The first workshop that took place in Nairobi was organized in partnership with UNICEF for 40 UN Volunteer Youth Advocates drawn from 28 countries across the globe.
During the two day workshop, the UNICEF volunteers were involved in learning on career planning and professional development. The UN Volunteer Youth Advocates also strengthened their capacities and professional skills in communications, leadership, conflict resolution, and teamwork.
On 21 June 2017 Ojulu, a refugee from Ethiopia, first arrived in the Kalobeyei settlement. The move was part of a camp consolidation and closure exercise that saw the relocation of non-Somali refugees from the Dadaab complex to the Kakuma refugee camp in Turkana County.
“When I first arrived in Kalobeyei everything was new. I left my work, family, friends in Dadaab and was entering a new place,” Ojulu explains.
The enhancing security, co-existence and protection through refugee outreach volunteer’s project in Kalobeyei was launched in 2017 by UNV. The project, funded by the German Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) was implemented by Lutheran World Federation LWF with support from the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR). In Kakuma, it is the first time that a UN Agency piloted a refugee youth volunteer project through an organized structure.
The opening ceremony saw entertainment in the form of group dances and musical interludes and included speeches from funding and implementing partners and the local government. Similar to the first facility launched last year, this centre boasts meeting rooms and halls with a capacity of 220 seats, a solar powered lightning systemand two sports fields.
Takako Kaneda (Japan) serves as a UN Volunteer Logistics Officer with WFP under the Human Resource Development Programme for Peacebuilding and Development. Dedicated to project and information management, HRD-UN Volunteer Takako Kaneda provided technical support to those WFP country offices in the Eastern Africa, including the most volatile countries Somalia and South Sudan.
Statistics indicate that worldwide, more than 700 million women alive today were married as children. A concerning 17 per cent of them, or 125 million, live in Africa. The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) have set a target to eliminate this practice by 2030.
According to recent data, women who marry as children have fewer years of schooling than those who marry as adults, potentially leading to lower labor force participation and poorer long-term economic opportunities for themselves and their families.
UNESCO’s Global Citizenship Education (GCED) works to instil in learners of all ages the values, attitudes and behaviours that support responsible global citizenship: creativity, innovation and commitment to peace, human rights and sustainable development. Combined with Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) these interdisciplinary learning methodologies are integral to the achievement of Sustainable Development Goal 4 Goal (SDG4) which seeks to promote equality and inclusive education for all.
A Somalian refugee who has spent the last 20 years living among 185,000 refugees like himself in the Kakuma camp, Mohammed oversees the subsection Kakuma 1, representing more than 20,000 people with nine different nationalities.
He makes sure that services are running smoothly, with “teachers in the classrooms and water in the taps”. He regularly meets with UNHCR and the Kenyan government to make sure enough support is being provided and works with the Lutheran World Relief Peacebuilding Unit to prevent conflict within the camp.
Drawing from a recently published book by Dr Richard Munang, Regional Climate Change Coordinator for Africa at UN Environment (UNEP) titled “Making Africa Work Through the Power of Innovative Volunteerism”, the key take-aways of the inaugural event were:
Africa is at a demographic and development tipping point
Currently, Africa’s population stands at almost 16 per cent of the world’s total population. By 2050, the United Nations projects that Africa will account for half of the world population growth.
I am a lawyer by profession but I have chosen to be a diplomat and an advocate for the rights of children. My passion to be a UN Volunteer is a motivation since it enables me to contribute towards making a difference in people’s life and most importantly to me, children.
I have chosen to make my contribution through volunteerism. Upon graduation, I could have chosen to remain in legal practice, either in private or public, but I chose to live my passion first, volunteering. --Faith Manyala, UN Volunteer Child Protection Officer with UNICEF in Kenya