When I decided to move to Kabul as an international UN Volunteer, I did not know that I was stepping into an environment where I had much more in common with my colleagues than I had ever imagined.
The majestic mountains of Kabul and the post-conflict reality of Afghanistan were not the only evident similarity to my home country of Nepal. The fragility of life and an everyday commitment to positive mind-set made me feel right at home.
In October 2011, Barbara Bianchini, an Italian national, left Turin, Italy to travel to Kabul and work with the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) on a UN Volunteer assignment as Staff Counselor-Psychologist with the UNAMA staff counseling unit in Kabul. Armed with a Master of Science in Clinical and Community Psychology and more than six years of work experience mainly in Italy as a trauma specialist, youth advisor, addiction specialist, researcher and trainer, Barbara accepted the challenge of working and living in a non-family duty station.
From 21-23 September 2013, UN Volunteers and other United Nations (UN) personnel with the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) are joining with the Afghanistan Astronomy Association for a three-day “star party” to mark the International Day of Peace on 21 September 2013.