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“Volunteerism is a source of community strength, resilience, solidarity and social cohesion. It can bring positive social change by fostering respect for diversity, equality and the participation of all. It is among society’s most vital assets.”

UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon


UNV Pakistan and Pakistan Red Crescent Society celebrates International Youth Day 2015

UNV Pakistan and Pakistan Red Crescent Society (PRCS) jointly organized a huge youth gathering event on 12 August at PRCS auditorium, Islamabad marking International Youth Day 2015 under the theme ‘Youth Civic Engagement’. The event aimed to recognize the contribution of youth volunteers and encourage their vibrant civic engagement in Pakistan. It also discussed how youth can maximize their civic participation with improved skills and knowledge to substantially contribute for national development.

Dr Rizwan Naseer, Secretary General of Pakistan Red Crescent Society (PRCS) chaired the event. Mr. Gorkhmaz Huseynov, International Federation of Red Cross Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) Head of Pakistan Delegation and Mr. Md. Aktar Uddin, UNV Programme Officer of Pakistan spoke as Special Guests. The ceremony was attended by about 250 of youth volunteers. Besides staff members of PRCS, IFRC, International Committee of Red Cross (ICRC), government officials, donors, INGOs, NGOs, CSOs, media, diplomats and other partner national societies participated the event.

Mr. Secretary General said that youth can be helpful for the society in the long run, as they remain part of the volunteer corps for a longer period of time and, therefore, could own their work, contributions and future. The emphasis is on strengthening communities through recruitment of volunteers, their training and retention. A volunteer corps within each community which shall be trained to take up a leadership role as agents of change in their communities, and therefore, inspire a positive transformation of mindsets, attitudes and behaviors in favor of promoting social inclusion, safe living and culture of non-violence and peace, he added.

While delivering ‘motivational speech on Youth Civic Engagement’, Md. Aktar Uddin, UNV Programme Officer of Pakistan said that youth is the key for development in Pakistan as they are dominating 64% of entire population of this country. Pakistani youth volunteers proved as one of the best volunteers through their hard work, dedication and commitment. We also need to create more spaces for youth in promoting their civic engagement which is crucial for advancing national development. Mr. Aktar also emphasized formulating policy on volunteerism in Pakistan and define the structured strategies for youth inclusion in civic engagement. Youth mapping is also important for broader participation and retention, he added.  

Mr. Gorkhmaz Huseynov said that efforts are needed to raise awareness about the importance of youth civic engagement and its benefits to the individual and to society, for sustainable development as well as resilience.

UNV Pakistan jointly organized ‘Tree Plantation Drive’ marking International Youth Day 2015

UNV Pakistan jointly organized an exciting ‘Tree Plantation Drive’ on 11th August 2015 at Lahore, Punjab marking International Youth Day 2015 together with Punjab Forest Department, FacesPakistan and WWF Pakistan. The main aim of the campaign was to Protecting the Environment through Youth Volunteering and encourage youth civic engagement and further consolidate the values of environmental protection and sustainable development.

More than a hundred youth joined at the event from different educational institutions, community and planted various kinds of saplings with the commitment of continuation of engaging themselves proactively in volunteering activities. Besides, people from all walks of life including community volunteers, religious leaders, development sector experts, corporate bodies, teachers, social activists and dignitaries from the respective government department also took part in the event.

The volunteers planted 200 saplings at the reserve and vowed to continue similar efforts in future to promote awareness about sustainable use of natural resources. Punjab Forest Department provided around 600 acres of land dedicated to this plantation at Shahdara Reserve Forest, Lahore.

The event also got notable media coverage especially in electronic media.
https://globalchristianvoice.wordpress.com/2015/08/11/unv-and-faces-pakistan-organize-tree-planation-drive-protecting-the-environment-through-youth-volunteering/
http://tribune.com.pk/story/936383/youth-day-educate-youth-about-threats-to-ecology/
http://www.thenews.com.pk/Todays-News-5-333869-Intl-Youth-Day-celebrated

Punjab Government underscored the needs of Policy on Volunteerism, initiated by UNV Pakistan

United Nations Volunteers (UNV) Pakistan organized a Consultation on ‘Volunteerism & Development:  Needs of strengthening Volunteer Network and Provincial Volunteer Policy in Punjab’ on June 29, 2015 in Lahore, Punjab. This is the first of its kind Consultation on Volunteerism Policy took place in Pakistan.

