UN Volunteers from Indonesia support UN Peacekeeping Missions around the world
Celebrating the International Day of UN Peacekeepers on 29 May 2017, UN Volunteers (UNV) Indonesia interviewed four international UN Volunteers from Indonesia who have completed their assignments or are still on mission. Their inspiring stories shared through facebook, with photos from the field, garnered much interest from the public over the four weeks in May. (https://www.facebook.com/UNVIndonesia/)
All the four UN Volunteers interviewed, Messrs. Arie Wijanarko, Dian Prihatna, Akbar Nugroho and Donny Wahyuaji Maulana, were deployed for logistical support such as transport and movement, aviation safety and air transport, which are crucial for the effective implementation of the tasks in peacekeeping missions.
Serving as a UN Volunteer two times in a row for four years, Mr. Arie Wijanarko was the backbone of the air terminal and operational planning in the United Nations Organization Stabilization Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUSCO). Although living and working in a new country was challenging, he was motivated to stay calm and keep serving through solidarity and support from colleagues. When most of the UN personnel’s houses, including Mr. Arie’s, were destroyed and looted during the riots in 2012, he received a call from a fellow Indonesian colleague who was serving in another peacekeeping mission thousands of miles away. Despite having not met each other before, he truly appreciated the heartfelt caring from the colleague. Now working for the International Organization for Migration (IOM) in Indonesia, Mr. Arie continues his mission to assist people in need on the ground.
Mr. Dian Prihatna is also in his second UNV assignment in MONUSCO, first as Air Operations Assistant and now as Aviation Technical Compliance staff. His tasks are mainly driving forklifts and monitoring utilization of MONUSCO’s air assets.
Messrs. Akbar Nugroho and Donny Wahyuaji Maulana have been serving as UN Volunteers in the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) and MONUSCO respectively. Adjusting to different environments was not always easy. However, they turned such challenges into enriching opportunities for both themselves and national partners. It was difficult for Mr. Akbar to adjust to the cold winter of as low as 12°C and heavy snow in Afghanistan. On the other hand, heartwarming moments were when his contributions were appreciated. Such moments included during capacity building training for local colleagues with his knowledge gained through his previous assignment on air safety.
For Mr. Donny, the mandate and norms of operations in the UN peacekeeping mission seemed much broader and more complex than in the private sector where he used to work. However, while he was acting as an officer-in-charge during the airport attack by a rebel group, he learned to be prepared for the worst and hold the utmost responsibility to safeguard the entire movement control and his colleagues.
In such highly complex circumstances, mission accomplishments would not be possible without smooth logistical and administrative assistance which, in many cases, is provided by the proud UN Volunteers on the ground.
The International Day of UN Peacekeepers is observed annually on 29 May to honour the memory of those peacekeepers who have lost their lives in the line of duty, and to pay tribute to those who continue to serve as peacekeepers around the world.
As of April 2017, there were 1,599 UN Volunteers from around the world serving in peacekeeping missions and currently, eight of them from Indonesia are serving in three different peacekeeping missions.
For more information about UNV and to find out how to become a UN Volunteer, please visit the global website www.unv.org; UNV Indonesia webpage through http://www.id.undp.org; UNVIndonesia (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram).