I was selected as a UN Online Volunteer for a project in which we developed content on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and spread it on social networks. I was already volunteering at an electronic newspaper and I asked for the authorization to use my weekly column to give the campaign more visibility. Every week I shared a general overview about the designated SDG, addressing the main point of the goal, the objectives, the global and regional context and, lastly, the Brazilian reality.
The day I received an alert for an online volunteering opportunity with the UNV Latin American and the Caribbean Portfolio, I had already applied for different assignments throughout the years. My happiness was immense. My perseverance gave me the possibility to collaborate, not only contributing with knowledge about the reality of my own country, Venezuela, but also with other groups and situations in other latitudes, in this case Nicaragua.
We live in a world influenced by social networks, and people invest more time in them every day. Through social media we have the opportunity to share our everyday lives with others, and at the same time get inspired by other people and their posts.
When I became aware of this situation, I also realized that having a computer, internet connection and the will to transform the world, can be the start of a project that achieves great impact in the lives of other human beings, and that is why I decided to become an online volunteer.
Between February and May 2016, these volunteers dedicated their time, experience and knowledge to the local realities of their regions or countries, and shared their ideas and impressions about the SDGs in their social networks, mainly Facebook and Twitter, using the hashtags #ODS_LAC and #UNVLAC.
The initiative sprung from the United Nations Volunteers (UNV) programme’s Latin America and Caribbean Portfolio, with the idea to strengthen UNV’s online presence in the region, especially among Spanish and Portuguese speakers.
Every year, around 12,000 UN Online Volunteers team up with hundreds of organizations to address sustainable development challenges anywhere in the world.
The UNV Online Volunteering service enables people around the globe to find opportunities posted by civil society organizations, public institutions and UN agencies. By supporting these organizations, volunteers develop their skills and become part of a global online community of peers, sharing the goal of advancing human development.
Maria Paula Fernandez Morel is a UN Online Volunteer Spanish Translator with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) in Argentina.