Aisha Hussein has been spearheading sensitization campaigns against FGM since 2017 and is a leading youth voice against harmful practices, especially against girls.
“I became an anti-FGM activist after I gave birth to my first kid,” she explains. “I had a lot of difficulties giving birth and had to undergo a caesarean section. This got me thinking a lot about FGM.”
Newton Mutunga served as a UN Volunteer Disarmament, Demobilization and Reintegration (DDR) Officer in Darfur. Recruited in 2015, he was posted in the Marra Mountains (Jebel Marra), where armed conflict persists and increasing numbers of people have been forced to leave their homes. You can read more about Newtons’ UN Volunteer experience in Sudan here.
Volunteer assignments foster youth engagement by providing a transformational experience that allows young people to build knowledge and develop skills. In Azerbaijan, Gunay Karimova and Rustam Jabbarov have served as Youth Advocates for Private Sector Engagement and Technology, Youth and Innovation since 2018.
Having volunteered for various causes over the past 10 years, from working in animal shelters to supporting playgrounds for disabled children, Polina quotes Mahatma Gandhi to explain her motivation:
The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others. These words of Gandhi describe my attitude towards volunteering. --Polina Listopad, UN Volunteer with UNICEF, Moldova
The joint UN project Empowering Youth for a Peaceful, Prosperous, and Sustainable Future in Kosovo* is implemented through a synergized effort among the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), United Nations Volunteers (UNV) programme, United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) and UN Women and is funded by the United Nations Peacebuilding Fund (PBF).
The project aims to engage youth with shared interests and concerns belonging to underserved communities to become active changemakers and catalyze peace and trust-building energies in Kosovo.
Tasuku Matsumura, a HRD UN Volunteer from Japan arrived to commence his assignment with the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) in Khartoum as the protracted humanitarian crisis in Sudan became compounded by new emergencies.
An influx of South Sudanese refugees, suspected cases of Acute Watery Diarrhoea and high malnutrition rates in newly accessible areas placed new demands on already stretched humanitarian agencies and further imperilled the survival, growth and development of the country’s children.
Rana holds a Bachelor’s degree in journalism and a Master's degree in video direction and editing. She previously made documentaries with human rights and conflict resolution initiatives.
On behalf of children and young people across Gaza and the West Bank, Rana utilises her background in communications to trigger new discussions and challenge existing narratives.
Shaden, a UN Youth Volunteer from Jerusalem, is a skilled storyteller who helps bridge the gap between some of the most vulnerable children and adolescents and the changing society around them.
The first workshop that took place in Nairobi was organized in partnership with UNICEF for 40 UN Volunteer Youth Advocates drawn from 28 countries across the globe.
During the two day workshop, the UNICEF volunteers were involved in learning on career planning and professional development. The UN Volunteer Youth Advocates also strengthened their capacities and professional skills in communications, leadership, conflict resolution, and teamwork.
Working with UNICEF as a UN volunteer over the past year, my assignment included building awareness among staff on climate change, its impact and how we can mitigate its effects. I also advocate for sustainable practices in the way people consume energy and resources and manage waste both at work and in their personal lives. These efforts are in line with one of the targets of Sustainable Development Goal 13: to improve education, awareness-raising, human and institutional capacity on climate change mitigation, adaptation, impact reduction and early warning.
The conditions in the pastoral community of Karamoja region in North Eastern Uganda, reliant on subsistance argriculture, make it difficult to prioritize children's education without sensitizing the population to the long-term importance of school for every child. According to a 2017 survey by UNICEF, only 60 percent of young people are in school. Girls are largely looked at as a source of bride wealth while boys herd cattle for most of their lives - both responsibilities denying them an opportunity to study.