A UNV’S challenging and enriching experience at IOMA UNV’S challenging and enriching experience at IOM Arabic

The United Nations Volunteers (UNV) programme provides an opportunity for volunteers to gain UN experience while helping to deliver general services, transfer skills, foster exchange of good practices and offer valuable international and national expertise to their host agencies.


I joined the UNV programme in April 2017 and, after being interviewed in May 2017, I joined IOM as a National UNV Project Coordinator in mid-June 2017. The opportunity to work for the UN Migration Agency (IOM), was something that I've always strived to attain. My professional goal is to pursue a career with the United Nations; once I received the offer of my assignment at IOM, I knew that I was set on the right path to achieve this goal.

I started my UNV assignment with high expectations of gaining valuable experience, and my expectations are met every day. At IOM, I continue to live the enriching and challenging experience of working for a UN agency. More specifically, I’m learning about project management cycles including project development, implementation and evaluation, all of which are valuable skills that I will use throughout my career. I’m also becoming more knowledgeable about migration trends and challenges, in addition to learning about gender mainstreaming within IOM programming.

At IOM, UNVs can bring to their respective departments expertise and commitment to implement programme activities, showcasing integrity, eagerness to work towards achieving the IOM Migration Governance Framework (MIGOF)’s objectives, and the UN Sustainable Development Goals, alongside contributing to Egypt’s “Vision 2030”.


The UNV Office in Egypt organized the "Enhancing the Effectiveness of Relations at Workplace for UN Volunteers in Egypt” event on August 17-19, which was funded by the Capacity Development and Learning Facility (CDLF) through the UNV Headquarters in Bonn, Germany.

This event enhanced relations effectiveness in the workplace for UN Volunteers in Egypt, and brought together national and international UNVs from across the UN agencies in Egypt. The participants discussed together how to increase their impact in the communities and host agencies and formulated recommendations which included conducting outreach campaigns to raise awareness about volunteerism.

The event gave me very useful tips on how to improve my communication skills and resolve conflicts in the workplace, as well as how to cope with stressful situations and crises in my UNV assignment. It was also a great opportunity to meet all the UNVs in Egypt and learn about the mandate and activities of their respective UN host agencies.

For the past 25 years, UN Volunteers, also known as UNVs, have supported peace processes in multiple societies and countries undergoing complex political transitions around the world. We are motivated by values such as justice, equality and freedom, as expressed in the United Nations Charter of 1945.


Events such as the one mentioned above are one of several benefits UNVs receive whilst serving their assignments. We are also entitled to training allowances, educational leave and access to online learning platforms. Overall, serving as a UNV is proving to be an enriching experience that contributes to both my professional and personal development, and I hope that my contributions can positively impact the individuals and communities I am serving during my daily work.

UN Volunteers deliver results for sustainable development and peace at the grassroots. Join us!


Written by Salma El Hosseiny