#Proud to Serve, UNIC highlights Public Servants ahead of UN Public Service Day

The UN Public Service Day celebrates the value and virtue of public service to the Namibian community .In promoting the upcoming United Nations Public Service Day on 23 June, UNIC Windhoek will share stories of public servants over the course of the week.

The purpose of the UNIC Windhoek digital communication outreach initiative is to recognize public servants’ contribution to sustainable development. It also aims at providing a platform to share ideas, knowledge and innovative practices from around the world on how public institutions can best support the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

During an interview with Mr. Reinhardt Tsamaseb, a teacher at Vooruitsig Junior Secondary School in Rehoboth, he reins in on his passion as an educator for more than 13 years.

Mr. Tsamaseb is a native of Otjimbingwe which is situated south of Karibib, began his teaching career in the village of Gochas in 2004, but moved to Gibeon a year later, where he stayed until 2007. He has been teaching at Vooruitsig Junior Secondary School in Rehoboth since 2008. Mr. Tsamaseb recalls working as a sales manager in Windhoek when he discovered this noble calling to be a pedagogue.

“I am passionate about teaching. I was working in the retail industry, selling clothes, but I felt this itch to teach and I have the power to harness of learners along with my own power. You also become good at maximizing the best in children to bring out their greatest assets. And you’re teaching them to deal with chaos in unknown situations themselves by supporting them in exercises that allow them to explore the unknown. Continue reading

Newcomers are introduced to the Model UN programme

On the United Nations Information Centre (UNIC) on the 21 June was invited to present an introductory presentation on the Model United Nations (MUN) programme in Namibia to High School learners at Academia Secondary School.

MUN is a forum that simulates the activities of the UN bodies, during which representatives of different countries discuss strategies to respond to global issues. The programme cultivates public speaking and research skills, as well as critical thinking and innovative ideas within young Namibians. Such skills are meant to develop student’s confidence, professionalism and provide an intellectual atmosphere for socializing.

Furthermore, the outreach was meant to further popularize MUN within the school in order to motivate more students to participate. Academia already has several exceptional students who participated in the 2017 Model UN annual High School Conference, of which two were present during the presentation.

Students were thrilled about learning the major functions of the UN, the opportunity of dressing up according to foreign cultures and the exposure to the major problems threatening human prosperity. It’s safe to say that at with the relentless enthusiasm, and the tireless work of Ms. Nadia Coetzee-Huysamen who will be coordinating much of the MUN training, the future of MUN at Academia looks ripe with potential and future leaders.

 

Meet our #WednesdayCelebrateWomen feature for June, Dr. Wicomb

WednesdayCelebrateWomen June 2017: UNIC Windhoek celebrates Dr. Varnia Wicomb

Each month through the #WednesdayCelebrateWomen campaign, the United Nations Information Centre (UNIC) Windhoek celebrates inspiring women making a positive impact in Namibia.

For this month’s #WCW #WednesdayCelebrateWomen, UNIC Windhoek celebrates Dr. Varnia Wicomb, a devoted wife, mother and general medical practitioner with an interest in obstetrics. Check out her interview with UNIC Windhoek to learn more about this amazing woman!

Can you tell us a bit about yourself and your career? What is one of your career achievements you are most proud of?

Today, I am a dedicated medical doctor, devoted wife to my husband, Harold Mouton, and proud mother of three beautiful children, Isabella, aged 6 years, Hannah 3 years old and little Luca, now 4 months of age.

I originate from the city of Cape Town in South Africa. There I was raised as the youngest of 3 children to a middle income family on the Cape Flats. Both my parents were raised in impoverished families in small Karoo towns in the Western Cape. During our upbringing the importance of education and humility was emphasised by my parents. Despite financial difficulties in our family, I attained my MBChB degree at the University of Stellenbosch in 2003. Continue reading

Nelson Mandela Day: launch of canned food drive

On 20 June 2017, UNIC Windhoek in partnership with Windhoek International School (WIS) launched the Nelson Mandela Day: canned food drive for 2017.  Windhoek International School collected over 500 cans of tinned food which was handed over to the Kids’ Soup Kitchen (a soup kitchen in Katutura) at a launch ceremony held at WIS.

