A young man walks down a crowded street. To the left of him is a gang offering him quick cash to join them. To the right is a group of young volunteers, cleaning up the nearby river, handing him a leaflet that says, “volunteer to make a difference”. Which way does the young man turn? To the left for quick cash, or to the right where his potential lies?
At the United Nations stand at the summit, UNV organised an activity related to the “Youth for the SDGs” project, during which young leaders attending the summit were invited to ‘adopt’ one of the Sustainable Development Goals and to indicate a specific course of action which would contribute to its achievement.
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.
The Strengthening Nehru Yuva Kendra Sangathan (NYKS) project and National Service Scheme (NSS) comprise one of the world’s largest youth volunteering schemes and together reach out to over 11 million young people in India. National UN Volunteer Anil Kumar Mishra is a UNV-District Youth Coordinator (UNV-DYC) in Sarguja, Chhattisgarh, where his responsibilities include reaching out to out-of-school, marginalized youth in the district.
The UN Secretary-General’s Envoy on Youth, Mr. Ahmad Alhendawi recently spent a week visiting China at the invitation of the All-China Youth Federation. He was joined by a joint UN delegation of senior youth experts from UNESCO, UNV, UNEP, UN Habitat, ILO, and UNFPA to advance collaboration on youth development in China.