Turning every volunteer into a storyteller

UN Volunteers in Cameroon during the 2017 annual retreat

Since 1971, about 30.000 United Nations Volunteers have worked in over 160 countries worldwide with key roles in making the world a better place for everybody. They perform a unique, global mandate to promote volunteerism for development, peace and security.

In Cameroon, they work in an environment marked by a triple humanitarian crisis characterized by a continuous influx of refugees, Boko Haram attacks, and a high level of food insecurity and malnutrition in the North, East and Adamawa regions. As first responders in times of crisis, they are at the frontline to connect with people, hear their needs and act accordingly daily. As such, to communicate effectively on their actions in the field and become role models who inspire others to volunteer, one essential tool they must master is the storytelling technique.

For this purpose, a training session has been organized from the 15th to the 19th of August to enhance UNVs capacities to communicate for impact as they are a key stone in generating a collective humanitarian response.

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Gathering 50 over 54 UNVs present in Cameroon, the workshop held in Dibi, a locality next to Ngaoundere (Adamaoua region) for 3 days to equip them in developing useful skills and competences to tell a story through writing or photo/video/audio editing.  This innovative learning event was therefore a sustainable investment, not only for UNVs themselves, their host agencies or the UNV Programme, but also for the sustainable development of the people of the localities they are deployed in. “As a communication intern, I had the opportunity to work and observe volunteers and grabs their professional skills and I identified myself to them. They inspired me to become a volunteer myself” declared Sandrine at the end of the training session.

Expected results of these training sessions are to develop UNV’s capacity to strategically communicate on their experiences in the field, enhance their ability to work and build and consolidate trust with people in crisis situations. The more they tell and share stories from the field, the more they inspire people and make change