Liliia Huzeieva, 22, will never forget the summer of 2014. Just a teenager at the time, Liliia was forced to leave her hometown of Donetsk shortly before the armed conflict escalated in the Donbass region of Ukraine.
“The hardest part was not only losing my home, but also being separated from part of my family,” Liliia says. “My father decided to stay in Donetsk as he didn’t want to leave, so I don’t see him anymore.”
This displacement motivated Liliia to seek the good in an otherwise tragic situation by resolving to help others who faced similar adversities.
For the last seven months, Oleksandra has been leading the communications team at the UNICEF Kazakhstan country office. This involves a lot of tasks, including implementation of the Communication and Advocacy Strategy, namely producing digital content and facilitation of all public events.
POLICY CHALLENGE WITH CIVIL SOCIETY IN UKRAINE
Alexandra Palmquist, UN Youth Volunteer in Environment and Climate Change with UNDP Bolivia
Alexandra arrived in Bolivia six months ago and works on environmental management, monitoring activities, assessing outputs, and preparing reports.
Eastern Ukraine is an area of protracted armed conflict, which refers to conflicts that are marked by longevity, complexity and a high impact on local populations. Kramatorsk, located in the Donbas region, was one of the first cities over which the Ukrainian government lost control during the conflict’s onset in 2014.
Fostering participation and social justice in conflict-affected communities
My assignment as a UN Youth Volunteer in Youth Participation in Governance and Peacebuilding with the United Nations Development Programme is based in Ukraine. For the first six months, I was working in Kiev on business conferences and entrepreneurship promotion through targeted motivation campaigns – something that didn’t really perk my interest. It was like being in a world full of abbreviations, stacks of files and papers.
On International Volunteer Day 2015, the United Nations Volunteers (UNV) programme, the UN Resident Coordinator Office and the GURT Resource Centre held a consultation on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) with civil society organizations and volunteer groups in 11 cities of Ukraine. A total of 293 participants worked together to choose the most relevant SDGs addressing burning issues for Ukraine’s development.
More than 50 rural youth and teachers from the Mykolaiv and Kherson oblasts took part in the Youth Forum organized by the Young Football Volunteers programme to learn about the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), healthy lifestyle and volunteering. The YFV programme was launched by the United Nations Volunteers (UNV) programme in 2012 to utilize sport and volunteering as a means to tackle health and social risks.