The main objective of the consultation was to set up a sustainable volunteer network within development forces and build a strong working group persuading a Provincial Volunteer Policy for strengthening volunteering activities in Punjab to support peace and development process in a sustainable manner.
The Minister, UN Resident Coordinator for Pakistan, Secretaries, MPAs, NGOs, CSOs, INGOs, VOIs, Corporate sectors, youth organizations and other stakeholders unanimously endorsed the needs of the volunteer policy in Punjab and forming Volunteer Network in Punjab. About 65 participants attended the consultation.

UN Resident Coordinator for Pakistan Mr. Michael Jones and Punjab Minister for Human Rights and Minority Affairs Mr. Khalil Tahir Sindhu graced the event as Guests of Honor.

Secretary to Government of the Punjab Social Welfare and Baitul-Mal Mr. Haroon Rafique, Parliamentary Secretary for Higher Education Ms Mehwish Sultana, Ms. Shahzadi Shamim Akhtar, Member Provincial Assembly, Ms. Salma Butt, Member Provincial Assembly, Ms Kanji Ram, Member Provincial Assembly, Mr. Dawar Adnan Shah, Director, Red Crescent spoke at the event amongst others.

Mr. Md. Aktar Uddin, Programme Officer, UNV Pakistan presented the key note paper in the consultation. Besides, Prof Dr. Syed Mubashir Ali, Registrar Lahore University of Management Sciences, Mr. Shamshad Qureshi, Policy Specialist, Ms Saima Riaz, Director, Lahore College for Women University and Ms Lubna Jabeen, Deputy Director of Social Welfare Department spoke as Panel Speakers. The technical session was moderated by Mr. Md. Aktar Uddin, Programme Officer, UNV Pakistan and Mr. Javaid William, President, FacesPakistan.

Michael Jones stressed that the policy support from the government mechanism was crucial and importantly determinant for strengthening volunteering activities in Pakistan. He also added that the policy support paved to create overall conducive environment for engaging all potentials stakeholders in boosting volunteerism efforts as well as for volunteers. He said that the policy support provides substantive guidance and protection which leads to advance volunteering works to contribute peace and development process in the country. It also protects the volunteers, who serve greatly in different critical situations like disasters and emergencies along with other difficult engagement.

Punjab Minister Mr. Khalil said “the government would provide all support in adopting the policy on volunteerism. He endorsed the vision of the UN volunteers and called the volunteering the best investment which bears never ending interests. I highly appreciate UNV Pakistan for its great efforts towards this policy formulation initiative”.
The consultation also formed a Punjab Volunteer Working Group who would be responsible to take up next core of actions in forming Punjab Volunteer Network and drafting Policy on Volunteerism under the leadership of Punjab Social Welfare and Baitul-Mal.

The local NGOs/CSOs especially ‘FacesPakistan’ provided notable support in organizing the consultation.  

The event got notable media coverage including electronic and print. Some link of media coverage is here:

The Daily Times
http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/punjab/30-Jun-2015/strengthening-of-volunteer-network-and-policy-urged

The News
http://www.thenews.com.pk/Todays-News-5-326270-Call-to-improve-volunteer-activities

Pakistan Today
http://www.pakistantoday.com.pk/2015/06/30/epaper/30th-june-2015-3/

The Nation
http://nation.com.pk/E-Paper/lahore/2015-06-30/page-9

 

 

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UN Youth volunteer Saeed Iqbal Khan receiving training certificate for his training on effective communication skills at Pakistan Institute of Management Lahore. UN Youth Volunteers Aneela Karamat, Lubna Shahzadi, Arsalan Malik and Umer Manzoor got training in negotiation skills at Pakistan Institute of Management Lahore. UN Youth Volunteers Muhammad Ahmad, Nasir Mehmood Kanjoo, Zainab Mushtaq and Zahika Iqbal got training in Active Citizenship at Al-Sadiq Welfare Society in Bahawalpur.

