The event will take stock of progress and ways to strengthen volunteering in the development context. Participants will explore the new factors, best practices, lessons learnt that are important to reimaging volunteering for the 2030 Agenda.
According to recent estimates in the State of the World’s Volunteerism Report 2018, there were over 8.9 million full time equivalent volunteers in the Arab States region (18 countries reporting) in 2018. 17.1% are formal volunteers, within organized volunteer structures, while the vast majority (82.9%) are volunteering informally.
Across the globe, the impacts of anthropogenic action are pervasive as never before: in the Maghreb, crops grown on marginal lands are failing; in Egypt, rising sea levels are impacting impoverished neighbourhoods; in Jordan, competition and tensions over resources is predicted to only intensify as warming temperatures further heighten
“Some people begin to see refugees as numbers — or even worse, as threats,” says Anja Ingabire, a UN volunteer with UNHCR in Jordan. “Behind each refugee there are personal stories of loss and tragedy. Every story is unique and touches you in a different way. It is the person who makes the story.”
As we sit on our comfortable couches at home and watch TV or read articles about refugees in areas of crisis or conflict, it is easy to become desensitized to the plight of this most vulnerable demographic.
Over the years, communicating effectively on issues affecting children and youth in the Middle East has become more challenging, as the public pays less and less attention to civil society and human rights violations.
Rasha Abou Dargham, originally from Lebanon, is serving as a UN Volunteer Social Media Officer with UNICEF in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) Regional Office in Amman. As a UN Volunteer, she is learning how to speak on behalf of children in a multicultural and demanding environment.
Having been raised in a socially conservative environment, Natalie explains that she was one of the lucky ones. Empowered to pursue her education, she obtained a Master’s degree in Media and Development from the United Kingdom.
Perhaps this is why joining UN Women as a volunteer after she settled in Jordan seemed like a natural move. Though she acknowledges that gender inequality is a worldwide issue, she says, "It’s hard to be a woman from the Middle East and not be affected by the issues around women’s rights."
"I wish I could go back to Syria but what would I find there? Has my home survived? Would I be able to find a job?" These worries are expressed by many Syrian refugees who knock at the door of UNHCR in Amman, Jordan, seven years after the war began in Syria.
UN Volunteers Anja Ingabire and Apoorva Sharma support UNHCR’s Refugee Status Determination Unit, interviewing asylum seekers to determine whether they meet the legal criteria to be recognized as refugees according to the 1951 Refugee Convention, and therefore are in need of international protection.
Saima graduated from Rawalpindi Medical College in Pakistan and obtained her diploma and Master’s degree in Public Health from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. After completing her studies, Saima worked as Gender Officer in UNHCR Afghanistan, as well as Medical Officer in University Teaching Hospital in Lusaka, Zambia.
Saima joined UNV in Jordan in May 2017 as UN Volunteer Associate Public Health Officer at UNHCR, and recently finished her one-year assignment.
During my internship at the UNV Arab States Regional Office this summer, I was tasked with a large project and a daunting amount of work. To be able to complete the project in two months and ensure high quality, I decided to employ the help of UN Online Volunteers.
At the onset of the Syrian refugee crisis in Jordan, an estimated 500,000 Syrian refugees resided outside the camps. Increased pressure on resources, infrastructure, education, health care, housing, essential services and increased competition for jobs out a strain on Jordanian host communities. The rising demand for social services threatened social cohesion, as access and quality of service provision diminished under the heightened demand. This put a increasing strain on Jordanian host communities and left them feeling marginalized.
J’ai toujours rêvé de m’engager et de participer au magnifique programme de développement durable et de pouvoir aider le monde à construire un avenir meilleur. La décision de m’inscrire dans la banque de candidats du programme VNU me permet de briser les barrières qui entravent souvent les femmes au Pakistan, et qui peuvent empêcher la poursuite de nos rêves de vivre et de travailler à l’étranger de manière autonome. J’ai la chance d’être née dans une famille matriarcale. Ma mère m’a ainsi encouragée et soutenue dans ma décision. Elle m’a accompagnée pendant tout le processus.