What was your UN Youth Volunteer assignment?
My UN Youth Volunteer assignment in 2013 was as a WASH Specialist for UNICEF in Burundi. I was based in the capital Bujumbura and supported various aspects of UNICEF’s water, sanitation and hygiene programme, mostly targeting rural areas of Burundi. My tasks included among others the follow-up of emergency relief activities for returning refugees, the supervision of partner organizations and contractors who implemented project activities and the development of proposals on WASH innovation.
What motivated you to work in international cooperation?
Without the active participation and inclusion of youth, the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development cannot be achieved. Young people constitute over 1.8 billion persons around the world. Already one in five people volunteer their time and efforts to organisations to contribute to sustainable development.
The training was meant to inform, prepare, engage and make the volunteers better understand the role of UN Youth Volunteers in the context of the United Nations.
These 30 youth volunteers were part of UNV’s Full Funding programme. They left today for their funding countries, the Czech Republic, France and Switzerland. In just a matter of days, they will start their volunteer assignments in Asia, Africa and Europe.
Their enthusiasm and desire to make a difference to the world resonated throughout the induction training.
I am based in Dakar and part of a dedicated team of five people working towards the promotion and protection of human rights across the 14 West African States. A challenging and fascinating mission in a few words is but a gross understatement.
My area of responsibility includes economic, social and cultural rights of the local people, the rights of people on the move, especially asylum seekers, as well the human rights situation in Niger. This is especially where I saw my mission bringing the United Nations closer to the people we serve.
These 30 young people, whose assignments are funded by the Governments of the Czech Republic, France and Switzerland are a part of the UN Youth Volunteer programme. These assignments are an opportunity for young professionals to work with UN agencies on the frontlines of peace, developmental and humanitarian operations.
More than 2,500 UN Volunteers, half of them women, have supported the United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR) in delivering on its mandate in 95 countries over the past six years. The two agencies have signed a Memorandum of Understanding reaffirming this long-standing partnership.