Category Archives: UNV

MY World in Bhutan: an inspiration to become active citizens and volunteer

Text and photos by UNV/Riikka Suhonen

Riikka Suhonen, from Finland, has served as international UN Volunteer in Bhutan, advocating for the recognition of volunteerism as a vital component of the Post-2015 development agenda and its implementation mechanisms. As part of her assignment, Riikka organized an advocacy campaign on youth volunteerism for Post-2015 with support from UNDP Bhutan and the Bhutan UN Resident Coordinator’s Unit. From May to June 2014, the campaign raised awareness on the UN and the Post-2015 process among young Bhutanese and promoted youth volunteerism for development in Bhutan.

Yonten, student at the Royal Thimphu College, collecting MY World votes from fellow students.
Yonten, student at the Royal Thimphu College, collecting MY World votes from fellow students.

“MY World proved to be a good way to introduce the theme of Post-2015 to young Bhutanese and to connect it with volunteerism as a way to become active citizens”, says Riikka. “In ten days, our two-member team visited three secondary schools, three colleges and one vocational institute covering five districts in Central and Eastern Bhutan”, she adds. “Students, particularly those involved in volunteering clubs such as scouting, environmental, or social service clubs, were invited to join our interactive workshops. The Royal University of Bhutan and a local NGO, the Tarayana Foundation, helped to connect with teachers in these different schools and institutes”.

After filling out the ballot, participants were asked to select their top priority –“good education”, for the majority – and think about how they as volunteers could help address that priority. “Student volunteers came up with very diverse ways to address the development priorities they had identified, such as helping elderly or children with less financial means, giving free tuition classes, planting trees and disposing waste properly, educating people, promoting organic farming, and solving problems by taking collective action together. For college students, we also explained how the MY World survey works and encouraged them to gather more votes from their community”, Riikka explains.

Kencho Dorji, 22, Bhutanese youth volunteer who co-facilitated the workshops of the Post-2015 advocacy tour, and Wangdi Phuntsho, 22, one of the active volunteers for the MY World campaign in Bhutan.
Kencho Dorji, 22, Bhutanese youth volunteer who co-facilitated the workshops of the Post-2015 advocacy tour, and Wangdi Phuntsho, 22, one of the active volunteers for the MY World campaign in Bhutan.

Wangdi Phuntsho, 22, was one of the active volunteers who coordinated the collection of MY World votes in his college, the Institute for Language and Cultural Studies in Taktse. After the post-2015 workshop in the college, seven student volunteers reached out to different people in the village – friends, neighbours, monks and shopkeepers – to involve them in this global discussion on people’s development priorities.

Wangdi believes that MY World is a good way to raise awareness on the work of the United Nations and on the sustainable development goals, although it requires special efforts to be communicated, for example, to illiterate people.

“I feel that the MY World survey gives an opportunity to people to share their views on development challenges and potential solutions. People expressed their gratitude for getting the chance to have their say through such an important survey. Also, decision-makers can better understand the real scenario at the grassroots level and plan accordingly”, Wangdi explains.

After this experience, Wangdi was even more motivated to volunteer. “MY World creates the space for youth volunteers to realize their roles in a rapidly changing world. We got to understand and feel the pain of local people as we interacted with them. It really inspired us to volunteer and help finding solutions for the difficulties faced by our community”, he notes.

Continue reading MY World in Bhutan: an inspiration to become active citizens and volunteer

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.

Continue reading Vote and volunteer: VIO Network Engages Kenyan youth

Involucrando a los Ciudadanos del Sur de Perú con los ODM y pos-2015

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Post cortesía del Movimiento del Milenio

“Darnos cuenta que nuestra comunidad no estaba relacionada con los Objetivos de Desarrollo del Milenio, su impacto a nivel global y la creación de la Agenda para el Desarrollo post-2015, nos motivó a generar un cambio a través del emprendedurismo social”, cuenta Rosario Díaz Garavito, fundadora del movimiento en redes sociales The Millennials Movement.

Y es que hoy en día el equipo de voluntarios de TMM viene trabajando desde el mes de abril del año 2014, en incluir a su comunidad en uno de los procesos consultivos más inclusivos de la Organización de Naciones Unidas, dando el salto de una plataforma virtual a la vida real, en donde alrededor de 5 mil peruanos fueron capacitados e hicieron oír voz. En la región de Arequipa al sur de Perú, el equipo de voluntario de TMM realiza capacitaciones sobre la importancia del cumplimiento de los Objetivos de Desarrollo del Milenio y la creación de la nueva Agenda Para el Desarrollo a niños, jóvenes y adultos, facilitando su participación en este proceso.

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Visitando escuelas públicas y privadas, universidades, Instituciones gubernamentales y no gubernamentales y diferentes organizaciones, el equipo de voluntarios de TMM busca generar un impacto en la comunidad, mediante su participación en la encuesta My World 2015 haciendo uso de la  plataforma virtual y balotas físicas en zonas que no cuentan con computadores y /o conexión a internet, contribuyendo con el desarrollo integro de esta, enfocándose principalmente en jóvenes y niños, y generando así el dialogo entre diferentes grupos sociales que día a día se van sumando a esta iniciativa.

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A la fecha se han generado alianzas con diferentes instituciones, las mismas que colaboran con promover la encuesta, rompiendo las barreras del desconocimiento y la burocracia, es así que la Red Arequipa Voluntaria, la Municipalidad Provincial de Arequipa, la Beneficencia Pública de Arequipa y el Ministerio de Desarrollo e Inclusión Social, junto al aliado The Millennials Movement forman parte del equipo impulsor de My World 2015 en Arequipa y vienen sumando esfuerzos con otras organizaciones como el Club de Leones, la Marina de Guerra del Perú entre otros, a fin de contribuir con el desarrollo de nuestra comunidad y de todos sus miembros.

“Es necesario empoderar a nuestra comunidad para lograr un cambio significativo, un cambio que permita que muchas más personas puedan vivir en condiciones adecuadas, que aseguren su desarrollo integro y el de las próximas generaciones, es por eso que estamos comprometidos con generar un impacto positivo en nuestra comunidad”. Agregó Rosario, con la alegría de ser parte de una nueva generación de jóvenes que buscan un mundo mejor para la comunidad global.

Hasta ahora, 69% de los votantes tienen menos que 15 años de edad. 28% tienen entre 16-30 años de edad.

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