Three national UN Volunteers are working to empower adolescent girls by raising awareness amongst adolescents, their families and local authorities on women’s rights, and addressing issues such as early marriage, sexuality and violence against women. Their work contributes to the Saqilaj B’e Joint Programme (JP) implemented by UN Women, PAHO/WHO, UNESCO, UNFPA and UNICEF, together with the Government of Guatemala.
In Mali, the road to peace and reconciliation has been wrought by a 2012 military coup and insecure borders, combined with a proliferation of small arms illegally imported or stolen from unsecured stockpiles. This, however, has not stopped the Malian people from championing democracy—the country is in a period of transition geared towards the re-establishment of constitutional order and democratic governance. In 2013, Presidential and Parliamentary elections were held in the country, representing a milestone on the path to peace.
One international UN Volunteer, ten community volunteers, and one UN Online Volunteer are running the Start-Up Choihona project, which has so far organized two national entrepreneurial competitions promoting innovation and youth employment. Quarterly competitions offer an opportunity for new entrepreneurs to present their unique business ideas to a panel of judges. Given the chance to pitch their ideas, Tajik entrepreneurs have the chance to get feedback on whether their business ideas could work and gain access to valuable networks of potential business partners and investors.
In partnership with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), the United Nations Volunteers (UNV) deployed 41 national and international UN Volunteers, 5 of them UN Youth Volunteers, to serve in environmental initiatives in Africa. Youth volunteers are the backbone of environmental action, raising awareness on climate change, responsible consumption and production, and preservation of land, forests and water resources.
Fostering participation and social justice in conflict-affected communities
When I was accepted for the assignment to develop content about the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in Colombia, I was very excited. For 17 weeks, I was expected to create social media posts about each of the 17 SDGs, share information, facts, photos, statistics and/or videos about SDGs in Colombia. Since I am Mexican, I also included content from my own country.
The report includes examples of how empowered Cambodian youth make a difference in their communities. It presents volunteering models that helped Cambodia recover from the decades of war and contributed to the country’s development, some of which can be replicated across the world.
According to the results presented in the report, volunteer programmes in Cambodia have made a difference in reducing poverty, eradicating illiteracy, improving health, promoting gender equality, and protecting human rights and the environment.
While roughly a fifth of Cambodia’s population is estimated to live in poverty, reportedly 300,000 young people enter the labour market seeking job opportunities every year. The report “Volunteerism and youth employment in Cambodia” presents ways to leverage volunteerism as an essential mechanism for skills development amongst youth.
The YouthConnekt Africa Summit (YCA) provides a unique opportunity that brings together development partners under one roof to discuss evidence-based interventions that empower youth. Volunteerism is at the heart of the Summit, where youth volunteer platforms and volunteer mobilization are advocated as key strategies to channel the energy and innovative spirit of youth in the region to accelerate Africa’s progress on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
Nadeen participates today in the side event "Harnessing the Power of Volunteering to Achieve the 2030 Agenda" organized by the International Forum for Volunteering in Development (Forum) in New York, in the framework of the High-Level Political Forum for the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).