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.
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.