Previous editions


October 2012


1. TIP: Do you have volunteers waiting for their certificates?
2. EXPERIENCE: Fostering food security

1. TIP: Do you have volunteers waiting for their certificates?

You can easily find this out by having a look at the list of your active volunteers in the ‘Manage Volunteers’ page of your account. If the link ‘Issue certificate’ appears in the last column on this page, it only takes you a single mouse click to create a UNV branded certificate that features the volunteer’s name, the opportunity title, as well as your organization’s name and logo (provided it has been uploaded to the organization’s profile), and which the volunteer can download from his or her account.

certificate_tipSorting the list of volunteers by using the ‘Certificate’ column will bring the names of those volunteers to the top whose certificate is ready to be issued.

The link to issue the certificate is not there although the volunteer completed the assignment? In this case either you or the volunteer (or both) have not yet provided feedback on your collaboration, which is a prerequisite for issuing the certificate.

The certificate link will appear immediately after you submitted your feedback – provided the volunteer has already provided feedback.

When you submit feedback, an automated email is sent to inform the volunteer and to remind the volunteer to submit feedback should he/she not yet have done so.

In turn, the system will notify you once the volunteer has submitted feedback, so that you know that you can proceed with issuing the certificate.

However, as these notifications happen to get caught by spam-filters or be overlooked, make sure you review your account regularly to issue any pending certificates.


2. EXPERIENCE: Fostering food security

Providing advisory services to the government of the State of São Paulo

The Chamber of Agriculture of the São Paulo State government in Brazil has tasked two online volunteers with supporting a participatory agro-ecological project in urban and peri-urban areas of the municipality Álvaro de Carvalho.

The project, which receives funds from the federal government, aims to engage around 300 beneficiary families in vegetable farming in public spaces to enhance rural development and food security. The beneficiaries will be provided with access to land, know-how of innovative agro-ecological techniques as well as agricultural equipment.

“The beneficiary’s participation is key to improving their situation on a sustained basis, and we therefore sought to pull in additional expertise in this regard,” says Hemerson Fernandes Calgaro from the government of São Paulo. “We expect the volunteers to advise us on coordination and cooperation mechanisms that ensure active, effective and lasting participation of the beneficiaries to gradually reduce their dependence on project inputs.”

Henry_SerranoThe online volunteers, Henry Serrrano Lenis and Llanquirai de Leon, bring decades of relevant experience. Henry, an agronomist from Colombia who served as a UN Volunteer in Equatorial Guinea, is particularly knowledgeable in the field of community capacity building.

kiraiLlanquirai de Leon, a retired social anthropologist from Uruguay who has practical experience with “facilitating the organization and association of men and women belonging to poor rural populations in order to improve their living conditions”, sees her role in “defining the strategy to create enthusiasm, confidence and a sense of belonging to a collective adventure.”

“The establishment of associations strengthens the smallholder farmers and allows them to mobilize their own resources, as well as to be reached by governmental initiatives. This year, for example, we started school feeding programmes in Álvaro de Carvalho, for which we purchased products from local producers, and we hope to increase the number of farmers involved”, says Hemerson.

Creating a directory for the WFP´s Centre of Excellence against Hunger

world_food_day_2012A group of sixteen online volunteers supported the World Food Programme´s Centre of Excellence against Hunger in building a directory of 1,300 media and civil society organizations with a focus on smallholder farming, education and fighting hunger,.

The Centre based in Brasilia was established a year ago in partnership with the Brazilian government and assists governments in Africa, Asia and Latin America in developing sustainable solutions against hunger.

The directory will support the newly established Centre’s aim to facilitate policy dialogue and South-South learning around school feeding, nutrition and food security programmes.paul_oconnor

Online volunteer Paul O'Connor, a 27 year old education specialist from the U.K., who had worked in Cambodia on school feeding programmes as a volunteer for VSO, says: “My task involved using the Internet to find contact details for politicians, journalists, academics, activists, NGOs and other organizations whose interests coincided with the work of the WFP´s Centre of Excellence against Hunger, and initially I focused on contacts from the United Kingdom and from Southeast Asia. Other volunteers took responsibility for other regions. Later, I was asked to collate all of the contact databases that I and other volunteers had made, to put together a single global directory of contacts, which the WFP can now use in their programmes.”