International Volunteer Day: Abu Bakarr Bangura
Abu Bakarr Bangura from Sierra Leone is a United Nations Volunteer (UNV) with the Water & Environmental Protection Unit of UNAMID’s Engineering and Environmental Protection Section. In this brief interview, Abu speaks of his professional achievements and his passion for volunteering.
Q: Tell us a bit about some of the projects you have handled at UNAMID?
A: I mostly work with water and environmental issues, so the project closest to my heart is the greening initiative we have started across Darfur. The semi-arid climate here makes conditions difficult for local communities. We, as a team, have tried to create a micro-climate; reduce UNAMID’s carbon emission footprint; and combat desertification through numerous tree planting exercises, both within the Mission as well as among local communities in all five states of this region.
Q: Why did you become a UN Volunteer?
A: Being a UN Volunteer, or indeed, any kind of volunteer, is special because volunteerism prioritizes humanity over personal gain. As a volunteer, you look at the larger picture instead of individual interests. This is what led me to become a UNV. Furthermore, being part of the UN system you meet people from all across the globe and have ready access to a host of professional practices. I am, by nature, development-oriented and the amount of ideas, innovation and learning I have amassed as a UNV is unparalleled.
Q: What would you say to people who are looking to work with the UNV programme?
A: I think the UNV programme provides people the opportunity to work collectively to achieve sustainable advantages for humanity. My message to future UNVs is—don’t feel limited in what you can achieve as a single person. For example, you have the capacity to change your environment by taking simple measures to keep your surroundings clean. When all hands join together, negative environmental changes can be easily managed. It is this teamwork that the UNV programme encapsulates across many different disciplines.