The current study sought to understand the specific benefits of the National UN Volunteers (NUNV) Program of Mongolia, the largest in Asia, on its participants, in particular, and Mongolian society, in general. It also aimed at determining the advantages and disadvantages of the present program design. We conducted face-to-face interviews with twenty-eight former volunteers and some community focus groups seeking to understand the effects of the program on volunteers and their communities. The study found that the program has affected both individual and societal levels. The most important benefits included the volunteers’ own personal growth in terms of gaining work experience and skills, increasing their selfconfidence and self-knowledge, earned reputation and respect in the community, widened career opportunities. In addition, some changes in volunteers’ also benefited society such as developing more positive attitudes towards vulnerable groups, increased awareness on their social environment, and consequently participating more in volunteer, community and NGO activities.
Erdenechimeg, T., Bulganzaya, T., & Gantumur, R. (2005). Study on the effects of the national United Nations volunteer program in Mongolia (CSD Research Report No. 05-26). St. Louis, MO: Washington University, Center for Social Development.