According to a survey by UNICEF in 2017, only 6 out of 10 adolescents are in school. Girls are largely considered a source of bridal wealth, while boys herd cattle for most of their lives. Born in this region myself, I have had first-hand experience of what this means for young people.
Over the years, communicating effectively on issues affecting children and youth in the Middle East has become more challenging, as the public pays less and less attention to civil society and human rights violations.
Rasha Abou Dargham, originally from Lebanon, is serving as a UN Volunteer Social Media Officer with UNICEF in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) Regional Office in Amman. As a UN Volunteer, she is learning how to speak on behalf of children in a multicultural and demanding environment.
This call closed on 20 May 2019. In March and April 2019, Southern Africa was hit by two subsequent cyclones that left a trail of damage and destruction in their path. In Mozambique, Cyclone Idai left more than 600 people dead and an estimated 1.85 million people in need of humanitarian assistance. UNV is currently working to urgently recruit national and international UN Volunteers to support emergency response efforts by UNDP and UNICEF in Mozambique.
Areas of focus
According to UNICEF-WHO Joint Monitoring Programme data from 2015, only 16 per cent of the population in Eritrea have access to basic sanitation facilities and 76 per cent practice open defecation.
I support my team in achieving SDG 6 through planning and monitoring of programme activities and enhancing the capacity of government partners to enhance their monitoring and reporting.
What was your UN Youth Volunteer assignment?
My UN Youth Volunteer assignment in 2013 was as a WASH Specialist for UNICEF in Burundi. I was based in the capital Bujumbura and supported various aspects of UNICEF’s water, sanitation and hygiene programme, mostly targeting rural areas of Burundi. My tasks included among others the follow-up of emergency relief activities for returning refugees, the supervision of partner organizations and contractors who implemented project activities and the development of proposals on WASH innovation.
Since 1950, the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA) has been working to ensure recognition of the rights of five million refugees in the Near East. Among them are over half a million children who continue to receive quality education.
As an HRD-UN Volunteer, Kosumo Shiraishi was assigned to the Education Sector Planning and Management unit with UNICEF Ethiopia. During the assignment, Kosumo worked in close collaboration with several units of the Learning and Development Programme, including Early Childhood Education, Access and Equity, Education in Emergencies and Quality Education and Learning. The programme also has an explicit commitment to leverage education for peacebuilding outcomes, particularly in regions where conflict has occurred between refugees and host communities.
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.
I am a lawyer by profession but I have chosen to be a diplomat and an advocate for the rights of children. My passion to be a UN Volunteer is a motivation since it enables me to contribute towards making a difference in people’s life and most importantly to me, children.
I have chosen to make my contribution through volunteerism. Upon graduation, I could have chosen to remain in legal practice, either in private or public, but I chose to live my passion first, volunteering. --Faith Manyala, UN Volunteer Child Protection Officer with UNICEF in Kenya
Dirty water and poor sanitation is a major problem in Zambia in southern Africa, where 50 per cent of the population does not have access to sanitation. This has led to recurrent cholera outbreaks in many parts of the country.