“At the heart of Volunteerism are the ideals of service and solidarity and the belief that together we can make the world a better place. In that sense, we can say that volunteerism is the ultimate expression of what the United Nations is all about” - Former UN Secretary-General, Kofi Annan.
The United Nations Volunteers (UNV) programme contributes to peace and development through volunteerism. UNV is inspired by the conviction that volunteerism can transform the pace and nature of development and by the idea that everyone can contribute their time and energy towards peace and development.
What We Do
The UNV programme in Kenya is managed by the UNV Kenya Field Unit within UNDP. UNV makes a contribution to peace and development by advocating for volunteerism, supporting integration of volunteerism into development planning and mobilizing volunteers to serve in various roles within UN agencies and other partners.
Advocacy for Volunteerism
To advocate for volunteerism and its contributions to national development, UNV is:
- Working with the Ministry of Gender, Children & Social Development as well as partners to support the formulation of a national volunteer policy. The policy will provide a framework for national advocacy efforts with focus on the cross-cutting issues of youth and gender as well as national coordination mechanisms for volunteer effort.
- Supporting the Volunteer Involving Organizations (VIO) Network, an amalgamation of key volunteer organizations, to further enhance national advocacy and joint delivery.
- Running activities and interventions to advocate for volunteerism and the impact it has in meeting peace and development challenges. These include the International Volunteer Day, an annual Volunteerism Symposium for students, trainings on volunteerism as well as conferences and workshops for volunteerism.
- Giving public information, including the publication of a monthly newsletter as well as publishing volunteer impact stories on online platforms, and facilitating public discourse on volunteerism.
Integration of Volunteerism into Development Planning
UNV engages with the government, UN entities and partners to ensure that volunteerism is included in national development planning. In particular:
- UNV is involved in discussions on the second Medium Term Plan for Kenya’s Vision 2030, as well as planning for the country’s next UNDAF, to integrate volunteerism elements into the national blueprints.
- UNV sits in the UN Joint Programme On Youth to make contribution to UN approach to youth programming by encouraging youth volunteerism, as well as promoting youth volunteer engagement in peace and development initiatives.
- Working with the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports together with other partners to make contribution to the national youth volunteering scheme and other modalities.
- Facilitating discussions on the role of volunteerism in the post-2015 dialogue and implementation of Rio+20 outcomes.
- Pursuing with the government and partners the possibility of national measurement of volunteer contribution to GDP to inform future development planning.
Mobilization of Volunteers
UNV mobilizes an increasing and diverse number of men and women to serve as UN Volunteers. The Kenya Field Unit is responsible for recruiting national volunteers as well as facilitating the placement of international volunteers.
As of December 2013, there were 141 UN Volunteers serving in Kenya, 116 of them nationals and 25 internationals . In 2013, the UNV Kenya office sent out 52 Kenyan volunteers to work in diverse countries of the world most of them in Africa, with Sudan and the Republic of South Sudan taking the lead.
Volunteering With UNV
The UN Volunteers programme has two main options to volunteer: National and International.
For the National programme, get your profile on the newly launched E recruitment system via www.recruit.unvke.org
For the International programme check www.unv.org
UNV also supports an online volunteering platform, to give opportunity for internet volunteering. The platform is used by organizations to post online volunteering opportunities and by volunteers to connect with these. To register to be an online volunteer, go to www.onlinevolunteering.org.