Vote and volunteer: VIO Network Engages Kenyan youth

Youth Engaged in a Discussion while Filling Out the My World Paper Ballo...KENYA

The VIO Network Kenya, which gathers nearly 20 volunteer organizations across the country, actively rolled out the MY World survey during the International Youth Day (IYD) 2014. Member organizations took part in the celebrations at the United Nations Office and Kenyatta International Conference Center in Nairobi, where they were involved in discussions on volunteerism for development and in particular on the inclusion of youth priorities in the post-2015 agenda.

The youth participating in the events, mostly enrolled in university programs, but also young volunteers and members of youth organizations such as the Organization for African Youth and Youth Agenda, were invited to vote for MY World offline by filling the paper ballot. Around 100 young people voted and all have taken the survey willingly. For us, it was very encouraging to see them discussing amongst each other what was most important for them in the future.

The situation also allowed youth to ask many questions about the possibilities for volunteering and where to find information. As a result, numerous young people showed up to support a clean-up and tree planting activity in a Nairobi neighborhood organized by the county government of Nairobi with our collaboration during the International Youth Week 2014.

Starting from its own country, VIO Kenya will continue to engage governments, partners and other stakeholders in efforts aimed at ensuring universal access to quality services. We are doing this through the promotion of volunteerism, and MY World helps us engaging people in identifying priorities and act on them.

VIO Kenya was the co-recipient of the Volunteer Awards during the 2014 MY World Partners Award Ceremony, along with the Millennial’s Movement in Peru. The award was bestowed by  Mr. Ahmad Alhendawi, the UN Secretary-General’s Special Envoy on Youth and was accepted by Mr. Adjmal Dulloo, Post-2015 Volunteering Working Group on behalf of VIO Kenya.

In their conversation following the award presentation, Mr. Alhendawi emphasized that through volunteering one is “not giving, but also gaining, and this is the best investment one can make in life”.

Mr. Dulloo noted that one of the successes about MY World is the way it engages people in even the most remotest of areas. For instance, VIO Kenya has mostly taken the survey to remote villages in Kenya through offline ballots. Many of the people engaged have never been asked their opinion before. Thus the exercise made those polled “feel like people care about what they think, and it’s really important to stop and engage them further on because they know what they need, so they need to be involved as well.”

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Adjmal Dulloo, Post-2015 Volunteering Working Group & Ame Esangbedo, UN Volunteers
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Mr. Alhendawi, Mr. Dulloo, and Ms. Femi Oke

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