The first workshop that took place in Nairobi was organized in partnership with UNICEF for 40 UN Volunteer Youth Advocates drawn from 28 countries across the globe.
During the two day workshop, the UNICEF volunteers were involved in learning on career planning and professional development. The UN Volunteer Youth Advocates also strengthened their capacities and professional skills in communications, leadership, conflict resolution, and teamwork.
On 21 June 2017 Ojulu, a refugee from Ethiopia, first arrived in the Kalobeyei settlement. The move was part of a camp consolidation and closure exercise that saw the relocation of non-Somali refugees from the Dadaab complex to the Kakuma refugee camp in Turkana County.
“When I first arrived in Kalobeyei everything was new. I left my work, family, friends in Dadaab and was entering a new place,” Ojulu explains.
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.
What inspired you to write this book?
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.