Ms Valerie Crab, Programme Specialist and Innovation Lead, has been working with two national UN Youth Volunteers and one national UN Volunteer in the twenties on innovation, such as the U-Report Indonesia, a polling system that uses social media to help deliver youth opinions to policymakers. “I think that UN Volunteers should be recruited to bring an added value to a programme that otherwise we wouldn’t have access to,” she says. On the value of having a UN Youth Volunteers in her team, she describes,
Some 103 UN Volunteers served with UNAIDS in 38 countries over the past 10 years. Supporting the mandate of UNAIDS, they have been working towards stopping new HIV infections, ensuring that everyone living with HIV has access to treatment, protecting and promoting human rights and producing data for decision-making.
How do you see the partnership between UN Women and UN Volunteers and why is this important?
Out of 220 applications, three winnings teams strengthened their business models and expanded their activities through receiving mentorships and a small grant. Read more about how they made significant moves forward in the three-month mentorship with volunteers from SAP, a market leader in enterprise application software.
The award recognizes the important contributions UN Online Volunteers are making to the work of the UN, NGOs and governments, and demonstrates how active citizens engage in addressing global challenges via www.onlinevolunteering.org: getting vital information to communities in the Caribbean affected by Hurricane Irma; leading a campaign for ending child marriage in Zimbabwe; mentoring women farmers in Kenya, making life-saving information available to victims of gender-based violence globally; or raising the profile of blind football by build
UN Volunteers and other volunteers are advancing gender issues and impacting on women's lives in rural and urban settings. In line with Sustainable Development Goal 5, they are volunteering to safeguard the basic rights of women and girls, achieve gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls, counter deeply rooted gender-based discrimination, and avail opportunities for women and girls to learn, engage and lead.
In the process of finding a right programming partner, I was able to get in touch with UNLIREC- the Regional Center for Peace, Disarmament and Development for Latin America and the Caribbean, part of the UN Office for Disarmament Affairs. UNV was investing in programming under its five Global Programmes, and together with UNLIREC, we assessed the possibility of submitting a proposal that would align with our respective mandates under the UNV Global Peacebuilding Programme.
The initiatives awarded under the Youth Volunteering Innovation Challenge featured youth engaging volunteers to address social issues with the help of private sector volunteering – the SAP staff members who provided mentorships were also volunteers. The three-month mentorships enabled grantees to scale up their projects in the areas of environment, people with disabilities, and women’s economic empowerment within urban contexts, with a focus on leveraging volunteering for the localization of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
The UN Climate Change Conference COP 23 is taking place in Bonn, Germany, between 6 and 17 November. UNV is also present in different ways to make sure volunteerism is part of the conversation around the protection of the environment and the fight against climate change.