UN Volunteer Shelter Coordinator with IOM Hamma Abdoulaye (centre) conducts shelter construction training in Tahoua, Niger.©IOM, 2019

Volunteer Voices of Inclusion from IOM Niger

Volunteering can facilitate access to equal opportunities. In Niger, Hamma Abdoulaye, a former refugee, now serves with the International Organization for Migration (IOM) as a national UN Volunteer Shelter Coordinator. Hamma shares his experience as a UN Volunteer on the occasion of International Volunteer Day 2019.

As part of his assignment, Hamma supports the implementation of humanitarian assistance activities to ensure compliance with relevant IOM donor policies and procedures. He has had an impact through the delivery of technical guidance and compliance monitoring to project partners, technical advisors, IOM personnel and implementing entities.

Hamma also liaises with the programme manager to coordinate a working group on shelter in the regions of Tahoua and Tillabéry.

Volunteering has allowed me to open up to the outside world, while giving me the opportunity to discover a family of like-minded people. To me, volunteering brings new skills and builds capacity and teamwork. --Hamma Abdoulaye, UN Volunteer Shelter Coordinator with IOM, Niger

Hamma believes that the theme of this year’s International Volunteer Day “Volunteer for an Inclusive Future” is relevant to his work. IVD is a time when volunteers celebrate the reduction of inequalities and promote working together to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in their localities.

"International Volunteer Day 2019 is about raising public and government awareness of the contributions of volunteering," Hamma says. "The vision is to produce a progressive and systemic model of inclusion at work in which volunteers reach their full potential." 

Peter Kiov is Hamma’s supervisor and Head of Emergency Response at IOM Niger. He believes that UN Volunteers are eager to learn through practice, but also willing to put to practice the knowledge they have acquired through education and other trainings. He shares, "Hamma is a valuable asset, because he was once part of the affected community IOM is assisting, hence he knows the difficulties and needs of the population."

The fact that Hamma is a former refugee is an added advantage for the acceptance of IOM and its activities in the region. This is also motivational for the affected population, as it demonstrates that being displaced doesn’t necessarily limit one’s potential to achieve one's goals in life. --Peter Kiov, Head of Emergency Response at IOM, Niger