Kaz'O'zah and UN Volunteers: working together for Burundian youth
April 15, 2017
For the next year, Kaz’O’zah Keza is partnering with the UN Volunteers agency to help support volunteerism and Burundian youth.
UN Volunteers is running a year-long program to build the skills of young Burundian professionals, by giving them the opportunity to work for 12 months in Burundian organizations. The project aims to contribute to peace dividends in conflict affected communities by providing youth from varying social, economic and political backgrounds with an opportunity to interact, learn and gain livelihoods.
The program has mobilized 100 young women and men in host structures. Kaz’O’zah is thrilled to be one of them.
As well as gaining useful work experience, livelihoods and confidence in their own abilities – the volunteers in the program have formed a corps where they meet once a month to exchange ideas and challenges they face as they plan their future, fostering a sense of belonging and civic engagement. The corps participates in capacity building and leadership courses provided by UN Volunteers to build their soft skills, building resilience for their careers ahead.
Thierry Nkengurutse is the young UN Volunteer working with Kaz’O’zah Keza. For the next year or so he will be assisting the project coordinator on Keza’s various projects to train and support Burundian and Ugandan artisans. He will provide important translation support – being fluent in Kirundi, French and English.
Before Thierry started the UNV program, he worked part time with local associations in various administrative roles. But he felt he was not learning new skills or developing his capacity for a professional life.
‘’I did not know what direction I was going in, but already through my volunteer work with Kaz’O’zah I have learnt how to start, monitor and evaluate a project. I have also learnt how to work in a team. I feel more organised and I am growing in time management which is helping me to achieve more in my day to day life. My English has improved so much because I work in an Anglophone system.’’
Being part of this program gives Thierry two important sources of learning – the leadership and soft skills he learns through his UN training, and concrete and specific on-the-job skills from working closely on Kaz’O’zah’s poverty alleviation and job creation projects.
‘’I am learning a lot from the UN meetings and also by volunteering with Kaz’O’zah. I would encourage other young people who are jobless to get involved in volunteer work. This is a good way to build their skills instead of sitting home doing nothing. It is also a way of contributing to our communities.’’
Kaz’O’zah Keza truly believes in the ideas behind UNV’s program. The promotion of volunteerism in society, particularly for out of work youth, not only builds their skills, but instils within the community a sense of inclusiveness and support that is essential for the sustainable development we should all hope for in the future.
For more information on the UNV program head here or check out their Facebook.