Having volunteered for various causes over the past 10 years, from working in animal shelters to supporting playgrounds for disabled children, Polina quotes Mahatma Gandhi to explain her motivation:
The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others. These words of Gandhi describe my attitude towards volunteering. --Polina Listopad, UN Volunteer with UNICEF, Moldova
Across the globe, the impacts of anthropogenic action are pervasive as never before: in the Maghreb, crops grown on marginal lands are failing; in Egypt, rising sea levels are impacting impoverished neighbourhoods; in Jordan, competition and tensions over resources is predicted to only intensify as warming temperatures further heighten
My UN Volunteer assignment dates back to the late 1990s. At that point, I was already working with UNDP in the Lao PDR, so serving as volunteer offered additional learning and networking opportunities.
Being one of the largest UNV programmes at the time, the Lao PDR had a strong and diverse group of UN Volunteers that I became part of. An Orientalist, I always drew my motivation from building country capacities and learning local cultures.
Earlier this month, with the financial support of the Government, UNV announced a call for applications for Russian citizens to become international UN Volunteers. Successful candidates will be assigned to different UN entities to help address the challenges of peace and sustainable development around the world. Already this fall, 19 Russian nationals will become UN Volunteers and travel to 16 countries in the Commonwealth of Independent States, Africa, Asia and the Middle East.
Mr Kurbanov stated that last year 52 countries – that is more than a quarter of the international community – conducted legislative and/or normative activities to support volunteerism at the national and local levels.
At the beginning of this year, Russia joined these countries by adopting a federal law on volunteering, establishing the legal framework for regulating relations in the field of volunteering. This is a significant milestone in the history of the volunteer movement and an important step in the development of Russian civil society.