My name is Isabela, I am 23 years old, and I am of American and Ecuadorian nationality. I left the United States in July of 2016 to join the United Nations Volunteers (UNV) programme to explore how youth are contributing to the development of my second home, Ecuador.
This is how I got to participate in the First Regional Meeting of Youth Volunteer Networks in Cuenca, where I had the opportunity to interact with young volunteers from Latin America and learn how volunteering contributes to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in the region.
This week, Habitat III, the third United Nations Conference on Housing and Sustainable Urban Development is taking place in Quito, Ecuador, to establish a sustainable Urban Agenda for cities as we work towards achieving the Global Goals.
In August 2016, the United Nations Volunteers (UNV) programme in Ecuador organized the first Regional Meeting of Youth Volunteer Networks, in collaboration with the Municipality of Cuenca. The event brought together 155 participants from Ecuador, Colombia, Panama, Bolivia, Venezuela, Mexico, Peru and Guatemala. It aimed to promote the exchange of experiences and best practices among youth volunteer organizations and networks in Latin America that work on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
In an effort to fight high levels of youth exclusion and vulnerability in Viet Nam, the United Nations Volunteers (UNV) programme and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) partnered with the Vietnamese Central Committee of the Ho Chi Minh Youth Union (HCYU) in 2009 to create the Strengthening the Capacity of Volunteerism for Development in Viet Nam (VDVN) project.
The joint United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and United Nations Volunteers (UNV) programme Social Innovation and Volunteerism in Uzbekistan Project is harnessing the social innovation of young people to tackle development challenges.
By providing training, advocacy, and grants to young innovators UNV is helping to unlock the talent and entrepreneurial skills of Uzbek youth, many of whom previously lacked opportunities to contribute to development.
Following the momentous political transitions that swept the Arab region in recent years, the United Nations Volunteers (UNV) programme’s groundbreaking Arab Youth Volunteering for a Better Future regional project is building trust between young people, their communities, and governments in Egypt, Jordan, Morocco, Tunisia and Yemen.
Prishtina, Kosovo: From my very first day working as a UN Youth Volunteer as part of UNDP’s Inclusive Growth Team in Kosovo, I started to realize that all the statistics showing high levels of unemployment, particularly among youth, are hiding the true and disturbing extent of this issue. With more than 35 percent of young Kosovars neither having a job nor going to school, they grow impatient, pessimistic about their chances to have a decent life, and frustrated with not being heard.
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.
Jeddah, Saudi Arabia: The International Conference on Youth Volunteering and Dialogue opened on 3 December 2013 in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. More than 200 young volunteers from over 33 different countries attended the Conference, along with delegates of UNESCO, the Saudi Arabia Ministry of Education and the King Abdulaziz Center for National Dialogue.
The three-day event provided young volunteers, experts and practitioners with the opportunity to discuss, display and evaluate ‘best practices’ in the field of volunteerism.