Women in South Africa give birth to 2.3 children on average translating to a population growth of 1.6 per cent. While South Africa’s fertility rate is substantially lower than those of other African countries (in Ethiopia, for example, women have an average of 4.2 children), it is also considerably higher than in countries of the Global North where most countries show rates of below two children. At the same time, teenage pregnancies are prevalent with nearly 7 per cent of 15 to 19-year old girls giving birth (in comparison, the UK rate is at just over 2 per cent).
EDUCATION AND EMPOWERMENT KEY IN CONFLICT SITUATIONS
Hassane Abdoulsalamou has been serving as a national UN Volunteer with IOM since November 2016. He supports a project for the empowerment of youth in Niger (AJPANI), which offers youth at risk of conflict opportunities to develop through socio-economic participation and mechanisms faciliting participation in decision-making and peacebuilding
By signing this partnership, ISM, a leader in francophone Africa, becomes the first university in Africa to integrate the UN University Volunteer category in the academic curriculum and offer its students the opportunity to promote volunteerism as a key asset for sustainable peace and development in Africa.
ISM students will be deployed in UN agencies in Senegal as UN University Volunteers, to leverage their knowledge and skills in several areas of expertise and dedicate their creativity and energy to peace and development in their six-month assignments.
This project is particularly important as although Sri Lanka has ended a 30-year civil war, there remains unresolved issues of psychological trauma, sexual violence and misunderstanding between different ethnicities.
The project is part of the support provided by the UN in Sri Lanka towards the government's 'Peacebuilding Priority Plan (PPP) which serves as the "framework for a coordinated, government, UN, and other stakeholders response to secure lasting peace in Sri Lanka".
During the meeting, UNV presented its new UNV Strategic Framework 2018-2021 (SF). The SF is a targeted strategy, focusing on support to UN Member States and placing volunteers across the UN system. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs showed great interest in the new SF and particularly in UNV’s Online Volunteering system as a potential pathway for early entry to the UN for Japanese citizens.
The UN University Volunteer scheme enables young students enrolled in a University to broaden their personal and professional skills and gain experience in the field of international development and peace, while contributing to the work of the UN. In 2017, 98 UN University Volunteers served with 16 UN host entities in 34 countries, 75 per cent of them women.
"This has been the most useful and fun training I have been to," says Edgar Kiliba, UN Youth Volunteer Web and Social Media Communications Associate for the UN Resident Coordinator’s Office in Tanzania. Edgar was one of 17 UN Youth Volunteers who participated in the Assignment Preparation Training in Nairobi and are being deployed to five countries on the African continent.
"Youth Impact for the SDGs in Côte d'Ivoire" is a US $118,500 project partially funded by Microsoft and implemented in collaboration with AIESEC, the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) and UNV. The project was developed following a workshop of the UNV Regional Office for West and Central Africa (ROWCA) in Dakar, Senegal, in September 2016 on harnessing the potential of young people to achieve the SDGs through volunteering.
In the pursuit of its mandate to advocate for the protection of children’s rights, UNICEF recognizes that youth over 18 years old have proven to be key advocates and change makers. UNICEF has historically engaged modest numbers of youth volunteers in their advocacy and programmatic work. The organization is now looking to strengthen this by engaging youth in a systematic and formalized programme to deliver results for children.