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New Programme Officer arrives at UNV Viet Nam
3 September 2009

UNV Programme Officer Ruby Banez
UNV Viet Nam welcomed its new UNV Programme Officer – Team Leader Ruby Banez, who arrived in Ha Noi in late July 2009.

Ruby brings to UNV Viet Nam 20 years of extensive experience in promoting volunteerism for development. She says “Volunteerism is something ingrained in me. As early as my teenage years, I was active in mobilizing young people my age in our community. We used to do a fundraising drive every Christmas season which enabled us to distribute bags of foods and goodies to the needy.”

Ruby’s volunteer spirit was later further nurtured by the experience of working with the Philippine government volunteer coordinating agency and later with UNV. Beginning in her native Philippines, Ruby’s passion for UNV and volunteerism has taken her to Cambodia, Tanzania and now Viet Nam. Promoting the concept and practice of volunteerism has become both her professional and personal mission.

“I see it as a great privilege to be a part of UNV as it gives me the chance to contribute to the global effort of achieving peace and development. This is by providing support in the deployment and management of professional men and women who share my ideals of selfless service for the benefit of a greater mankind.”

In her most recent positions as UNV Programme Officer in Cambodia and later in Tanzania, Ruby has successfully strengthened partnerships between UNV and various UN agencies which led to the expansion of areas of international UNV volunteer technical assistance.

In Tanzania, one of four countries in Africa piloting the Delivering as One UN Reform, Ruby significantly contributed to the integration of UNV interventions in three of the UN Joint Programmes under Delivering as One, particularly in the development of the UNV support project to the UN Joint Programme in poverty reduction and sustainable livelihoods in Zanzibar.

The new UNV Programme Officer sees Viet Nam as an interesting and challenging duty station. “Interesting, as it offers the chance of further enriching my skills in cultural adaptation which I hope will happen smoothly, seeing as I’m originally from Asia, and of working with another group of UNV volunteers and forging friendship with them. Challenging too, as most locals speak only in their native language, hence there is a great need for me to somehow learn the Vietnamese language to be able to relate well with everyone.”

“I look forward to being able to make a difference in the promotion of volunteerism in Viet Nam and in effecting a better working and living environment for the UNV volunteers working in the country.”
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