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).
In October 2015, the newly formed United Nations Volunteer (UNV) Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific held an event in Bangkok inspired by the TEDx Program to provide a platform for UN Volunteers to illustrate concrete examples of the role and recognition of volunteerism as an essential contribution to the regional efforts for peace and development. The UN Volunteers spoke to UNV partners, i.e. representatives of UN Member States, UN agencies and volunteer involving organizations, about their assignments and the impact they were making within communities in the region.
Yambio, South Sudan: "I started doing voluntary work when I was in primary school so the spirit of volunteerism has always been with me" says Robert Kiiza, a UN Volunteer from Uganda, based in Yambio South Sudan.
In 2012, Robert became an UN Volunteer with the United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) as a Fire Safety Assistant in the Aviation Section. When he got deployed in Juba, there were only two fire safety personnel across the mission and he was asked to coordinate fire related activities in areas where UNMISS launched air operations.
Bentiu, South Sudan: When Katia Cristina Da Silva, from Portugal, joined the United Nations Volunteers (UNV) programme in 2007, her main goal was to use her skills to improve the lives of others and share her expertise to enhance the capacity of others. Since then, Katia has been a UN Volunteer in East Timor, Nepal, Sudan, and South Sudan.
In April 2013, Katia joined the United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) as a UNV Civil Affairs Officer having been a UN Volunteer with the United Nations Mission in Sudan from 2009 to 2011.
Juba, South Sudan: Jane Strapola Awuor Mala serves as a UN Volunteer Peace and Security Specialist assigned to the United Nations Development Programme; Community Security and Arms Control project in Juba, South Sudan. The project’s main purpose is to facilitate the transformation of conflict through community consultations based on constructing and implementing security plans to reserve security and peace.
Bentiu, South Sudan: From my time as a United Nations Volunteer with the United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS), I will always remember waking up to the sounds of gunshots and heavy mortar shelling on Monday the 16th of December 2013. An uneventful weekend had been followed by one of the most chaotic and frightening times in my life.
Dr. Meroni Abraham joined the United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) as a UNV Medical Officer in 2012, after having worked as a medical doctor in Ethiopia and Eritrea for over 15 years.
Solomon Ayiko (Canada), a UNV Recovery, Reintegration & Peace Building Officer assigned to the United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) is convinced that increasing womens representation in post-conflict peace- and state-building is essential to achieving success in the process.
Its through cohesion and intense consultation of both women and men that the peacebuilding and state building process can see hope for legitimacy and progress, said Solomon.