Over the years, communicating effectively on issues affecting children and youth in the Middle East has become more challenging, as the public pays less and less attention to civil society and human rights violations.
Rasha Abou Dargham, originally from Lebanon, is serving as a UN Volunteer Social Media Officer with UNICEF in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) Regional Office in Amman. As a UN Volunteer, she is learning how to speak on behalf of children in a multicultural and demanding environment.
In Syria, 3.5 million of 6.5 million food-insecure Syrians receive food rations every month from the World Food Programme. Every month, WFP uses over 4,600 trucks to deliver emergency food assistance to more than 1,300 distribution points in all of Syria’s 14 governorates.
Elsie Aroyan is serving with UNHCR as a UN Volunteer Community Services Assistant to protect the rights and build a better future for refugees, forcibly displaced communities and stateless people in Armenia. As a displaced person herself, Elsie can relate better than anyone to the pain, fears and challenges which these displaced persons and refugees suffer from.
At the onset of the Syrian refugee crisis in Jordan, an estimated 500,000 Syrian refugees resided outside the camps. Increased pressure on resources, infrastructure, education, health care, housing, essential services and increased competition for jobs out a strain on Jordanian host communities. The rising demand for social services threatened social cohesion, as access and quality of service provision diminished under the heightened demand. This put a increasing strain on Jordanian host communities and left them feeling marginalized.
In Turkey, three UN Volunteers worked together for 22 months with Kirkayak Kültür Sanat ve Doga Dernegi, and Mardin Meydanbaşı ÇATOM-Community Participation and Development Association on integrating high quality and well-supported UN Volunteers and volunteerism in their programmes to tackle challenges in social cohesion, assist in volunteer-related capacity building for non-governmental organizations, and empower Syrian women.
I am a volunteer.
Most often than not the response I get sounds like ‘You are just doing something for free? Girl you should get a real job’ or ‘So you hand out fliers every day?’
Mmm.. Not really.
Since cross-border operations started in July 2014, aid materials sent by UN organizations arrive at UN bases in Turkey, where materials are moved from Turkish international road transports (TIRs) to Syrian TIRs.
Later, TIRs cross into Syria as aid convoys under the supervision of the UN. The aid is then distributed by the UN's local partners in Syria. The whole operation is coordinated by the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Assistance (OCHA).
Supporting Syrian refugees and their host communities
In 2013, the Lebanon Host Communities Support Programme (LHSP) was launched jointly by the Ministry of Social Affairs (MoSA) of Lebanon and the United Nations Development Progamme (UNDP) under the umbrella of the country’s response to the impact of the Syria Crisis in Lebanon (Lebanon Crisis Response Plan – LCRP). The Programme targets the most vulnerable communities hosting displaced Syrians and aims to decrease tensions and conflict between host communities and displaced persons.
In Lebanon, the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA) delivers education services to Palestinian youth who, despite their refugee status, deserve the opportunity to be students.