Working with UNICEF as a UN volunteer over the past year, my assignment included building awareness among staff on climate change, its impact and how we can mitigate its effects. I also advocate for sustainable practices in the way people consume energy and resources and manage waste both at work and in their personal lives. These efforts are in line with one of the targets of Sustainable Development Goal 13: to improve education, awareness-raising, human and institutional capacity on climate change mitigation, adaptation, impact reduction and early warning.
This call closed on 9 June 2019. In March and April 2019, Southern Africa was hit by two subsequent cyclones that left a trail of damage and destruction in their path. In Zimbabwe, the floods burst rivers, and mudslides resulted in the loss of lives and livelihoods, severely damaging road networks, water points, bridges, irrigation schemes and electricity infrastructure. UNV is currently working to urgently recruit national and international UN Volunteers to support recovery initiatives by UNDP in Zimbabwe.
The regional launch of the SWVR 2018 coincided with the International Volunteer Day 2018 (IVD 2018) Commemorations. The event was organized by the United Nations Volunteers (UNV) in Zimbabwe with support of Higherlife Foundation, VSO and other UNV’s key partners in Zimbabwe. It was preceded by a Youth Dialogue on volunteerism on 4 December facilitated by UNV Regional Manager, Mr. Njoya Tikum, and aimed at kick starting the discussions on the results and recommendations of the SWVR 2018, and the implications particilay for the youth in Africa.
Many communities in Zimbabwe continue to suffer from unprecedented impacts of climate change and climate variability, with the impact felt harshest by the most vulnerable poor communities. From October 2015 to February 2016, for example, the country received less than 60 per cent of its long-term average rainfall, which proved to be the driest rainy season in the last 35 years. This change in climate has ravished the expected harvests and pushed many Zimbabweans into poverty and food insecurity.
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
Harare, Zimbabwe: When Amy Wickham, an international UN Volunteer, joined the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) in Zimbabwe, she didn't know what to expect. Yet this experience changed her life. "The experience and exposure that I've got since I started as a volunteer has been phenomenal", she says. "The ownership that I've been given over the projects, as well as the time and responsibility that I've been given from professionals that I've worked with has been fantastic."
Two national UN Volunteers working for a UNDP project in Zimbabwe saw their efforts pay off when the livelihood of a local community they were supporting started improving. What these two national UN Volunteeers were not expecting was that their contribution brought to them something in return that was even more valuable: a feeling of joy and a connection to other people.
When Amy Wickham, an international United Nations Volunteer, signed up to work with UNICEF in Zimbabwe, she didn't know what to expect. Yet this experience changed her life. "The experience and exposure that I've got since I started as a volunteer has been phenomenal", she says. "The ownership that I've been given over the projects, as well as the time and responsibility that I've been given from professionals that I've worked with has been fantastic."