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Inspiring Colleagues in UN Viet Nam

Author: Ann Marie Murphy, UNV Sexual and Reproductive Health Officer, UNFPA Viet Nam


Photo: UN Volunteers Viet Nam

Being a UN Volunteer (UNV) in Viet Nam isn’t simply about doing your everyday job and tasks well. It’s that and also coming up with new initiatives and ideas with the goal of doing things a little differently than before in order to make things better and also inspire others. After all, that’s why the UNV logo is ‘We are inspiration in action’.

A recent initiative by UNVs in the country office - Inspirational Talks - turned into a very successful event. The aim was to add what could be described as a bit of ‘spice’ to the normal work day. The recipe was simple - a number of inspirational talks given by invited UN staff on anything they felt passionate about mixed with a combination of tea and delicious snacks, and served to all staff to enjoy.

On 30 January 2018 colleagues gathered on the ground floor of the UN building and UNFPA Representative, Astrid Bant opened the afternoon event with a beautiful talk on ‘The role of time and patience in the development of knowledge’. Staff were truly amazed to learn of her experiences living among Amazonian headhunters. She demonstrated from her own life and experience that it’s not always important to have a plan and to map everything out. Positive outcomes can often come from living in a way that is true to yourself and your values and not worrying about what’s coming next. She illustrated the importance of patience by sharing the story of one of her most significant pieces of anthropological research which would not have been achieved without both the patience of careful observation and living in one single place for a long period of time.

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Applying Things Learnt in the Community - Capacity Building Workshop on DRR and Project Management
Capacity Building Workshop on Disaster Risk Reduction and Project Management in Da Nang

Changes happen when we start taking small steps. Through the workshop on disaster risk management and project management, held on 14th and 15th November, we as UN Volunteers interacted with young people in Da Nang and share our knowledge and experience to them .We understand that what matters is not how much we have delivered, but how much the participants have gained from it.

“We can protect our members and teach the students in remote areas on the emergency skills we have learnt” Tran Gia Bao, volunteering in the CLB KẾT NỐI SỨC TRẺ (Connecting the Youth Club), shared to UN Volunteers. Previously, he and his team members have been to a rural district in Quang Nam Province to build a fresh water system for the local students. He sees the need to spread what he has learnt from the workshop about the appropriate responses to disasters to people in his community, who are under high-risk and lack access to information.


Workshop in Da Nang: participants present results

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