Maria was a team leader for the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) team at the Skaramangas site. Skaramangas was the biggest refugee camp in the Attica region, hosting around 3,400 refugees including several unaccompanied and separated children.
UNHCR had a regular presence on the site, focusing on protection monitoring activities. Maria’s day-to-day duties involved identifying persons with specific needs and other vulnerable cases, and referring them to the relevant services, such as medical and psychosocial treatment.
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.
Kamilia Lahrichi (France) served as a UN Volunteer Associate Public Information Officer with UNHCR in France.
With her professional background in journalism, Kamilia’s responsibility included developing communication strategies, producing web articles, press releases, reports and visual content for UNHCR France’s website and social media, as well as disseminating information to the media to promote a better understanding of UNHCR’s work in the country.
At the onset of the Syrian refugee crisis in Jordan, an estimated 500,000 Syrian refugees resided outside the camps. Increased pressure on resources, infrastructure, education, health care, housing, essential services and increased competition for jobs out a strain on Jordanian host communities. The rising demand for social services threatened social cohesion, as access and quality of service provision diminished under the heightened demand. This put a increasing strain on Jordanian host communities and left them feeling marginalized.
In Turkey, three UN Volunteers worked together for 22 months with Kirkayak Kültür Sanat ve Doga Dernegi, and Mardin Meydanbaşı ÇATOM-Community Participation and Development Association on integrating high quality and well-supported UN Volunteers and volunteerism in their programmes to tackle challenges in social cohesion, assist in volunteer-related capacity building for non-governmental organizations, and empower Syrian women.
As an international UN Volunteer specialized in communication, Catalin was one of the first people to be sent to Cox’s Bazar to document the response of WHO Bangladesh. “Prior to the escalation of this crisis, there were already established partnerships between WHO, the government and other health partners. With the massive influx of people from Myanmar, strategies had to be adapted to this critical situation,” explains Catalin.
The speed and scale of the influx has resulted in a critical humanitarian emergency, with refugees reliant on humanitarian assistance for food and other life-saving needs.
Ashraful Islam is a national UN Volunteer supporting the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) in developing women-friendly spaces, gathering data from the field and distributing medical kits.
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.
From January 2014 to October 2017, over 230,000 Iraqi families have fled combat zones and armed groups, according to the International Organization for Migration (IOM). These families face unique protection risks due to fractured community structures, separation of families, insecure shelter arrangements, and loss of income.
As the UN Refugee Agency, UNHCR supports the Turkish government response and coordinates the efforts of other UN agencies and partners across the country. With 90% of Syrian refugees living outside camps in urban and peri-urban areas, the needs for skills-development and employability are huge. As part of the Livelihoods Unit in Ankara, Cansu Güngör supports ways in which refugees can ensure their self-reliance.