The launch formed part of the first of four collaborative drives with schools in Windhoek.  The campaign is in celebration of Nelson Mandela international day, a day that calls for individuals and organisations to dedicate their time in service of others. UNIC Windhoek partnered with Windhoek International School to serve others by championing  a canned food drive to support a soup kitchen in Katutura and moreover contribute toward Goal 2 of the Sustainable Development Goals, “Zero Hunger.” Soup kitchens serve underprivileged children of the community by providing them with meals and educational assistance.

Nelson Mandela International Day is celebrated annually on 18 July around the world. Established by a United Nations General Assembly resolution in November 2009, the day commemorates the achievements of Nelson Mandela, who tirelessly worked towards conflict resolution, peace, human rights, democracy and reconciliation. Individuals around the world are encouraged to dedicate 67 minutes – each minute representing a year of Nelson Mandela’s public service – to an activity that aims to help others.

The handover ceremony took place at Windhoek International School. Mr. Samuel Kapepo, the founder of the Kids’ Soup Kitchen, graciously accepted the generous donation from Mr. Peter MacKenzie, the director of Windhoek International School in the presence of the staff and students of the school as well as the the UNIC Windhoek team.

Speaking at the event, Mr. MacKenzie said, “Windhoek International School is one of the more privileged and fortunate schools, therefore we are happy to give back to the community. We are hopeful to start a partnership with the community and partake in more of these activities.” Continue reading

#Proudtoserve UNIC Windhoek features Public Servants ahead of 23 June

In the run up to  the upcoming United Nations Public Service Day on 23rd June 2017, UNIC Windhoek will share the stories of Namibian public servants over the next week.

The United Nations Public Service Day celebrates public servants’ contribution to sustainable development. The UN Public Service Day intends to celebrate the value and virtue of public service to the community; highlight the contribution of public service in the development process; recognize the work of public servants and encourage young people to pursue careers in the public sector.

UNIC Windhoek interviewed Ms. Julien Coetzee, a Namibian woman who has spent her life in public service.

Ms. Coetzee, a hardworking mother of two, a nurse at St. Mary’s Roman Catholic Hospital in Rehoboth. A 13-year veteran of the health care industry. Ms. Coetzee works five days a week, with her shifts varying between 12 hours and 5 hours a day. She provides assistance and treatment to patients in the general ward of St. Mary’s Roman Catholic Hospital where she enjoys the positive working environment and camaraderie shared by all the staff. This supportive atmosphere is essential to patient care, since improving a patient’s condition involves more than just medical treatment. Ms. Coetzee believe that a nurse can alleviate a patient’s suffering by “attending to them with a smile on their face.”

Continue reading

Hardap commemorates the day of the African Child

The Day of the African Child (DAC) is commemorated in memory of the student uprising in Soweto, South Africa,16 June 1976. Students marched in protest of the poor quality of education but were violently attacked by the police force of the then South African apartheid regime.

For this reason, every year the African Union (AU) and the United Nations (UN) celebrate the bravery and rights of African children while paying homage to those killed in the 1976 massacre. The theme for the 2017 DAC was “The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development for Children in Africa: Accelerating protection, empowerment and equal opportunity”. The child-friendly version is “Accelerating protection, empowerment and equal opportunities for children in Africa by 2030. ″

In order to commemorate the day, the United Nations Information Center (UNIC) Windhoek visited Ruimte Primary School on 16 June in Rehoboth, and delivered a presentation introducing both learners and teachers to the fundamental concepts related to the DAC and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The interactive presentation was focused on the following themes: the Soweto uprising, an overview on the AU, key elements of the African Charter on the Rights and Welfare of the Child, the 2017 theme for the DAC, the UN Structure and the link between the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the Rights of African children.

