United Nations Volunteers (UNV) is the nodal UN agency that contributes to peace and development worldwide through volunteerism. UNV believes in ‘Volunteerism for Development’. UNV India 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.
In the last couple of years, many innovative practices have been introduced by such volunteers in their project districts, which could be replicated by other districts as well. It is therefore essential to capture and disseminate such initiatives for cross-learning. This year, UNV India has partnered with The Better India to share stories of volunteers from across the country and the amazing steps they have taken to implement change in areas that need focus.About project “Strengthening NYKS and NSS”
The Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports, UNDP and UNV have partnered to strengthen the Volunteering Infrastructure in the country. The overall aim of the project is to provide catalytic support to the Youth Volunteer Schemes of the Ministry and facilitate greater youth participation in peace and sustainable development programmes. The project seeks to empower young women and men through the network of youth clubs under NYKS and NSS. United Nations Volunteers are presently placed in 58 districts as District Youth Coordinator (DYC) under the project.
Let Them Be Kids
“Even after so many laws, child marriages still exist. whatever we are doing, we are doing it for the happiness of these children,” says Sandeep Sayapuram, who has not just helped and motivated the youth of his district, Anantpuram, but he also managed to stop 50 child marriages even during the 3-month lockdown.
Saving Nature, One File At A Time
Working in this group has helped us earn money on our own. And we are happy that our hard work has helped our kids to have a better life. “I request the youth of our nation to come forward and help us succeed in saving our trees,” says Rohit Tripathi who has been helping women of Kannauj become entrepreneurs.
On Her Own
“I always had a dream that I’d do something for my village. And just like me, there must be so many girls whose families want them to get married. I really want to help all those girls and try to make their dream come true,” says Dhanbai, a young girl from Nuapada, Odisha, who is leading all the women of her village to a self-dependent future.
The COVID-19 lockdown in 2020 was a period of struggle for many. The lack of access to facilities and everyday essentials was one of the major challenges faced by people, especially those living in rural areas like Jharkhand’s Palamu district.
“We started a sustainable backyard farming project, hoping that in the longer term it’ll improve the health of the community and provide access to nutritious food. This is possible by promoting backyard organic gardening” says Devesh Kumar, a United Nations Volunteers (UNV) District Youth Coordinator (DYC) in Rajnandgaon in Chhattisgarh.
“More than 60% of households in Maldah live below the poverty line, and that stems from the lack of reliable livelihood opportunities. This has pushed many families in the communities to migrate to cities as labourers. Our first goal was to remedy this scenario and create alternative livelihood opportunities for them in the district itself.”