UNV Pakistan celebrates International Volunteer Day

UNV Pakistan marked International Volunteer Day (IVD) 2014 with several programs. In the morning (5th December), UNV Pakistan organized official ceremony jointly with UNAIDS and ILO to commemorate International Volunteer Day and World AIDS Day. It was held at ILO Auditorium, Islamabad.The event aimed to recognize the contribution of UN Volunteers and encourage people to get engaged volunteerism in Pakistan. It also discussed about the needs of legal reframe work on volunteerism through sensitizing the policy makers, local representatives and other key stakeholders with building partnerships.

Mr. Timo Pakkala, United Nations Resident Coordinator delivered opening speech and highlighted the contributions of UN Volunteers. The discussants emphasized the need for strengthening and expanding volunteering activities across the country in order to support to the development process in Pakistan. Volunteerism is the means which can rally make impact in the efforts for sustainable development if it comes out as combined efforts.

The event was attended by Mr. Marc-André Franche, Country Director, UNDP, Mr. Francesco d'Ovidio, Country Director, ILO, Mr. Marc Saba, UNAIDS Country Director, Ms Tracy Vienings, Deputy Country Director, Programme, UNDP, Ms Neva Khan, Country Director, VSO and other dignitaries.  Md. Aktar Uddin, UNV Programme Officer outlined the country UNV programs and plans for expansion of UNV programs in Pakistan. He also stressed to build partnership with UN agencies, NGOs, CSOs, Government of Pakistan and other key stakeholders for strengthening volunteering activities. Pakistan, a great country where volunteerism is engrained and it is widely seen during earthquake, flood and any other crisis. At present, 38 UN Volunteers (9 international, 2 nationals and 27 Youth UN volunteers) are actively involved in supporting development process in achieving UN mandate In Pakistan.  They are mainly assigned substantive program areas i.e., human rights, political policy and planning, food protection, refugee protections, governance, education and administrative functions. 

The event also highlighted the activities of UN Volunteers through photo slides show, which grabbed notable attention of the audience.

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Mr Marc-André Franche Country Director UNDP speaking as a panelist on official ceremony on International Volunteer Day
Mr Aktar Uddin UNV Programme Officer speaking as a panelist on official ceremony on International Volunteer Day
   

 

UNV Pakistan organizes ‘Town Hall and Get Together of UNVs’  

UNV Pakistan celebrated the International Volunteer Day 2014 in a befitting manner. As a part of several programs, it organized ‘Town Hall and Get Together of UNVs’ marking International Volunteer Day (IVD) 2014 held on 5th December, 2014 at Ramada Hotel, Islamabad.

The event aimed to set common understanding about volunteering activities, sharing the knowledge amongst serving UN Volunteers, knowing each other, updating admin and operational issues, and exchange of sharing best practices. The specific objectives were to exchange views between senior management of UN agency colleagues, recognize the contributions of UNVs, explore the programmatic areas for mobilizing more UNVs and building partnerships.

The event was first initiative in Pakistan, where UN Volunteers got the opportunity exchanging views with their heads of host UN agencies having such gathering and sharing best practices with each other. Apart from UN Volunteers, the event was attended by Mr. Amanullah Khan, Assistant Country Director, UNDP, Mr. Carl Paulsson, Head of Programme, WFP,  Mr. Collie Brown, Advisor, UNODC, Mr. Waqar Qazi, Programme Officer of UNHCR, Dr. Akhtar Shah, Deputy Head of Peshawar, UNDP and Ms Laura Sheridan, Project Manager from UNDP.  

The discussants underscored the contributions of UN Volunteers and needs for mobilizing more volunteers to support their development activities. Pakistan has lots of potentials for expanding the programs of the UN Volunteers activities as the country looks forward comprehensive development interventions in establishing peace and development. The partners assured that they would further work on how they engage more UNVs and develop projects with UNV Pakistan for fostering volunteerism in Pakistan. UN Volunteers shared their best practices from the field.

Md. Aktar Uddin, UNV Programme Officer presented the overview of UNV country programs and Mr. Waseem Ashraf, UNV Programme Associate outlined the administrative and operational issues of UN Volunteers. It was very interactive and lively discussions. The program was ended with fun, group photo and dinner.

