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news | October 09, 2017 | Cambodia, Haiti, Kyrgyzstan, Lebanon, Senegal, Tajikistan |

ACTED and EUAV: Stories of motivation, mobilisation and solidarity beyond borders!

They care, they act: Five new European Union Aid Volunteers (EUAV) have been deployed this autumn with ACTED’s humanitarian missions worldwide!

What’s the EUAV initiative all about?

The European Union Aid Volunteers programme is an initiative of the European Commission offering young European citizens the opportunity to contribute to a humanitarian mission in the field by joining a partner NGO.

ACTED is a certified partner organisation since 2015, with eight EUAVs currently deployed in Cambodia, Haiti, Kyrgyzstan, Lebanon, Senegal and Tajikistan.

From the inside: Why joining the EUAV initiative?

By joining a humanitarian mission in the field, EU Aid Volunteers can strengthen the humanitarian response by bringing valuable technical skills and contribute to supporting the most vulnerable, while learning about the humanitarian work in the field.

Through their eyes: Their experience as ACTED EUAVs

Alice, 23 years old – ACTED EU Aid Volunteer in charge of project development in Cambodia

Alice joined the ACTED Cambodia team in September 2017, where she is helping to ensure efficient coordination with donors and partners to best respond to populations’ needs in the country. “I decided to join the EUAV adventure to learn from experienced humanitarian stakeholders and to work in the field with local partners.”

She works on projects with a focus on Community Learning Centres set up by ACTED to promote free literacy, numeracy and vocational training opportunities for young Cambodians in poor rural areas, in addition to tackling sexual and gender-based violence against entertainment workers in the capital Phnom Penh. Wondering about her daily tasks at work? She writes projects proposals, conducts research on wide ranging issues, meets the different stakeholders of the projects and ensures the follow up of ongoing projects!

Eléonore, 25 years old – ACTED EU Aid Volunteer in charge of integrated natural resources management

With a background in water management, Eléonore joined the ACTED Tajikistan mission in September 2017 where she will work on a key sector of intervention for ACTED in the region: integrated and sustainable management of natural resources.

With more than 900 rivers longer than 10 kilometers, Tajikistan is particularly exposed to water-related disasters that significantly affect lives and peoples livelihoods. Eléonore will play an active role in implementing disaster risk reduction activities, developing sustainable watershed management approaches, such as soil and water conservation measures or preparedness activities, and promoting resilient and environmentally sustainable processes.

She will also hold a strong focus on governance, one of the main pillars of natural resource management. She is particularly motivated by facilitating decision-making among watershed users and other stakeholders as their ownership of the natural resources management is the key to sustainability. She joined the EUAV programme because she felt it was a chance for her to participate to this kind of catalyst effect on communities' actions that the humanitarian sector can have, whilst still preparing the ground for long-term effects.

Emeline, 25 years old – ACTED EU Aid Volunteer in charge of agriculture and rural development in Haiti

“Having recently graduated in agricultural engineering, it's a privilege to work for ACTED as an EU Aid Volunteer. I am looking forward to using my skills to solve multi-faceted problems which have wide-ranging repercussions for the local communities in terms of resilience through climate-smart agriculture.”

Since she joined the ACTED Haiti team in December 2016, Emeline has been actively participating in the implementation of a project to improve agricultural resilience to climate change, and has been playing a key role in supporting cocoa farmers affected by Hurricane Matthew in 2016, as part of ACTED’s global emergency response. Her background in agriculture is a key added value to best help meet the objectives of ACTED’s programmes!

Estelle, 25 years old – ACTED EU Aid Volunteer in charge of agriculture and rural development in Kyrgyzstan

“Thanks to the EUAV initiative, I am looking forward to contributing to humanitarian activities while learning a lot about NGOs in the field.”

Estelle just graduated in agronomy and environmental engineering. Usually, these studies lead to work in farmers’ unions, regional entities or chambers of agriculture. At first sight, the humanitarian sector doesn’t appear to be the logical consequence of such studies. “I was looking for an opportunity to work abroad with an NGO as I wanted to put my knowledge and skills at the service of those in need. Therefore, the EU Aid Volunteers initiative was the perfect opportunity! It enables me to work in a sector that means a lot to me: sustainable agriculture at the service of populations.”

