In May 2009, Cyclone Aila released its fury in the state of West Bengal and in its trail left behind untold misery. Thousands lost their dear ones, homes and means of livelihood in a matter of days. A health calamity was waiting to happen as dead cattle and stagnant water threatened to become the nesting house of epidemics. This situation needed immediate action.


Hundreds from all over the world answered the call of His Holiness 1008 Sri Soham Baba and under His inspiring guidance, helped to avert a major humanitarian disaster.


Soham Baba Mission Cyclone Aila 2009 5

Relief teams set up medical camps and temporary shelters. His Holiness guided the setting up of teams that would sanitize large areas of land (with bleaching powder) so as to prevent epidemics. As we arrived we found desperate people waiting in the rivers waving, hoping that we would come in their direction.


The volunteers - 285 over a period of one month - were assigned to several teams. One team stayed at the base camp where the mobile hospital tents were situated. Doctors from de West worked side by side with a medical team from India. Hundreds of men, women and children suffering from choleric diarrhea and fever were brought in by their families.


Most of them had travelled for days, because the The Soham Baba Mission camp was the only medical camp in that area. We had a supply of first class medication that made sure that all of our patients fully recovered from cholera.


Another team worked very hard to distribute all the goods. We donated tons of rice, thousands of liters of healthy fresh water and food like pumpkins and potatoes. The team travelled for days to reach remote areas where people were desperately waiting for help. Most people had not had clean drinking water for days. We felt that it was important to distribute food and water in a personal way.


Soham Baba Mission Cyclone Aila 2009 6

Handing over the bottles of water in person and looking people in the eye made us aware of the importance of living for others. Other teams helped to sanitize large areas of land with bleaching powder to prevent epidemics. They also joined the villagers in rebuilding the dams and roads.

The Soham Baba Mission invites people from all over the world to join in these kinds of rescue missions and medical aid projects. This volunteer work is very rewarding. Our organization fully depends on volunteers who are willing to invest some time for the greater good.

Preparation to respond to emergencies and disasters in Bolivia Risk profile in Bolivia Due to its unique geographical location, variety of climates and multiple ecosystems, Bolivia is regularly exposed to a wide array of natural weather- related and geological hazards, such as floods, droughts, landslides, hail and frost. Like other Andean countries, Bolivia is prone to the El Niño and La Niña (ENSO) effects, which often result in damages and losses in a portion of the country. Climate change effects may need to be added to the current risk profile, as it can result in an increased frequency and magnitude of natural disasters. Consequently, the territory, its people and productive activities are regularly affected by emergencies and natural disasters, leading to greater economic losses and human suffering among most vulnerable populations. Our project Our project "Strengthening the Risk Reduction and Emergency/Disaster National System (SISRADE) in preparedness and response", co- executed by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), is aimed at strengthening national capacities regarding decision- making and action-taking processes for humanitarian preparation and response. The project’s strategy is translated into two fields of action: a) The establishment and strengthening of the Humanitarian Country Team (HCT) and b) Strengthening the national institutional capacities of the Civil Defense, Departmental Emergency Operation Centers (EOC) as well as some sectoral working tables. The Volunteers Besides the coordinator and two technical consultants, the project team is mainly comprised of UNV’s – 5 in total- who offer support in different areas of expertise and regions, working also as liaisons with State authorities and the wider humanitarian community. One of the volunteers is responsible for supporting the creation, promotion and strengthening of the HCT by connecting UN and non- UN humanitarian actors (humanitarian NGO’s and the Red Cross Movement) and by supporting the subscription of basic working and coordination agreements and standard operating procedures. Other four volunteers are in charge of assisting capacity-building processes among four EOC’s as well as among the health, education, food security and nutrition and WASH sectoral working tables. Effective emergency preparation and response strengthening processes require a time and determination in order to be sustainable. In that context our aim is to generate participatory, solid scenarios which would allow for constant improvement of national capacities. We firmly believe that volunteerism does not only inspire international community actors but, mainly because of its intrinsic principles of solidarity, trust and support is being increasingly assimilated and esteemed at national and local State levels.
In sum, the UNV team supports: • The generation of preparedness and response local capacities
• The strengthening of risk management and disaster emergency response.

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The EzyStove - a simple cookstove developed as part of the UNV-supported Community Based Adaptation (CBA) programme in Namibia - is a fuel-efficient, easy-to-use and environmentally friendly stove designed for poor rural households dependent on burning wood or paper on open fires for their cooking and heating.


The easily assembled stove consists of a fire chamber fitted into a metal frame. Because the chamber concentrates the fire’s heat, it reduces wood fuel consumption by two thirds to heat food or liquid.

One and a half kilograms of wood can produce the same heat as 6 kg of wood on an open fire. Tests also proved that the stove can boil two litres of water within 11 minutes whereas it takes up to 30 minutes to do this on an open fire.


Namibia UNV 2011

The design also produces between 60 and 80 per cent less emissions and a fraction of the wood smoke. As a result, the stove can be used indoors.

Cutting trees for fuel in Namibia is resulting in alarming amounts of deforestation, causing extensive desertification. Widespread use of the new stove will markedly reduce both greenhouse gas emissions and deforestation.


