UNV & UoN Hold Training For UN Volunteers On Youth Volunteering

Feb 22, 2013

Photo ©TOMOYA SOEJIMA/UNV UN Volunteers engage with young people in Mathare slums involved in volunteering for peace at the end of the training on youth volunteering.

UNV partnered with the University of Nairobi to hold a 3-day training for UN Volunteers involved in working with young people to enlighten them on how to effectively encourage youth volunteerism within their assignments.

Held at the Safari Park in Nairobi, the training was made possible with funding from UNV’s Capacity Development & Learning Facility (CDLF) aimed at building capacities among UN Volunteers.

The training brought together about 20 UN Volunteers from duty stations across the country, to be given practical skills and promote experience-sharing on youth volunteering, zeroing in on the role of youth volunteers in contributing to peace as Kenya heads to the General Election.

The group included 7 new youth volunteers who have just been recruited to support UNDP’s peaceful elections interventions through the Get Informed, Get Involved project supported by UNV, as well as several UN Volunteer peace monitors who have already been working in different parts of the country. There were also UN Volunteers from UN Women, UNHCR, UNEP and UN-HABITAT.

Speaking at the opening and closing of the event, UNDP Country Director Maria-Threase Keating underlined the important role that UN Volunteers are playing to ensure peaceful elections, and lauded the concerted effort to involve young people in UNV programmes. University of Nairobi’s Johnson Kinyua expressed satisfaction at the partnership between UNV and the university, calling for continued involvement to support volunteering programmes within the university and nationally among other academic institutions.

The UN Volunteers enjoyed the training as well, many terming it as ‘going beyond expectations’ in helping them understand youth volunteering. Mary Ondiek, one of the participants, observed:

“… The training went beyond what I expected. Not only did I get information on how to do my assignment better, I got practical information on how to engage youth, to understand the global view of UNV on youth volunteering, and was inspired by stories from people who have already done it.”

UNV drew from different professionals in the volunteer sector for the training, including VSO Jitolee’s Carol Kiangura who facilitated the main session on Youth Mobilization In Volunteering for Peace and Development, while University of Nairobi’s Johnson Kinyua led discussions on volunteering within universities and among students. UNV’s Dmitry Frischin and George Oloo also facilitated sessions, while Gender specialist Tina Stoum, herself an international UNV with the UNDP country office facilitated discussions on gender mainstreaming within youth volunteer projects. UNV Peace Monitor in Nairobi Jeremiah Mzee and Tomoya Soejima, UNV Youth Community Mobilizer with UNHCR at the Dadaab Refugee Camp shared their experiences with colleagues.

On the last day of the training, the UN Volunteers had a unique opportunity to apply their learning with a visit to Nairobi’s Mathare slums, an area that has experienced violence in recent days, where they interacted with young people involved in volunteering for peace.

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