In a country that has a predominantly rural agricultural economy, ACTED commits to support sustainable growth through capacity building in innovative climate-smart agricultural methods, rehabilitation of local infrastructures and support to on-farm value chains. With her background in agronomy and environmental engineering, Estelle will play an active role in strengthening ACTED’s sustainable development programmes.

Jessica, 25 years old – ACTED EU Aid Volunteer in charge of communication

“I chose the EUAV initiative because I want to be involved on the ground with projects and get to learn more about how international NGOs operate in the field.”

Since she joined the ACTED Cambodia team in September 2017, Jessica has been working in close collaboration with the teams to develop and implement an efficient communication strategy to best serve ACTED’s mission of supporting the most vulnerable. She will play a key role in developing tools and communication documents (social media, brochures, reports, etc) to improve communication with beneficiaries, partners and donors, and to increase the visibility of ACTED Cambodia’s exciting projects! Click here to read her article about ACTED's Community Learning Centres in the Prey Veng Province of Cambodia.

Juliette, 23 years old – ACTED EU Aid Volunteer in charge of programme operations in France and Lebanon

Juliette has first been supporting ACTED finance and logistics department in the headquarters office in Paris, before joining the ACTED Lebanon team. “During my time working with finance, I have been involved in verifying project budgets as well as using other reporting tools to monitor the expenses made on projects and following the installments received from donors. I also got involved in logistics, working on procurement plans, waivers, international call for tenders and contracts with suppliers. I also review reporting documents regarding the management of assets, stocks, the vehicles, communications and IT.”

For her, EUAV means solidarity and capacity building. “As an EU Aid Volunteer I would like to be able to share my working experience in the humanitarian and development sector, and hopefully inspire other young Europeans to do the same!”

Laura, 25 years old – ACTED EU Aid Volunteer in charge of research and project development in Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan

“I am so delighted to be part of the EUAV initiative. Through this deployment, I intend to acquire new skills and to learn how projects are carried out at field level. I’ve been here for one month now and I am already getting familiar with both Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan’s challenges and potential. It’s extremely interesting and I’m so glad to the part of all this. I already acquired basic understanding of how an NGO’s field mission is working and what the project development team is responsible for. I’m looking forward to the 11 remaining months!”

Laura joined the ACTED Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan team in September 2017 and already actively participates in supporting ACTED’s programmes in both countries. She is mainly working on projects aiming at co-constructing effective governance, while also helping on projects related to promoting inclusive and sustainable growth. Since September, Laura has been involved in the writing of the final reports of ACTED’s latest project on strengthening the Rule of Law and improving access to justice in Kyrgyzstan. She is also carrying out research on radicalization and violent extremism in Kyrgyzstan as well as gender-based violence and gender equality in Uzbekistan. In this regard, she is looking at how ACTED could leverage its knowledge and expertise to contribute to joint efforts on the ground. Finally, Laura is also meeting with other NGOs and local organizations to find potential areas of collaborations. Recently, she met with local partners to discuss issues related to the informal justice system in Kyrgyzstan and to the protection of the rights of people with disabilities in both Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan. Next to the research and project development facet of her work, Laura is also working on communication activites. She promotes ACTED’s work in Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan by posting on social media and writing communication articles.

Marie-Elodie, 26 years old – ACTED EU Aid Volunteer in charge of food security in Senegal

Since starting her mission with ACTED Senegal in December 2016, Marie-Elodie has been involved in food security projects. She notably manages a food and nutrition project to tackle food insecurity in the Matam region.

“ACTED’s project I am working on in Senegal aims at strengthening nutrition and food security of the vulnerable households of the Matam region through activities like rain-fed and garden agriculture improvement, technical and financial assistance to community initiatives, awareness raising on best hygiene and nutrition practices and support to local governance support. As a project manager, my main missions consist in following our partners’ activities on the field, organizing the action plan with them and budgeting it. I also regularly meet the stakeholders linked to our project to coordinate our actions and actively participate in meetings about nutrition and food security. As an EU Aid Volunteer, I am very happy to have the opportunity to manage such an interesting project with ACTED. It is not easy every day and it is very challenging, however I can rely on the team around me.. Now that the project is launched, let’s begin the action to value the local resources.”

“I have always wanted to work in the food security sector. The EUAV initiative represents a great opportunity for me to be fully involved in an enthralling project!”

 

Follow them on the ACTED EUAV Facebook page and stay tuned: More updates about the ACTED EAUV programme to come soon!

 

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