An emphasis was placed on the core principles of the 2017 DAC theme, specifically accelerating protection, empowerment and equal opportunity. Furthermore, particular attention was given to the eight crucial SDGs with clear linkages to the Charter. Namely, SDGs 1 (end poverty), 2 (eradicate hunger), 3 (promote health), 4 (secure education), 5 (effect gender equality), 6 (access to water and sanitation), 16 (peace, justice and strong institutions) & 17 (partnerships for the goals).

The event was made special by the incredible participation of the learners, who were never shy to speak into the microphone, provided constant energy, as well as thought-provoking responses to questions posed by the UNIC team. The school provided a rich cultural atmosphere with student poetry focused on the spirit of being a proud African child and a play emphasizing the need for humility and generosity amongst Africans. A celebration of this nature, however, would not have been complete without proud Africans taking to the stage and dancing to the beat. A combination of young learners performing the “langarm,” a cultural dance in Rehoboth, and an open floor with teachers and learners showing off their moves, really epitomized the joyous spirit of the celebration.

 

 

Tertiary students learn about the SDGs

As part of the United Nations Information Center (UNIC) Windhoek’s mission to disseminate information concerning the United Nations (UN) mandate and current UN campaigns and activities, UNIC hosted an SDG workshop for the University of Namibia (UNAM) Model United Nations Society at the UN library on 14 June 2017.

The Sustainable Development Goals will form an important basis for the society’s simulations of UN bodies, it is therefore imperative that the members understand what the SDGs are and why they are key to the world’s development agenda.

The Model UN programme strives to create a transformative and dynamic experience aimed at enhancing participants understanding on current global issues. The program is designed to promote critical thinking, public speaking, writing capabilities, as well enhancing diplomacy and negotiation skills.

13 participants from different faculties including Law, Psychology and Economics to name a few, attended the presentation in order to familiarize themselves with the principles, goals and challenges of the SDGs.

Participants were particularly curious about the global statistical data put forward in order to better comprehend the magnitude of certain issues, especially related to climate change, and the role that Governments of member states can play in order to respond to such crisis without compromising the needs of their nation.

Overall, the discussions were lively and filled with debates revolving around the interrelatedness, impact and possible solutions regarding the of the 17 SDGs. The informative discussion definitely generated healthy momentum towards what is sure to be an inspiring and competitive 2017 Model UN chapter.

#WednesdayCelebrateWomen June 2017: UNIC Windhoek celebrates Dr. Varnia Wicomb

WednesdayCelebrateWomen June 2017: UNIC Windhoek celebrates Dr. Varnia Wicomb

Each month through the #WednesdayCelebrateWomen campaign, the United Nations Information Centre (UNIC) Windhoek celebrates inspiring women making a positive impact in Namibia.

For this month’s #WCW #WednesdayCelebrateWomen, UNIC Windhoek celebrates Dr. Varnia Wicomb, a devoted wife, mother and general medical practitioner with an interest in obstetrics. Check out her interview with UNIC Windhoek to learn more about this amazing woman!

Can you tell us a bit about yourself and your career? What is one of your career achievements you are most proud of?

Today, I am a dedicated medical doctor, devoted wife to my husband, Harold Mouton, and proud mother of three beautiful children, Isabella, aged 6 years, Hannah 3 years old and little Luca, now 4 months of age.

I originate from the city of Cape Town in South Africa. There I was raised as the youngest of 3 children to a middle income family on the Cape Flats. Both my parents were raised in impoverished families in small Karoo towns in the Western Cape. During our upbringing the importance of education and humility was emphasised by my parents. Despite financial difficulties in our family, I attained my MBChB degree at the University of Stellenbosch in 2003.

In July 2007, I met my future husband, Harold Mouton, at a typical South African braai. In August 2009 I immigrated to Windhoek, Namibia, and started working in private practice. Harold and I were later married on the 18th December 2009.

My passion in health care in private practice here in Namibia has always been women and child health. Being a woman and general practitioner with interest in obstetrics, I’ve had the privilege to share in the joyous occasions of child bearing with many patients. To date I have delivered in excess of 500 babies. These moments are the career achievements I am most proud of. Every life that I’ve helped bring into this world is an amazing blessing from God. I am forever humbled by the majesty and power of God and His creation with every baby delivered! Continue reading

6th Annual Model United Nations Namibia (MUNNAM) 2017 Conference awards best students

After two-days of insightful debating and critical thinking, the 6th Annual Model United Nations Namibia (MUNNAM) High School conference came to a close yesterday at the Safari Court Hotel and Conference Centre.

