN Volunteer in Nairobi and then in Kakuma Refugee Camp in Kenya, delivering for refugees who had been forcibly displaced from their home countries due to war or persecution.
Kakuma was founded in 1992 when large numbers of Sudanese and Ethiopian refugees poured into northern Kenya.
There are 500,000 refugees and asylum seekers in Kenya. Most of them live in two huge camps in the East and North of the country – Dadaab and Kakuma.
In January 2018, more than 185,000 refugees resided in Kakuma Refugee Camp. Residents of the camp suffer from a harsh, dry climate and a higher population than current capacities allow.
Biological diversity, meaning the variety of plants, animals, and microorganisms, is under threat: according to estimates of the World Wildlife Fund, we are losing at least 10,000 species every year – and 99 percent of them are at risk from human activities. In 2016, we reached a record of global tree cover loss with 29.7 million hectares vanishing signifying a 51 percent increase from 2015.