UN Youth Volunteers
Understanding how to tap into the young population in West and Central Africa is essential to advance the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Most of youth in the region are facing several major challenges; including access to education, employment and health care, which causes some to emigrate or even to radicalize. Whereas engaging young people’s imaginations, talents and energy for the future is the way we can achieve the SDGs for all.
To respond to these challenges, UNV's adoption and implementation of youth initiatives, including providing young people with the opportunity to contribute to peace and development through UN Youth Volunteer assignment, has been successful in many parts of the world, such as in West and Central Africa.
In this region, UNV continues its efforts to provide more young people with opportunities to advance peace and development and build their capacity through volunteering.
The objective of this workshop was to help participants better understand both the UNV programme and their role as UN Youth Volunteers, the value of engagement and participation, and to think about ways to promote volunteerism during their assignments.
For four days (from 2 to 5 July 2018) in Saly (90 km from Dakar), 15 young and talented people received high-level training aimed at strengthening their capacities and enabling them to adopt the best professional practices before their deployment as UN Youth Volunteers with UNV partner agencies.
At the training held in Bangkok, the young women and men came from their duty stations in Iraq, Jordan, Nepal, Samoa, Sri Lanka, Syria, Tunisia, and Turkey. Almost 90 per cent of them are working in their countries of nationality, and for some of them, this was the first opportunity to travel outside of their countries. The participants are also working in various UN agencies, such as UNDP, UNFPA, UNICEF, and WFP, with different areas of responsibilities, from field monitoring, research, engineering, communications and to data analysis.
Under the five-year KMUTT-UNV University Volunteer regional pilot programme, 20 - 25 graduate students will develop capacities and contribute to specific development programmes supported by the United Nations in ASEAN countries, specifically in Cambodia, Indonesia, Myanmar and Viet Nam. The students will leverage their knowledge and skills in science and technology and dedicate their creativity as well as energy to peace and develop in their six-months assignments.
The main theme of this year’s Forum is “University Consortium and Volunteers”. The Forum will provide an opportunity for the United Nations Volunteers (UNV) programme to strengthen its long-standing partnership with Japanese universities for the mobilization of young Japanese professionals fielded as University UN Youth Volunteers. Currently, nine universities are part of United Nations University Volunteers Program led by the Kwansei Gakuin University and supported by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) of Japan.
Despite being one of the most vulnerable population groups in times of conflict, young people’s boundless energy can be channeled into meeting the demands posed by complex antagonisms and help their societies thrive and overcome the burdens of bloodshed and poverty. Advocating for global solidarity and multilateral cooperation, as well as promoting the creed that no one should be left behind, UNV and its extensive network of Online Volunteers actively engages young people in various development initiatives.