First Person

First Person: Yemen ‘cannot even afford to worry about the coronavirus’

In Yemen, whose people are living through a long-running, brutal war, which has led to the world’s worst humanitarian crisis, COVID-19 is far from being a top priority, says the top UN refugee agency (UNHCR) official in the Arabian Peninsula country.

First Person: The Colombian youth fighting for digital education for all

Tania Rosas, a Colombian education advocate from an afro-indigenous background, is hoping to improve learning outcomes for disadvantaged communities in her country, with a digital application tailored to their specific needs.

First Person: ‘The world is in your hands and begins at your door’.

British celebrity gardener Monty Don, a UN advocate for plant health, is raising awareness of the links between human health, plant health and the well-being of the planet.

First Person: A mother’s ‘indescribable’ pain six months after the Beirut explosion

Six months after a massive explosion destroyed much of the centre of the Lebanese capital, Beirut, a mother has been talking about the “indescribable” grief she has experienced at losing her two-year-old son to injuries sustained in the blast.

First Person: Digging for victory in the Philippines

Some farming techniques can have a devastating and negative effect on the environment, as farmers seek to harvest the maximum amount of produce from their land, but the efforts of a Filipino chef and activist are demonstrating that, with the right approach, agriculture can help to regenerate land, offer protection from the effects of climate change and extreme weather, and improve livelihoods.

First Person: Cheese proves key to survival for Syrian refugee family amid pandemic

Syrian refugee Fatima Hussein Al Ahmad, a mother of four, lives on a farm with 50 other workers in Sahba, Jordan. COVID-19 travel restrictions meant that she didn’t work for two months in 2020, and feeding her family became a daily struggle.

First Person: Vietnamese man finds ‘true voice’ in gay community

A Vietnamese man has told the UN he has found his ‘true voice’ in the gay community, despite the discrimination and harassment that LGBT people face in his country

First Person: family tragedy and the UN as ‘saviour’ in Darfur

The people of the restive region of Darfur in Sudan have seen the joint United Nations and African Union peacekeeping mission (UNAMID) as a "saviour" according to a writer for UN News who grew up in Darfur.

First Person: COVID education is child’s play for Thai UN volunteer

An innovative initiative to provide child-friendly information about COVID-19 has been launched by a UN volunteer (UNV) in Thailand who recognized that children needed to know more about the dangers of the virus but also have fun learning at home during the lockdown. On International Volunteer Day marked annually on 5 December, UNICEF’s Rasa Pattikasemkul talks about motivation, family loss and keeping children safe.

First Person: ‘people with disabilities are the greatest untapped resource on the planet’

Worldwide, persons with disabilities experience higher levels of unemployment and economic inactivity than non-disabled persons. Ahead of International Day of Persons with Disabilities, Mike Hess, US-based entrepreneur and founder of the Blind Institute of Technology, spoke to UN News as part of the International Labour Organization (ILO) photography project "Dignity at Work: The American Experience".