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Emma's experience as a UN Youth Volunteer

Emma Mulhern (r) with her UNFPA supervisor Phylis Munyama (l) during her time as an Irish Aid sponsored UN Youth Volunteer with the UNFPA in Zimbabwe.

Emma Mulhern discusses her experience as an Irish Aid supported UN Youth Volunteer with the UNFPA in Zimbabwe.

It only seems like yesterday that I packed my bags and jumped on a plane bound for the unknown, for Zimbabwe, as an Irish Aid supported UN Youth Volunteer. Little did I know that the year that followed, 2012, would be one of the most memorable and rewarding years for my both my professional and personal life.

I joined a vibrant and supportive UNFPA office as a Communication Officer, with a focus on Adolescent Sexual and Reproductive Health. Through this role I had the opportunity to work directly with an implementing partner, The Young People’s Network on Sexual and Reproductive Health, HIV and AIDs. Through this innovative Network I had the privilege of working with inspirational and ambitious young people, who want to make a difference for their generation and future generations in Zimbabwe.

Emma Mulhern with colleagues from the Young People’s Network during her time as an Irish Aid sponsored UN Youth Volnteer Programme in Zimbabwe. Together we created a social media campaign and Facebook page to raise awareness on sexual and reproductive health issues, such as teenage pregnancy prevention, HIV/AIDS, cancer and how to use a condom correctly.  Additionally I travelled around Zimbabwe with the Young People’s Network and helped them to provide training on using social media to 1,000 young people. This forum gives young people in Zimbabwe and the region a space to access information, to ask questions and discuss issues with their peers.

This is just a snapshot of some of the work I had the opportunity to do in Zimbabwe, aided by an amazing supervisor and some brilliant people I met along the way. Working as a UN Youth Volunteer cemented my desire to work in the development sector and has given me the stepping stone I needed to progress my career. If you’re thinking about applying, my advice would be to stop thinking and to apply, you won’t regret it... I certainly don’t.

Opportunities as UN Youth Volunteer

Find out more about the Irish Aid sponsored UN Youth Volunteer Positions