Originally designed by university students in Finland, the EzyStove came to Namibia through Creative Entrepreneurs Solutions (CES), the NGO implementing the CBA programme in Namibia. A group of Namibian women tested and tweaked the stove’s design and received backing from CES and the Swedish company Ergonomidesign to incorporate their ideas into the updated product.


The CBA programme in Namibia promotes self-help groups to increase the resilience of communities to the effects of climate change. There are CBA programmes in nine other pilot countries.  Delivered through the Global Environmental Facility (GEF)-Small Grants Programme (SGP), the CBA programme is a five-year UNDP global initiative, largely funded by GEF along with other donors, such as the Governments of Japan and Switzerland, and AusAID.


In seven out of nine CBA countries, UNV partners with UNDP to enhance community mobilization, facilitate volunteers’ contributions and ensure inclusive participation in the project, as well as to facilitate capacity building of partner NGOs and community-based organizations (CBOs).


The CBA programme in Namibia strives to create an enabling environment that encourages self-help groups of men and women to form and generate collaborative community initiatives on a voluntary basis and across the various sectors of the community. The members share the same experiences of the socio-economic challenges of poverty and the same common purpose to mitigate and adapt to climate change.


The stove comes from the factory as flat sheet metal panels, a few bent steel rods and some rivets.  It can be easily assembled in a small local workshop without advanced tools.

CES has donated 150 EzyStoves assembled in its Ondangwa workshop to communities around Namibia to make the product known and get communities to commit to producing the stove independently. The stove costs about 150 Namibian Dollars (N$)(<20US$) to produce, but will be sold at a subsidized price of 30N$ (<4US$) to make it an affordable alternative even to the poorest households.


The stove’s local manufacture will create new jobs and encourage entrepreneurship.

Alors qu’environ 1,4 milliards d’individus n’ont pas accès à l’électricité et dans le contexte actuel du changement climatique, il est nécessaire de garantir l’accès et assurer la fiabilité des systèmes d’approvisionnement énergétique sans impact sur l’environnement. Catherine Collin, ingénieur du vivant et Volontaire des Nations Unies auprès de l'UNESCO donne un aperçu des activités de renforcement des capacités dans le domaine des énergies renouvelables au Mali.


Mali UNV 2011

Pour satisfaire la demande énergétique sans cesse croissante, le recours aux énergies renouvelables présente des avantages considérables: contribution au développement économique et social, fourniture plus stable en énergie, atténuation du changement climatique et réduction des impacts négatifs sur la santé et sur l’environnement.


Afin d’appuyer les pays africains à lever les contraintes limitant l’expansion de la valorisation des énergies renouvelables au service du développement durable et de l’élimination de la pauvreté et, en particulier, à travers le renforcement des capacités des ressources humaines, le Bureau multi-pays de l’UNESCO à Bamako s’est engagé à organiser, en collaboration avec ses partenaires, des formations annuelles sur l’électrification solaire dans les zones rurales et isolées.


Ainsi, les Première et Deuxième Ecoles Régionales d’Energie Solaire pour les Pays Francophones d’Afrique ont été organisées en 2009 et 2010. Au total, 44 participants en provenance du Mali, du Niger, du Burkina Faso, de la Côte d’Ivoire, du Sénégal, de la Guinée-Bissau et du Togo ont été formés sur la théorie sur l’énergie solaire et la conversion solaire photovoltaïque. La troisième édition de l’Ecole d’Energie Solaire pour les Pays Francophones d’Afrique a été organisée par le Bureau Multi-pays de l’UNESCO à Bamako du 28 novembre au 7 décembre 2011. Considérant les recommandations émises lors des deux premières éditions, la durée de la formation est allongée afin de mettre l’accent sur les aspects pratiques, notamment la réalisation d’exercices de dimensionnement de systèmes photovoltaïques et la visite d’installations de grande envergure.


Bien que le potentiel technique pour l’énergie solaire soit le plus grand parmi toutes les sources d’énergies renouvelables, les notions relatives à l’énergie éolienne et à la bioénergie seront également présentées lors de cette édition 2011 et 3 modules de formation sur l’efficacité énergétique sont prévus. L’Ecole visera également à aider les Etats au déploiement global des énergies renouvelables en abordant les aspects relatifs au coût et au montage de projets ainsi qu’à la recherche de financement.

As someone who has only just decided to seriously start doing her bit to help whatever is left of our bio-diversity on this planet I am overcome helplessness and a feeling of hope and a set of a whole other emotions in one go. Its a shame in a country like India that boasts of such a diversity in the living species that only handful of people are aware of the problems of the apocalyptic kind that has had a strong hold on our community and environment today. As a beginner I can only hope to raise more awareness amongst the community and help on a local level first and then a larger scale. But as daunting as all the uncertainties at the beginning of a good cause I like many other require the support of the community and the government to keep going. Here's hoping for success of to all those striving for a environmentally and socially beneficial change. Keep striving, keep hoping and keep the planet going!

