I first became a UN Volunteer in 2004 when I accepted an assignment with the United Nations Operation in Burundi (ONUB) as a Support Officer. I was excited about the opportunity. I still remember practically jumping from joy in my office when I received the offer. My enthusiasm was quickly dampened by the words of caution from colleagues and friends—some of them calling me crazy for being happy to land a role in a warzone.
Living in Pakistan since September 2015 has truly been an eye-opener. In a developing country where most of the population are youth, I have seen first-hand how we in the UN can actively influence young people to realize the benefits of women’s empowerment and give equal opportunities to women and girls. As a UN Volunteer, I encourage people to take action.
Thiago Resende Xavier (Brazil) is a UN Volunteer Programme Policy Officer with the World Food Programme (WFP) in Pakistan.
Peshawar, Pakistan: My name is Hina Yousafzai and I am from Mardan, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, in Pakistan. I am currently working as a UN Volunteer supporting the FATA (Federally Administered Tribal Areas) Recovery Project carried out by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in the capacity of Reporting & Monitoring Associate based in Peshawar.
Since early childhood, my life has been driven by two factors: my love for knowledge instilled in me by my parents, and my efforts at being understood and appreciated.
Skardu, Pakistan: I first connected with GRACE Association Pakistan in 2007 through the UNV Online Volunteering service. At the time, GRACE Association was seeking proposal-writing support for its early childhood development programming in Skardu, Baltistan. Through this opportunity, I learned about the community of Skardu and the surrounding areas.