About UNV Kenya


The United Nations Volunteers (UNV) programme contributes to peace and development through volunteerism worldwide. We work with partners to integrate qualified, highly motivated and well supported UN Volunteers into development programming and promote the value and global recognition of volunteerism. The United Nations Volunteers (UNV) programme was created by the General Assembly (GA) in 1970 through GA resolution 26/59. UNV’s vision is to create a world where volunteerism is recognized and valued within societies as a way for all people and countries to achieve peace and development. With partners, UNV advocates for volunteerism, integrates volunteerism into development planning and mobilizes volunteers.

The UNV programme in Kenya is administered by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and serves the entire UN system, supporting the delivery of the United Nations Development Assistance Framework (UNDAF 2018-2022) and Kenya’s Vision 2030/MTP II. UNV Kenya operations are therefore aligned to UNDP Kenya and UNDP Country Programme Document (CPD) and UNV Global Framework

What We Do

Advocacy for Volunteerism
To advocate for volunteerism and its contributions to national development, UNV in Kenya works in four intervention areas:

Supporting the Kenya Government and partners in the formulation and implementation of the recently adopted national volunteer policy. Notably, UNV Kenya through UNDP allocated USD20, 000 towards the development of the policy. The policy is expected to 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 efforts. With the recent devolution of political systems in Kenya, UNV Kenya is also engaging with sub-national governments (Counties) on volunteerism;

Supporting the Volunteer Involving Organizations (VIO) Network to further enhance national advocacy and joint delivery, disseminating public information and facilitating public discourse on volunteerism;

Facilitating several activities and interventions to advocate for volunteerism and increase public awareness and adoption of volunteerism in meeting peace and development challenges. These include the International Volunteer Day, the regular Students Volunteerism Symposiums, trainings on volunteerism, V-Connect forums as well as conferences and workshops on volunteerism;

Disseminating public information on volunteerism and volunteer contribution to peace and development, including the publication of a regular newsletter, sharing 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 Kenya contributes to UN Joint Programme on Devolution through placing qualified UN Volunteers in various counties to strength the devolution process in Kenya;
  • UNV Kenya is working alongside UNDP and other UN entities to integrate volunteerism and volunteer interventions in the UN Joint Programmes on Turkana and Marsabit;
  • UNV Kenya 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;UNV Kenya plays a key role in facilitating discussions on the role of volunteerism in the post-2015 global development agenda and implementation of global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs);
  • UNV Kenya, together with the government and partners, is also pursuing an agenda for 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. Additionally, UNV Kenya piloted student volunteer modality to facilitate the organization of several global and national events such as the Global South-South Development Expo, United Nations Environment Assembly, Regional Gender Share fair, Philanthropy Workshop, International Youth Week, Kenya’s annual Devolution Conference, the Tokyo International Conference for Africa’s Development (TICAD), the Sustainable Blue Economy Conference among other major global events.

Kenya has one of the largest number of UN Volunteers globally and was one of the leading pilot countries in the world that mobilized Peace Monitors during election period in 2013.

Kenya is also a hub for administering outgoing UN Volunteers (Kenyan volunteers who serve in other countries). As at the end of 2018, 335 Kenyans were serving in various countries as UN Volunteers  

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.

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