Shaghayegh Shafieyan: A Volunteer with a Purpose
DDR Support Officer, Ms. Shaghayegh Shafieyan has been serving with UNAMID as a United Nations Volunteer for the past four years. She arrived in Darfur from her country the Islamic Republic of Iran in August 2010.
United Nations Volunteers bring to their assignments a unique combination of professional-level skills and experience, along with a spirit of volunteerism which encourages community empowerment and local capacity development.
Her primary role within the Mission’s DDR Section is to handle budget planning. Ms. Shafieyan deals with the financial aspects of DDR’s Community-based Labour-intensive Projects (CLIPs) programme. Additionally, she also works toward providing procurement support to DDR activities in North Darfur.
Another aspect of Ms. Shafieyan’s profile is liaising with implementing partners on various CLIP projects, including those on vocational trainings and construction. As part of this, she works in coordination with other UN agencies and nongovernmental organizations in the region to identify suitable implementing partners to deliver particular CLIPs.
Prior to her deployment to UNAMID, Ms. Shafieyan worked with the World Health Organization in 2001 during the crisis in Afghanistan. During this stint, she was based Herat and facilitated customs clearance of humanitarian cargo earmarked for Afghanistan.
Ms. Shafieyan says she enjoys her work and is inspired by what she does in spite of the challenging work environment in Darfur. She credits her colleagues and the Chief of the DDR Section for their continuous support.
When asked about what she enjoys the most about her career, she reveals that the opportunities for interacting with the local communities, especially women and children, while conducting assessment exercises, motivates her immensely. “Seeing happiness reflected on their faces and their enthusiasm for UNAMID’s contribution to their communities, is a real delight,” she says.
UNAMID’s DDR Section won the UN 21 Award this year for the CLIPs programme that Ms. Shafieyan has been associated with. “It is remarkable and inspirational to see the work we do is appreciated. It is an honour and also very encouraging for me, personally, to continue volunteering here for the people of Darfur,” she states.
[Written by Sharon Lukunka.]