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Hello to whole volunteers who chare about earth's future!
I want to share my story about what coming in my hometown called Bucheon.
I have been lived in little city at South Korea. As you know, Korea has 4 seasons (Spring, summer, autumn, winter). However it is changing now.
Because of climate change. I heard about Southern Asia is suffered from climate change, but that is not only abroad but also Korea. Now Korea has suffered from same thing. It is become more hotter and hotter, so I can feel only 3 seasons in Korea. ( summer , sub- atumn and harsh winter.) There is no Spring and autumn. The flower which grow up in spring has died because unexpected hot wheather.
I think this Rio +20 is very important to our planet not only earth but also my hometown .
I want to see a flower which grow in spring and I want to feel the breeze which happen in autumn.
It is time to rise up to make it right on envrionmental action for our hometown.

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Volunteering to help Canadian nurses understand the importance of environmental health in protecting the health of patients, families and communities through the Canadian Nurses for Health & the Environment (

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Rufisque est une des plus vieilles communes du Sénégal et était l'une des cités coloniales les plus propres durant la colonisation. Après l'indépendance du Sénégal en 1960 Rufisque est devenue la ville la plus sale du pays sous l'administration des élus sénégalais alors nous avons créer une association de sauvegarde du patrimoine architectural et culturel pour émanciper les populations et créer entre elles des liens d'entente et de solidarité pour gérer l'environnement, veiller a rendre propre la ville et avoir un comportement citoyen .
Nous avons aussi créer un conseil de quartier qui a pour mission d'œuvrer au développement du quartier qui appréhendera notamment les questions relatives au cadre de vie a l'assainissement l'éducation la santé aux loisirs et a la gestion des infrastructures a vocation communautaire.

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Protecting the environment is empowering and building the capacity of local communities to manage their natural resources. In a project on karst area management, a local community in the Philippines was guided on how to properly care for caves, especially if they are planning to utilize these caves for ecotourism.

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Nom: Nyanda yamo emile (Volontaire au Cameroun)
Pour moi, Le volontariat désigne le statut juridique sous lequel des personnes peuvent s'engager dans un travail, dans l'intérêt collectif, le plus souvent à vocation humanitaire, sociale, sportive, culturelle. En quelque sort de favoriser les initiatives de solidarité internationale. C’est ainsi qu’en tan que volontaire j’interviens sur plusieurs points : la santé, l’éducation, les droits de l’homme, en passant par l’environnement ou encore les activités génératrices de revenu. Ma mission est Accompagner, laisse vraiment le pouvoir de décisions à ses partenaires du sud, participant ainsi directement au rééquilibrage des relations Nord Sud. Apprendre, choisissent de s’immerger dans la culture du milieu, et adoptent une démarche de compréhension, d’observation, d’écoute, de ressenti, pour s’étonner et changer. S’adapter, être le partenaire local s’entendent pour répondre de façon pertinente aux envies et besoins de chacun. Agir, Concrètement pour un vrai changement, de façon durable, via un transfert de compétences.
A l’examen d’une situation environnementale, sociale et économique du monde qui regorge d’importantes ressources naturelles et ses multiples zones écologiques renferment une diversité d’espèces, tant végétales qu’animales sans cesse dégradante, ma amener de mener des actions volontaire en vue de la protection environnementale et la gestion durable des ressources naturelles. Je me suis proposé de mobiliser la jeunesse autour d’une vaste caravane sur la problématique de l’environnement. Ainsi, la région de l’Extrême–Nord a été retenu cadrant avec le temps des congés afin d’une mobilisation accrue des jeunes. Cette activité visant la participation à l’opération Sahel vert, sous tendu par la vulgarisation des énergies propre.
Les objectifs de la caravane étaient sur le renforcement des capacités, la promotion du volontariat bref d’accroitre la participation et l’implication effectives de la jeunesse dans les divers changements qui s’opèrent, de promouvoir les talents, idées et initiative des jeunes pour un développement durable. De ce fait, la mobilisation, l’animation, la sensibilisation, le reboisement, les visites, table rondes, expositions, la rencontre avec les autorités locales et la conférence de presse, ont été des principales activités qui ont agrémenté la caravane durant les deux (2) jours dans la région. Les femmes, les enfants, les braconniers, en restent les principaux bénéficières qui peuvent être directs ou indirects. L’initiative à permis aux populations bénéficières de comprendre l’importance du reboisement, l’utilisation des marmite solaire, des plaque solaire l’utilisation des foyers améliorer et bien d’autres.
En effet, dans le cadre du volontariat, mon plus grand désir est d’accroître la participation et l’implication effective de la population dans les divers changements qui s’opèrent au niveau local, national et international, de promouvoir des talents, idées et initiatives des population, de susciter en eux le sens de la pro activité, de la créativité, de l’accompagnement et l’appui dans les processus de mise en œuvre de la politique de la nation a travers sa force de proposition et les actions concrètes de terrain c’est ainsi qua la prise de conscience de tout un chacun pour le développement durable, reste la clé du succès pour atteindre les objectifs du millénaire. C’est pourquoi, il est important que la jeunesse qui est le fer de lance des nations doit s’implique d’avantage et activement dans les activités du développement durable pour un futur monde meilleur.

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