International UN Volunteer Solomon Bekele (Ethiopia) has been serving with the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) in South Sudan since April 2016 as the Pastoralist Literacy and Education Specialist for the project: Enhanced Knowledge and Education for Resilient Pastoral Livelihoods in South Sudan.
Sudan is a vast and diverse country with many facets. The landscape itself is reminiscent of this diversity – Sudan goes from hot deserts to green areas around the Nile. The same diversity applies to the faces of the people you meet. My experience in engaging with women as part of my assignment has also been quite diverse.
Armed conflict has incessantly affected the country. The role of women in the full spectrum of society is fluctuating. My volunteer assignment enables me to look at facets of this spectrum and contribute in any way I can.
Solomon focuses on supporting UNESCO's education component of the project, implementing literacy and numeracy programmes at cattle camps within the Lakes State pastoralist communities.
"As a volunteer, I have gained experience and understanding of the diverse ways of life of communities in the pastoral communities. I am glad I am helping build their capacity and resilience."
UN Volunteers Roselyn Owour, Epher Welavunuka, Petronila Khagai, Anne Munene and Jennifer Kibicho held a sensitization session with school girls to raise awareness about gender equality, the importance of going to school and not missing classes, and the challenges facing girls around the world.
The school - World Hope Academy in the Kawangware slum in Nairobi - has a total student capacity of 400 children, most of them coming from poor families that live in the slums.
Alois Neza Sikuka (Zimbabwe) is a UN Volunteer Peace, Community & Security Specialist with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in South Sudan.
Bor, South Sudan: Mary works for the United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS), and she does an important job – she makes sure that our office is neat and clean, allowing us to carry on with our duties in a healthy environment. Mary is a widow who lives at the Protection of Civilians site (PoC) adjacent to the United Nations Mission in the Republic of South Sudan (UNMISS) compound in Bor, Jonglei State, together with her five children, in precarious conditions and unable to leave the camp for fear of her life. We became friends and we started a language exchange.
Juba, South Sudan: I am working as a UN Volunteer Fire Safety Officer with the United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS). My main field of work is Aviation, though I also have knowledge of structural fire safety.
Bentiu, South Sudan: I am serving as a UN Volunteer Relief, Reintegration and Protection Officer with the United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS).
I had been a UNV intern sponsored by the Government of Italy in 2004 in Sudan with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), after which I worked for an NGO.
Between Friday 8 July and Sunday 10 July, heavy fighting broke out in Juba which had consequences for the UN Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) and the Agencies, Funds and Programmes active in the country.
A ceasefire was declared on Monday 11 July 2016. At least 272 people have been killed in the recent violence. Two peacekeepers and one United Nations Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR) staff lost their lives while several other peacekeepers have sustained injuries.
Bentiu, South Sudan: When fighting broke out in South Sudan in 2013, many civilians were killed and thousands of people sought protection at the UN base in Bentiu, with a large influx of internally displaced persons (IDPs) to the Protection of Civilians (PoC) sites of the United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS). This posed serious challenges to the management of the sites scarcity of space and resources, an increase in inter-communal tensions, looting and attacks to humanitarian assets, and increased sexual and gender based violence (SGBV).