Jersey woman to spend two years in Ukraine as part of United Nations scheme

The conflict in Ukraine has been going on for more than two years. Credit: UNHCR

A woman from Jersey is being sent to Ukraine to become the island's fourth United Nations (UN) Junior Professional Officer.

Leila Osman will spend two years in Kyiv where she'll research the conflict and assess how best to spend UN funds in the country to maximise its impact.

She says: "When wars are going on all over the place and so many people need help, particularly in Ukraine, although it's not so much in the news at the moment, it is so important to keep funding going, so it's great that I get to go at this point."

Leila added: "I feel very lucky as an islander to be taking part."

She says: "To be able to aid displaced people in and around the war in Ukraine is an the opportunity that a year ago I would never have imagined would come my way.

"I’ll have the chance to receive some great training and hopefully learn from people with bags of experience in the field.

"As in any ongoing emergency, I’m expecting that the learning curve will be steep.”

It comes after Jersey Overseas Aid joined the United Nations scheme in 2021, which allows young islanders to go to different parts of the world to start a career within the UN.

The scheme has already seen two islanders employed within the organisation - both Faye Coggins and Johnny Rebours took part in the scheme and now have roles in the United Nations.

Faye is working as an Executive Assistant to the Bangladesh Representative and Johnny as a Project Development and Reporting Officer with the International Organisation for Migration (IOM) in Beirut.

Meanwhile, Rebecca Curtis is currently on the scheme and was deployed to Egpyt.

Leila says Rebecca's advice was to "keep a positive outlook and keep the resilience up, there will be challenges, but it is important to keep a positive outlook".

Deputy Carolyn Labey, the Minister for International Development says: “This programme allows us to support Islanders who want to establish a career in the humanitarian sector.

"These dedicated individuals not only help some of the most vulnerable people in the world, and build their skills while doing so, they also serve as ambassadors for our caring, outward-looking Island on the global stage”.

Jersey Overseas Aid is currently recruiting a fifth islander to become a United Nations Junior Professional Officer.

The chosen candidate will be based in Cox's Bazar in Bangladesh.