In 2015, I got the opportunity to become a UN Volunteer Child Protection Officer with UNICEF in Sudan. In a country severely affected by armed conflict, displacement and food insecurity, the humanitarian needs remain critical. In addition to an estimated 2.2 million people displaced internally, Sudan has received over a quarter of a million refugees fleeing the war in South Sudan. Approximate 70 per cent of these displaced people are children.
When I first landed to the international airport of Bujumbura to work as an international UN Volunteer for UNICEF, I realized the situation in the country was highly volatile.
With over 4,000 participants, the 11th Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM11), held July 15-16 2016, was the largest diplomatic gathering to come to Mongolia to date. In addition to the main international summit, there were nine preceding meetings.
Some 1,200 young men and women assisted these events as youth volunteers, garnering much recognition for their great work. The President of Mongolia commended them for being the first-ever and the biggest youth volunteer group in Mongolia. Each and every volunteer was given a certificate of appreciation.
Ramallah, Occupied Palestinian Territory: "Adolescents can be powerful agents of change in communities," says Chizuru Iwata, an international UN Volunteer from Japan, who worked with UNICEF as a UNV Adolescent Participation Officer in the State of Palestine.
New Delhi, India: Miho Yoshikawa, an international UN Volunteer from Japan, was stationed in India with UNICEF. As a UNV Child Protection Officer in UNICEF’s Delhi office, she was responsible for programme monitoring, assistance to the organization’s state offices, documentation and research.
Harare, Zimbabwe: When Amy Wickham, an international UN Volunteer, joined the United Nations Childrens Fund (UNICEF) in Zimbabwe, she didn't know what to expect. Yet this experience changed her life. "The experience and exposure that I've got since I started as a volunteer has been phenomenal", she says. "The ownership that I've been given over the projects, as well as the time and responsibility that I've been given from professionals that I've worked with has been fantastic."
When Amy Wickham, an international United Nations Volunteer, signed up to work with UNICEF in Zimbabwe, she didn't know what to expect. Yet this experience changed her life. "The experience and exposure that I've got since I started as a volunteer has been phenomenal", she says. "The ownership that I've been given over the projects, as well as the time and responsibility that I've been given from professionals that I've worked with has been fantastic."
Dushanbe, Tajikistan: As a UN Volunteer Social Work Specialist, I started to work for UNICEF in Tajikistan a year ago. Even before that, for a year I was a volunteer with VSO (Volunteer Service Overseas) in the South of Tajikistan.
Mananjary, Madagascar: In the district of Mananjary in south-eastern Madagascar, an ancestral practice exists which involves abandoning twin babies. Thanks to the intervention of the United Nations System (the United Nations Development Programme, the United Nations Childrens Fund and the World Food Programme) over several years, many voices have been able to advocate the abolition of this tradition, which violates the fundamental rights of children.