I served as a UN Volunteer at the WHO Regional Office for the Eastern Mediterranean in Cairo, Egypt, from May 2016 until May 2017. This was a fantastic opportunity for me, both professionally and personally.
Nicaragua suffered a terrible civil war in the 1980s. The city where I was born was one of the main centres of the conflict. Consequently, I grew up amidst political instability and economic hardship.
Witnessing the vast unmet needs of our population inspired me to volunteer for several projects committed to improving health and sanitation in remote communities of Nicaragua.
I serve as a UN Volunteer in Laos focusing on public health issues, which I have always felt passionate about. I work towards ending three diseases that can have fatal outcomes for the people of Laos.
In 1999, two large humanitarian crises were unfolding: Kosovo and East Timor. The United Nations was tasked to support local authorities in both places to establish administrative and governance structures.
In East and Southern Africa, the achievement of SDG 3 is particularly crucial. According to WHO, Sub-Saharan Africa “confronts the world’s most dramatic public health crisis”. Mortality among children under 5 years of age remains high, with a rate of 84 deaths per 1,000 live births in 2015. The incidence of HIV infection is still highest in sub-Saharan Africa, with 1.5 new infections per 1,000 uninfected people in 2015. In 2016, sub-Saharan Africa was home to 90 per cent of malaria cases and 91 per cent of malaria deaths.
As an international UN Volunteer specialized in communication, Catalin was one of the first people to be sent to Cox’s Bazar to document the response of WHO Bangladesh. “Prior to the escalation of this crisis, there were already established partnerships between WHO, the government and other health partners. With the massive influx of people from Myanmar, strategies had to be adapted to this critical situation,” explains Catalin.
The Soviet Union’s programme of aid to Africa, closed after the dissolution of the USSR, was recognised for sending talented professionals abroad. As the programme’s activities gradually came to an end, many professionals returned home to their families. Dr. Teljan Jounisbekov, however, felt the need to continue serving the people of Burundi. He opted to remain in the country and pursue his passion, a decision that was valued by the Ministry of Health of Burundi and supported by the offer of an extension of his contract. Dr.
The speed and scale of the influx has resulted in a critical humanitarian emergency, with refugees reliant on humanitarian assistance for food and other life-saving needs.
Ashraful Islam is a national UN Volunteer supporting the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) in developing women-friendly spaces, gathering data from the field and distributing medical kits.
At the scenes of the mudslides and flash floods that killed over 500 people and displaced approximately 6000 others, volunteers played amazingly important roles in very many ways. According to Pieter Peters*, a resident of the downstream Kamayama community, rescuing people that were being washed away as well as recovering the dead from the gushing streams was frightening, but, he says, it had to be done. “We pulled both living and dead people from the flood waters in large numbers.”
The training is a way to inform and prepare the youth volunteers to better understand the role of UN Youth Volunteers in the context of the United Nations.
The Governments of Korea, Ireland, Luxembourg and China are funding the volunteer assignments of these UN Youth Volunteers. After their training, they will serve in Myanmar, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Ethiopia, Fiji, Ghana, India, Indonesia, Kosovo, Mongolia, State of Palestine, Panama, Sri Lanka, Timor Leste, Zimbabwe, Viet Nam, Senegal, Kenya, Malawi, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia and Thailand.
World Health Day is the birthday of the World Health Organization (WHO) and a day that is close to Emmanuel Eraly's heart, as he has been involved in many campaigns to raise awareness of health issues in Viet Nam, where he worked for almost four years as a UNV intern and later as an international UN Volunteer supporting the communications function of WHO.