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.
Today, 20 June, is World Refugee Day. There are over 43.7 million refugees and internally displaced people around the world. The United Nations established World Refugee Day to honour the courage, strength and determination of women, men and children who are forced to flee their homes under threat of persecution, conflict and violence.
Monrovia, Liberia: I am the focal person for World Refugee Day in Liberia. As a Public Information Officer, working with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) gives me the opportunity to listen and tell the stories of people torn apart by war - nursing mothers, children, pregnant women and the elderly.
Im motivated to volunteer my services because I worked with UN Volunteers professionals who tremendously contributed to peace and development in my home country, Sierra Leone, some of whom paid the ultimate price.
Volunteering is one of the best ways for young people to turn their energy and creativity into a tool for development and peace. During a conference organized in Gitega (Burundi) by the Ministry for Youth, Sports and Culture, UNV pushed for encouraging young people to take part in local and national volunteering initiatives throughout Burundi. The conference was backed by the Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation (NORAD). The article is in French.
Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic: It was my first assignment as a UN Volunteer in the field representing the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees in the Dominican Republic (UNHCR DR). Since the beginning of my collaboration as a UNV Field Analyst for the UNHCR programme I have been working as a focal point focusing on a community-based approach, which has totally changed my perspective.
Nairobi, Kenya: It has been a long, tiring and dusty journey across north eastern Kenya on a mission to witness first-hand the effects of the drought that has left millions on the brink of starvation. With me on this trip is UNICEF Sweden Goodwill Ambassador Liza Marklund and Swedish photographer Martin von Krogh. Together we have travelled from Dadaab, the worlds largest refugee camp, to Liboi near the Kenya-Somalia border and their journey ends in Wajir, a drought stricken district in northern Kenya. But for me this journey is far from over.
Kampala, Uganda: 'Unite for children' is what UNICEF stands for and what drives UN Volunteers to support UNICEFs work.
Amran, Yemen: When I was selected to serve as a UNV volunteer Associate Field Officer with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees in Yemen in June 2008, I was very anxious but filled with enthusiasm of working in a different social and cultural context as compared to Liberia, my country of origin.