Uganda is home to over half a million refugees residing in settlements and urban centres all over the country. Earlier this year the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) recognised Uganda as one of the best countries in the world for refugees to live, since they are given opportunities to work, freedom of movement, access to education, health care and a secure environment.
Thessaloniki, Greece: People from Syria, Afghanistan, Iraq and other countries in the region are fleeing war and desperate situations in their home countries, and making their way to Europe in search of safety. Many of these people now remain in refugee camps in Greece, where they live in very difficult conditions.
Maroua, Cameroon: Jimmy Henry Nyingcho, 31 years old, is a national UN Volunteer, married and a father of one. He is assigned with UN Women Cameroon as the gender, women empowerment and social cohesion expert, and he is helping women refugees gain skills to generate income. These women are based at the Minawao refugee camp in Maroua, that hosts close to 60,000 refugees from Nigeria.
Jasmin Sander, from Germany, recounts her experience as a UN Volunteer in Serbia.
Cairo, Egypt: My name is Mohammad Abbas. I am a national UN Volunteer in Egypt. An accountant for many years, I was really unhappy with my job. I wanted out. I got my chance in 2014. I became a Community Service Intern with the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR). Interacting with people, guiding them, answering queries were all part of my job. In January 2015, I became UN Volunteer Reception Coordinator for UNHCR in Cairo.
New Delhi, India: Working as a UN Volunteer in an organisation like UNHCR is a life changing experience. It takes you out of your bubble and gives you the opportunity to understand real issues faced by people—people like you and me, people who have similar dreams and ambitions. As life forced them to become refugees in a land that is not their own, challenging their life skills and adaptation capabilities, they somehow find the resilience, the courage and determination to rebuild their lives.
During the first UNV Partnerships Forum that took place in Bonn, on September 30th and October 1st 2014, eight UN Volunteers were given the floor to share their experience as UN Volunteer. In this video, Bobbie Baker, International UN Volunteer from Ireland tells his experiences about providing Basic social services in a refugee camp in Sudan.
Caracas, Venezuela: I have been working as a UN Volunteer Associate Protection Officer at the Protection Unit of the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) in Caracas since April 2012. My role is to provide legal advice to asylum-seekers and refugees in the country, as well as to contribute to the compilation and analysis of country of origin information that shall serve as the basis for the drafting of legal and policy documents.
Iriba, Chad: Zo Eorintany from Madagascar is a UN Volunteer with the World Food Programme (WFP) in Iriba in Eastern Chad where she has been assigned since July 2010. Before going to Chad, she worked with WFP in her home country for eight years, and says, “I felt, I could help somewhere else, where people would be even more in need.”
Zo has a background in law and dreamed of becoming a magistrate. But when she joined WFP in 2002, her path took another direction. “I really believe in what WFP does, because we provide food assistance directly to refugees,” she says.