In my youth, I often volunteered with orphanages and animal rescue organizations in my country. Although I felt that I could and should do more to help build a better world, I didn’t know where to start. This was until I delved into the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
I then realized that what I wanted was a volunteer assignment within the United Nations system, particularly in a place where I could advocate for equality, respect for diversity and peace and development. I applied for a UNV assignment and was accepted as an Air Operations Assistant with UNMISS.
The Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) is a vast country with a large number of UN Volunteers (currently almost 460) serving in 25 different duty stations (including the Entebbe Support Base in Uganda). Over 80 per cent of these volunteers serve with the United Nations Stabilization Mission in the Democractic Republic of Congo (MONUSCO). The remainder serve with seven other UN agencies, funds and programmes.
When I decided to move to Kabul as an international UN Volunteer, I did not know that I was stepping into an environment where I had much more in common with my colleagues than I had ever imagined.
The majestic mountains of Kabul and the post-conflict reality of Afghanistan were not the only evident similarity to my home country of Nepal. The fragility of life and an everyday commitment to positive mind-set made me feel right at home.