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."
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.
Pristina, Kosovo: I am Hiroko Oda, a UN Volunteer from Japan under the Hiroshima Peacebuilders Center (HPC) programme. I organized the Anti-Corruption Journalism Award on 9 December 2011, marking International Anti-Corruption Day together with my colleagues at the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) where I serve as a UNV Programme Analyst for Democratic Governance.
Salloum, Egypt: When thinking of a volunteer, what usually comes to mind is a young person working in the field of an emergency zone. The link between the words volunteer and desk job is--to say the least--not very common. Well, I am one of those volunteers. I have been a national UN Volunteer, at a desk with office hours, in UNICEF Egypts Communication for Development (C4D) Section for a little over two years now.
La Paz, Bolivia: I have been working as a UN Volunteer in La Paz, Bolivia, since 2009. I work in the Water and Environmental Sanitation section of UNICEF as a UNV Water and Sanitation Officer.
Volunteerism and water and sanitation dont seem to have a lot in common at first sight. However, those who are familiar with water and sanitation projects know that community participation and development and therefore a certain degree of volunteerism are key to sustainability.
Guatemala City, Guatemala: Guatemala is a young country. According to data provided by the National Statistical Institute, one fourth of the Guatemalan population is younger than 18 years old and one half is between 10 to 30 years of age. Most Guatemalan adolescents live in rural areas, and belonging to one of the ethnic indigenous groups makes them even more vulnerable given the discriminatory practices still existing in the country.
Kampala, Uganda: I started volunteering at UNICEF Kampala in September 2010, after working for twelve years for a charity organisation in Uganda which works with vulnerable groups (women, children and people with disabilities) to overcome poverty and malnutrition in sustainable ways.
As a new volunteer, I had great expectations and was full of ambition. I looked forward to meeting and working with new people at UNICEF, gaining new skills and using my experience to contribute to making a positive difference in the lives of women and children in Uganda.