In the Republic of Serbia, Roma are the largest ethnic minority and remain one of the most disenfranchised communities, often facing discrimination, social exclusion and unequal access to employment, education, housing and health services.
UNDP's 2017 regional survey on the socio-economic position of Roma in the Western Balkans highlighted that although education among Roma has improved, one of the biggest challenges for the social inclusion of Roma in Serbia was the high level of unemployment.
Born in Donetsk region in Ukraine, Liliia was forced to leave her hometown because of the armed conflict. This displacement catalyzed an urge to help those who were in a similar situation and less fortunate than her.
Liliia's first experience of working with refugees and asylum seekers was a short-term European Voluntary Service education project for refugees in Gaziantep, Turkey, and it led to an awakening within her of how her contribution could bring about a change for the better in both herself and society.
"I wish I could go back to Syria but what would I find there? Has my home survived? Would I be able to find a job?" These worries are expressed by many Syrian refugees who knock at the door of UNHCR in Amman, Jordan, seven years after the war began in Syria.
UN Volunteers Anja Ingabire and Apoorva Sharma support UNHCR’s Refugee Status Determination Unit, interviewing asylum seekers to determine whether they meet the legal criteria to be recognized as refugees according to the 1951 Refugee Convention, and therefore are in need of international protection.
A Somalian refugee who has spent the last 20 years living among 185,000 refugees like himself in the Kakuma camp, Mohammed oversees the subsection Kakuma 1, representing more than 20,000 people with nine different nationalities.
He makes sure that services are running smoothly, with “teachers in the classrooms and water in the taps”. He regularly meets with UNHCR and the Kenyan government to make sure enough support is being provided and works with the Lutheran World Relief Peacebuilding Unit to prevent conflict within the camp.
I enthusiastically joined the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), sub-office Gambella, as an international UN Volunteer to contribute towards addressing the plight of persons of concern and provision of protection services which is the core mandate of UNHCR.
Since December 2015, I have been the ‘boots on the ground', managing and coordinating the fleet and transport facilitation for UNHCR staff.
Volunteers are on the frontlines of the global refugee response, fostering social cohesion and protecting and assisting the forcibly displaced men, women and children in their midst.
There are more than 240,000 refugees and asylum seekers currently registered with UNHCR Egypt. Many are women and children.
The United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) provides registration, refugee status determination, and protection assistance to refugees and asylum seekers from 58 nationalities, in coordination with national and international NGOs.
Yulia graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in Oriental Studies from the National Research University Higher School of Economics (HSE) in Moscow and a double Master’s degree in Public Policy and International Relations from HSE the University of Bologna.
Saima graduated from Rawalpindi Medical College in Pakistan and obtained her diploma and Master’s degree in Public Health from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. After completing her studies, Saima worked as Gender Officer in UNHCR Afghanistan, as well as Medical Officer in University Teaching Hospital in Lusaka, Zambia.
Saima joined UNV in Jordan in May 2017 as UN Volunteer Associate Public Health Officer at UNHCR, and recently finished her one-year assignment.