The launch of the National Youth Volunteering Platform (NYVP), a new innovative tool that allows young people in Iraq to be matched to volunteer opportunities, was announced today by the Ministry of Youth and Sports in Federal Iraq, the Ministry of Culture and Youth in Kurdistan Region of Iraq, and UNICEF, in collaboration with United Nations Volunteers (UNV) programme, thanks to the support of the Government of Germany.
The National Youth Volunteering Platform will establish for the first time in Iraq a structured volunteering program and will give young people a chance to register, search and apply for volunteer activities in line with their skills and interests.
These opportunities will be provided by various partners and organizations, including private companies, non-governmental organizations, and institutions. UNICEF will manage the operationalization of the platform, with the support of the two ministries, and UNV will conduct capacity building and skills development program for youth volunteers.
"Volunteering is about giving, sharing, standing with others and supporting important issues in society in order to achieve building a better future for all. Volunteer work is one of the most vital mechanisms in achieving social, environmental, economic, sports transformation and institutional work, and young volunteers become active agents of change and equal partners to achieve local, national and international progress towards sustainable human development and global peace", said Adnan Darjal, Minister of Youth and Sports.
"This platform is a decisive step to ensure young people can engage with their communities in the most effective way possible to bring social change while also equipping them with skills that will improve their chances to access the labor market", said Paula Bulancea, OiC UNICEF Representative in Iraq.
"The National Youth Volunteering Platform opens doors for young Iraqis to engage in serving their community, contribute to achieving lasting peace and localizing SDGs. Besides, this platform aims at building youth volunteers capacities to equip them with necessary soft skills for successful assignment and which also prepares them for the post assignment period", said Ahmed Alsultan, UNV Country Coordinator.
Following the celebration on December 5 of the International Volunteering Day 2021, under the theme "Volunteer now for our common future", the platform promotes volunteering, encourages governments to support volunteering efforts and recognizes these contributions to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
This platform will target mainly Iraqi youth, boys and girls, between the ages of 15 and 24 years, including UNICEF-supported youth groups, with a focus on the most vulnerable and marginalized groups, such as youth who are not in employment, education or training (NEET), youth affected by conflict and violence, and youth with disabilities.
Furthermore, youth volunteerism largely contributes to the transition of societies by leading action that addresses challenges at the grassroots, providing an opportunity for youth to have a pivotal role to play in peacebuilding and social cohesion efforts.
UNICEF works in Iraq with the Government and other key national partners to accelerate a bold results-driven youth agenda in the country by creating an enabling environment, providing access to skills-building and engagement opportunities, as well as youth inclusion in decision-making processes.