From 20-23 June in Bangkok, Thailand, the United Nations Volunteers (UNV) and the Thailand International Cooperation Agency (TICA) co-hosted a conference entitled South-South Exchange on Youth Volunteering for the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs): Sharing Sufficiency Economy Philosophy and Other Approaches from Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Countries.
My name is Jelena Maric Lukovic. I serve as national UN Volunteer Resilient Programming Assistant with United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in the Republic of Serbia.
Last March 2017, I had the opportunity of travelling to the northern part of Ghana to monitor some project interventions in disaster preparedness and to assess the impact on the beneficiaries. As I journeyed through the most remote parts of that region, I couldn’t help but to engage myself in deep thoughts about development across the country and particularly in such areas where many challenges are persisting.
The earthquake, which hit Nepal on 25 April 2015 with multiple aftershocks, brought about widespread destruction across the country and resulted in 8,790 deaths, 22,300 injuries and 755,549 houses that were either damaged or completely destroyed.
Mostly engineers by profession, including some experts in agriculture, forestry, accounting and administrative and logistical support, the UN Volunteers were integrated into the UNDP Demolition and Debris Management Project and the Comprehensive Disaster Risk Management Programme (CDRMP).
The United Nations Volunteers (UNV) has been supporting implementation of the United Nations Plan of Action on Disaster Risk Reduction for Resilience in South and East Asia and the Pacific since 2014.
Rapid mobilization of UN Volunteers
The 4th kick-off event took place on 25 April in Sittwe, Rakhine State, and gathered more than 60 participants, including State Departments representatives, Disaster Risk Reduction Working Group members, and Sittwe Youth Volunteers.
Bringing opportunities to all
From education to employment, the opportunities offered to men and women in Gaza are not equal. With programs implemented by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the United Nations Volunteers (UNV) programme, this is slowly changing. Together, they promote gender equality in Gaza through volunteerism and women’s participation. There are currently 60 UN Volunteers in the State of Palestine, 26 are women.
The United Nations Volunteers (UNV) programme is building such win-win relationships between the public sector and private sector. In 2014, UNV took part in the founding of IMPACT 2030, a global private sector-led collaboration to advance the achievement of the SDGs. While such collaboration at the global level is vital to build broad support to strengthen partnerships between the two sectors, cooperation at the local level is crucial to positively impact communities.
UNV: What do you see as the intrinsic values volunteerism can bring to the human development agenda?
Selim Jahan: Firstly, volunteerism is undoubtedly helping the human development agenda. Volunteers are working in areas such as education, health, water and sanitation, improving living conditions and, in a nutshell, providing people with all kinds of support. Volunteerism enhances human development, everywhere.