What is the United Nations Volunteers (UNV) programme?

The United Nations Volunteers (UNV) programme is a UN organization that contributes to peace and development through volunteerism worldwide. UNV does this by enhancing opportunities for voluntary participation by all peoples. UNV fosters conditions in which volunteerism can flourish through three main activities: advocacy, integration and mobilization.

Volunteerism is a powerful means of engaging people in tackling development challenges, and it can transform the pace and nature of development. Volunteerism benefits both society at large and the individual volunteer by strengthening trust, solidarity and reciprocity among citizens, and by purposefully creating opportunities for participation.

UNV contributes to peace and development by advocating for recognition of volunteers, working with partners to integrate volunteerism into development programming, and mobilizing an increasing number and diversity of volunteers, including experienced UN Volunteers, throughout the world. UNV embraces volunteerism as universal and inclusive, and recognizes volunteerism in its diversity as well as the values that sustain it: free will, commitment, engagement and solidarity.

Based in Bonn, Germany, UNV is active in 140 countries. It is represented worldwide through the offices of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and reports to the UNDP Executive Board.

Who are UN Volunteers?

At the request of UN agencies, national governments and other partners, UNV mobilizes close to 8,000 volunteers to work in development assistance projects and in humanitarian and peacekeeping operations. Qualified and experienced women and men of nearly 160 nationalities serve each year in 130 different countries as UN Volunteers. Since 1971, some 30,000 UN Volunteers have worked in about 140 countries. Currently, nearly 70 per cent of them are citizens of developing countries while the remaining 30 per cent come from the industrialized world. UN Volunteers are an average age of 37 years old and have 5 to 10 years of relevant working experience. One third of UN Volunteers serve in their own countries, the others carrying out international assignments.

UNV also operates the Online Volunteering service, which connects development organizations directly with thousands of online volunteers who can provide services and advice over the internet.

What do they do?

UNV recruits a great diversity of talents and offers a variety of volunteer opportunities mainly in two focus areas; development assistance and humanitarian and peacekeeping operations. UN Volunteers work in technical cooperation with governments, with community-based initiatives, in humanitarian relief and rehabilitation and in support of human rights, electoral and peace-building processes. UN Volunteers comprise one third of all international civilians working in UN peacekeeping operations. They are professionals who work on a peer basis. They listen and discuss; teach and train; encourage and facilitate. Volunteers also share and exchange ideas, skills and experience.

Can I become UN Volunteer?

UNV is inspired by the conviction that volunteerism is a powerful means of engaging people in tackling development challenges worldwide.  Everyone can contribute their time, skills and knowledge through volunteer action, and their combined efforts can be a significant force for achieving peace and development.
Volunteering makes important economic and social contributions, contributing to a more cohesive society by building trust and reciprocity among citizens. It can be both challenging and rewarding and require you to use your skills in a new context. You can also transfer useful knowledge while gaining a greater understanding of the issues affecting other people.

To become UN Volunteer you should be at least 25 years of age and possess the following qualifications:

– A university degree or higher technical diploma;
– At least two years of relevant working experience;
– Good working knowledge in at least one of the three UNV working languages: English, French and Spanish.

In addition, you should be able to demonstrate:
– A strong commitment to the values and principles of volunteerism;
– The ability to work in a multi-cultural environment;
– The ability to adjust to difficult living conditions;
– Strong interpersonal and organizational skills;
– Prior volunteering and/or working experience in a developing country is an asset.

How do I register to become a UNV volunteer?

For information on serving in countries other than your own as an international UN Volunteer, please visit our website on “How to volunteer”; . Interested candidates should register to be a UN Volunteer through our web-based registration system. Suitable candidates are selected from the register for interviews as UNV assignment become open.

Registration consists of two parts:
Part 1: You complete a short questionnaire and validate your email address.
Part 2: If you meet UNV’s minimum requirements, you receive a login and password allowing you to enter detailed information regarding your skills, education and experience.

Both steps together can take between 30 – 60 minutes depending on the length of your experience and the speed of your internet connection. Please note that applications received by email and/or postal mail cannot processed.

To fully understand the contributions UN Volunteers can make and what is required of them, please visit UNV website .

National UNV assignments are advertised and recruitment is organized locally. Please follow UNDP website for open positions.

Through the UNV Online Volunteering service, volunteers can take action for sustainable human development by supporting the activities of development organizations over the Internet. For information about how to become an online volunteer and about the UNV Online Volunteering service, visit the Online Volunteering service website.

Are UN Volunteers staff of the United Nations?

No. UN Volunteers serve for a limited period of time on specific assignments. Their conditions of service differ from those of UN staff. However, UN Volunteers and UN staff share common goals such as supporting peace and development.

Do UN Volunteers receive any financial and/or other benefits?

The key benefit of being UN Volunteer is the personal satisfaction the volunteer assignment brings to you as you make a positive impact on peace and development. However, we support you during your assignment in several ways, such as through a monthly volunteer living allowance, annual leave and medical insurance. For more details click here.

United Nations Volunteers (UNV) in Turkey

To learn more about the the United Nations Volunteers (UNV) programme, what we do, and how to get involved, please visit www.unv.org.

For more information on UNV in Turkey and volunteering towards peace and development please contact UNV field unit in Ankara

Nil Memişoğlu
UNV Turkey Country Coordinator

Tel: (312) 454 11 13

UNV Turkey
UNDP Premises
Yukarı Dikmen Mah, Turan Güneş Bulvarı, No:106, Yıldız Kule,
Çankaya, Ankara

www.unv.org / www.onlinevolunteering.org