United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees
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Volunteer Opportunities

21 March 2018

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Who can apply: Refugees and beneficiaries of subsidiary protection

No. of volunteer positions: Eight (8)

Duration: 2 April until 31 December 2018. Work Hours: up to 15 hours (weekly)

Location: Nicosia, Larnaca, Limassol, Paphos

To apply, please complete this Application Form and send it together with a motivation letter to cypni[at]unhcr.org

Closing date: 26 March 2018

  • Applications without the above documents will not be considered.
  • Applications received after the closing date will not be accepted.
  • Applications will not be acknowledged. Only shortlisted candidates will be contacted for an interview.

Organizational context

The Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) is a humanitarian and non-political organization mandated by the United Nations to protect refugees, asylum-seekers and stateless persons and help them find lasting solutions to their problems.  UNHCR’s activities are based on a framework of international refugee law and standards that includes the 1951 Convention relating to the Status of Refugees and its 1967 Protocol, as well as an array of international and regional treaties on human rights and humanitarian law.  UNHCR works with States, civil society organizations, the legal community, the media and other actors to ensure the protection of refugees and promote their participation and integration in the economic, social, cultural and political life of their host society.

Strong community outreach, communication with refugees and asylum-seekers and good information flow between UNHCR and the population of concern are key factors to facilitate appropriate UNHCR action in the exercise of its mandate.   This is all the more challenging in an urban refugee situation like in Europe, where refugees and asylum-seekers are dispersed throughout the country.   One innovative working model UNHCR has adopted is a Refugee Outreach Volunteer Programme that the Organization is aiming to implement in Cyprus as one of the few pilot countries.  By partnering with qualified and trained refugee volunteers, UNHCR seeks not only to improve two-way communication and information-sharing to better understand the needs, concerns and capacities of the population, but to support in the long-term empowerment, self-reliance and self-sufficiency through community-based outreach.  

Objective

The objective of the Refugee Outreach Volunteer Programme is to enhance UNHCR’s outreach to the refugee and asylum seeker community to establish and maintain regular contact, monitor effectively their situation, understand their needs and concerns and identify the most vulnerable amongst them.  The programme also aims at promoting and supporting community engagement, resilience and active participation in the social, economic and cultural life of the host society.   

Duties and Responsibilities of Refugee Outreach Volunteers

  1. Establish informal dialogue and communication lines with refugees and asylum-seekers in order to gain a better understanding of the population and their concerns and priorities;
  2. Assist UNHCR in organizing regularly focus group discussions and awareness-raising sessions with persons of different age groups, gender and background;
  3. Assist UNHCR in identifying persons with specific needs among the refugee and asylum-seeking population through home visits, community contacts, schools, places of worship, etc.;
  4. Assist UNHCR in disseminating information on available services and their providers, on the rights and duties of refugees and asylum-seekers;
  5. Promote and support community mobilization for organizing social, cultural and recreational events among refugee and host communities;
  6. Regularly update and share information related to areas of work, utilizing agreed data collection methods to identify gaps, assess trends and developments;
  7. Contribute to the planning, monitoring and evaluation of any further community outreach activities.

Essential minimum qualifications and experience required

  • Possession of refugee status or subsidiary protection;
  • Completion of secondary education;
  • Good oral and written communication skills in the English language and mother tongue; knowledge of Greek an asset
  • Ability to conduct situation analysis and needs assessment;
  • Planning and organizing skills: ability to establish priorities and to plan work assignments, respond to competing demands and work under pressure of frequent, multiple and tight deadlines 
  • Commitment to humanitarian work and volunteerism;
  • Ability to work in a multi-cultural environment with sensitivity and respect for diversity;
  • Basic computer skills.

Compensation:  This is a volunteer, non-remunerative service.  Volunteers will be provided with a small allowance to cover their transportation costs and other work related expenses.   They will also receive non-material incentives, such as ongoing training opportunities, certificates, etc.

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