I feel one must respond to the challenge of globalization to effectively reach out to as many people as possible, that instructed my decision to work as a Volunteer. Opening me to the world’s changes through the United Nations Volunteer programme allows me to compare and contrast their culture with the arts and technologies, language, beliefs, customs, philosophies, and ways of living of other people. By observing and questioning another culture, I can understand the origin of an individual’s viewpoints and become more sensitive to the cultural needs of that individual. By continually exposing myself to other cultures, I feel I can thoroughly develop this global perspective and devote my skills and ability. I establish and maintain productive partnerships with people by gaining their trust and respect, as well as to identify needs and match them to appropriate solutions. I possess the abilities to monitor ongoing developments inside and outside the community environments to keep informed and anticipate.
I am Victor Chinweze, a Nigerian. I served in the United Nations Integrated Mission in Timor Leste from 2007 to 2011. The 2007 elections in Timor-Leste were very demanding on the UNMIT communications infrastructure and manpower. They entailed regular visits to the districts, driving through narrow, winding roads carved through the mountainous terrain of Timor-Leste carrying various bits of equipment to connect the electoral staff with the Mission’s communications network.
After the elections it became important to 'tidy-up' the entire system. I played an integral part in reassessing and optimizing the infrastructure. Again this meant continuous visits to the regions to effect system installations or recover equipment, devices and PABXs where they were less effective and put in different connections…
My work in UNMIT had been enriching culturally, professionally and exposing by my interaction with the host community. I participated in and identified with most community work and activities such as national days, carnivals, cultural/religious observations, environmental sanitation(clean-up) etc. This became facilitated by my ability to learn, speak and understand the local language(Tetum) and by so doing, developed greater trust and confidence with the host community. We all shared our hopes and aspirations, which I believe helped build trust, peace and tranquility, hence contributing in no small measure to the fulfillment of the mandate of the UN mission in Timor Leste.
Prior to my UNV deployment, I worked in the area of ICT Services, office and business equipment sales and services in private companies in Nigeria. These exposed me to working without supervision within a given time frame to fully achieve a purpose built systems installations and networking. And that culminated in my participation in the Mission in the Democratic Republic of Congo (MONUC) during 2002 as a UNV volunteer PABX System Technician.
Being a UNV volunteer has accorded me the opportunity to lend a helping hand in places where human capital is needed. I am glad I have contributed my little quota to the betterment of places in crisis. I have always strived to make a difference and my volunteer experience has offered me these great opportunities to work towards a better humanity.
I have been able to work and integrate into societies with diverse cultures and languages and have learnt the art of respect for the laws of the land and individuals, irrespective of class, gender, creed or country.
I have also worked with different professionals from different parts of the world, which called for deep understanding and respect for one another. I have earned tremendous on-the-job experience and training, thus enhancing my professionalism in the field.
Working as a volunteer has really taxed my capabilities, since targets have to be met, sometimes under tight schedules and difficult conditions. All the same it has always been a worthwhile experience to be part of the global effort towards peace and progress for all people.