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Mr. Waseem Ashraf, UNV Programme Associate briefing the UN Volunteers on operational and logistical matters
Group photo of UNV Town Hall meetings attendees
   
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UNV Pakistan organizes Essay Competition among youngsters of Pakistan

UNV Pakistan organized Essay Competition among youngsters of Pakistan on the occasion of International Volunteer Day 2014. The title of the Essay Competition was “Peace, Volunteerism and Youth: Perspectives Pakistan” and we received about 200 Essays from the youngsters. The essays portrayed with encouraging statements and valued recommendations in regards to fostering volunteerism in Pakistan. It was indeed very competitive and well participated.

The panel of judges for this competition found three best writers as the winners and they are Ms. Nayab Mirza from Lahore University of Management and Sciences (1st), Mr. Muhammad Sharif, Lahore University of Management and Sciences (2nd), and Ms Sana Anum Kashan from Virtual University, Karachi (3rd). The Winners were awarded with laptops at the official ceremony of International Volunteer Day event on 5th December in Islamabad.

“ I am feeling great that this essay competition changed my thought about volunteerism and now I understand volunteerism is a great way to contribute the society, individuals and for the country. I am grateful to UNV Pakistan for initiating such nice opportunity for youngsters, “ commented Nayab Mirza who secured 1st position in the competition.   

Mr. Marc Saba, UNAIDS Country Director, Ms Tracy Vienings, Deputy Country Director, Programme, UNDP, Mr. Vittorio Cammarota, Director, United Nations Information Centre,  Mr. Md. Aktar Uddin, UNV Programme Officer, UNV Pakistan  distributed the prizes amongst the winners.

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International IVD Day 2014

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UNV Field Unit Pakistan chalks out several programs to celebrate International Volunteer 2014. The slogan for this year is ‘’People’s participation’’. UNV Field Unit Pakistan invites all of you taking part with in this celebration for widening volunteerism in Pakistan.

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UNV Pakistan offers extended deadline to submit the essay for more participation from our youngsters!!!

Be a Volunteer and Win a Laptop!

Who can participate: University students

Topic: “Peace, Volunteerism and Youth: Perspectives Pakistan”
Length: Essays must be no longer than 1000 words in length, submitted in
English, computer type-written in black ink and double-spaced
Submission:

  • Essay entries cannot have already been published.
  • Any essays found to be plagiarized will be automatically disqualified

and the student will be prohibited from entering any future UNV competitions.

New Deadlines: December 01, 2014

Prizes:
The first three (1st, 2nd and 3rd) best essay writers will be awarded with laptops.

UNV supporting UNDP's Flood Response in Sindh

With a Japanese funding, UNV is supporting the UNDP's Flood Response in the province of Sindh. The overall objective of the programme is to support early recovery activities undertaken by UNDP Pakistan through mobilization of UN volunteers and the promotion of volunteerism by applying UNV’s business model which is built on the three main thrusts of (a) advocacy for volunteerism for peace and development globally, (b) integration of volunteerism into peace and development programming, and (c) mobilization of volunteers for peace and development.

Preventing gender-based violence by working with boys and men

Preventing gender-based violence by working with boys and men ,UN volunteer Rizwan Latif works as Outreach and Capacity Development Officer at ROZAN, an Islamabad based NGO groups, Pakistan Preventing gender-based violence by working with boys and men by Rizwan Latif UN volunteer Rizwan Latif (standing) works as Outreach & Capacity Development Officer at ROZAN, an Islamabad ... (more)

The long road to Skardu - reflections of an online-turned-on-site volunteer

"Overall, my visit to Baltistan was incredible. The students and citizens of this region are full of hope for their futures, but are in need of technical support and resources to help them achieve this vision of excellence," explains Kate Anderson Simons, who has been supporting GRACE Association Pakistan as an online volunteer since 2007.

An education consultant focusing on children affected by poverty, armed conflict, and lack of educational opportunities, she hopes that "through continued collaboration, the GRACE staff, partners, and volunteers can make this vision a reality." (more)

Volunteers support human rights over the Internet

Bonn, Germany: Online volunteers are sharing their professional skills to strengthen human rights advocacy in Afghanistan and northern Pakistan.

Online volunteers engaged via the UNV Online Volunteering service have been assisting the Association of Global Humanists and Ethics (AGHE), an NGO based in the remote Northern Areas of Pakistan. (more)

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