【前編】インタビューシリーズNo.2 UNICEF本部 ケイト・パウェルチャイクさん


ボイス・オブ・ユース JAPANの創設メンバーは、2018年の夏、ニューヨークにあるUNICEF本部を訪問しました。その際にお話しをしてくださったケイトさんに、この度、書面インタビューを実施しました。かつて、故郷の南アフリカ共和国にあるUNICEF現地事務所で勤務され、現在は本部のボイス・オブ・ユース(Voices of Youth:VoY)の運営も担当されているケイトさんに、UNICEFの雰囲気、ご自身のキャリア、VoYについてうかがい、最後にはわたしたち若者へのメッセージをいただきました。



– What are you doing in UNICEF now?

I am a digital youth engagement specialist working at UNICEF’s headquarters in New York. As part of my job I help UNICEF to elevate the voices of young people across the world and to be more responsive to the interests of young people who want to make the world a better place for children.



– What do you think of empowerment of women in UNICEF? And tell me about your work life balance.

I started at UNICEF at the age of 22 and over the years I have always felt privileged that I get to work with so many talented and inspiring women at UNICEF, and in our partner organizations. For someone who is very passionate about issues of gender and women’s empowerment it is amazing to be surrounded by many people who deeply care about these issues too.


As for work-life balance I feel that for me, overall the balance is pretty good. I really love my work and the issues that we’re working on are things that I think about even when I am not in the office. I often attend talks or read books, or follow people on social media on the subject of human rights.  But of course it is important that anyone working in the development and human rights space takes good care of themselves and has healthy ways to deal with a lot of the difficult and troubling developments around the world that we deal with on a daily basis.



– We heard that you had worked at a local office in South Africa before. What is the difference between the country office and the Headquarters? Then what do you think of the relationship between these two?

Yes, I started my career with the South Africa Country Office. In the communication field the work is quite different because in many countries the communication teams are quite small and so you have to be skilled in many areas – working with the press, writing reports, developing content for social media, etc. In comparison, in Headquarters many of us are quite specialized in terms of what we do. I think the relationship is very important: at headquarters we try as much a possible to support our colleagues in the country offices and to elevate the great work that they are doing.



– We want to know more about VoY which you are engaged.

I like to think of Voices of Youth as more than just a website where we publish content written or produced by young people. We want to nurture the feeling that this is a community – a safe space for young people to come and share their views, to learn from one another, to get inspired, and to inspire others. We also feel it is important that it is a space where young people can talk about a range of issues – from the SDGs, to culture to innovation to very personal experiences. Also, for the VoY team, it is very important that as much as possible, we are able to help young people build the skills they need to express their views and opinions.



– Can you advise us about Voice of Youth Japan?
  ボイス・オブ・ユース Japanへのアドバイスがあれば教えてください。

I think it is really exciting that Voices of Youth has launched in Japan. What I found so impressive was that young people were involved in the creation from the beginning. I think it is very important to continue building on this and to ensure new young people are able to guide the development of VoY in Japan as others move on to other projects or opportunities. Also, keep in mind that VoY is also a safe space for learning – so perfect writing isn’t really the goal. No one should feel afraid to express themselves because they don’t think they are a good writer – or photographer or video-maker.





Kate Pawelczyk

She works with UNICEF’s global Division of Communication, with a focus on engaging adolescents and young people. She previously worked in UNICEF’s South Africa Country Office, and came to New York in 2012 to work on digital youth engagement and Voices of Youth – UNICEF’s global online community for young people.