The first day, the General Assembly, consisting of learners from across Namibia portraying delegates of various countries, discussed the topic, “Harnessing the green economy to eradicate poverty.” Four well-research resolutions were tabled and debated, however the Assembly could not reach a consensus and did not pass a resolution. On the second day, the delegates discussed, “Improving coordination in humanitarian response to natural disasters and other emergencies.” After four resolutions were tabled, the assembly passed one resolution.

Speaking at the closing ceremony, MTN Business Namibia’s Managing Director Mr. Elia Tsouros briefed the delegates on MTN Business Namibia’s footprint globally and undertook an engaging question and answer session where the confident delegates did not hesitate to raise questions. The delegates from Liberia thanked Mr.Tsouros and his team for their contribution to the success of the conference and for investing in the Namibian youth.

MTN Business Namibia has been MUNNAM’s long standing sponsor. This year, the ICT company gave out NAD 9,000 to the top performing delegates and schools represented at the conference.

The “Best School Award” went to Windhoek High School, who won the MTN Business Namibia’s “Best School, floating trophy” and NAD 3,000. The Windhoek High School delegates included, Michael Petrus, representing Germany, Christiaan Prinsloo, representing Spain, Tulipomwene Kalunduka, representing USA, Ainley Amunyela, representing the French Republic and Uzuvira Kandjavera, representing Russia.

 

 

 

The “Best Delegate Award”, as voted for by the participants, was awarded to Jules Van De Port from St. Paul’s College, representing South Africa at the conference. The “Best Delegate” received a trophy and NAD 1,500 from MTN Business Namibia. This was his consecutive win, as he was also voted Best Delegate by the assembly delegates during the 2016 conference.

The “Best Speaker Award”, along with NAD 1,500 was awarded to Thelma Mackinza, representing the Republic of Azerbaijan, from Delta Secondary School. The “Best Delegation Award” along with NAD 3,000 went to Rory Parker from Windhoek Gymnasium and Amalia Aihuki from Dawid Bezuidenhoudt High School.

All delegates received certificates from UNIC Windhoek’s Anthea Basson who expressed her thanks to delegates and teachers for their commitment to the programme. She especially highlighted the continued participation and support of schools from Erongo and Otjikoto regions, namely Coastal High School and Otjikoto Senior Secondary School.

The MUNNAM High School conference was a great success, and all participants thoroughly enjoyed the experience. UNIC Windhoek in partnership with MTN Business Namibia would like to thank the following schools and teachers for their participation:

Academia Secondary School, Dawid Bezuidenhoudt High School, Delta Secondary School, DHPS, Hochland High School, Immanuel Shifidi Secondary School, Jan Mohr Secondary School, Otjikoto Senior Secondary School (Tsumeb), St. Paul’s College, Windhoek Gymnasium Private School, Jakob Marengo Secondary School, Windhoek High School, Coastal High (Walvis Bay), Rocky Crest High School and Eldorado Secondary School.

*Model United Nations is a simulation of UN bodies by high school students. The role play ambassadors and represent UN member states, discussing internationally relevant topics. Model United Nations Namibia (MUNNAM) simulates the General Assembly, and hosts an annual conference in Windhoek annually since 2012. It is an extra-curricular activity

Harnessing the youth’s voice for sustainable development at the 6th annual Model United Nations Namibia High School Conference

The United Nations Information Centre (UNIC) Windhoek and MTN Business Namibia, with the support of the Ministry of Education, Arts and Culture (MoEAC), are hosting the 6th annual Model United Nations Namibia (MUNNAM) High School Conference from 7-8 June 2017 at the Safari Court Hotel and Conference Centre.

Seventy-five learners from the Khomas, Erongo and Otjikoto regions will represent various countries as delegates throughout the two-day conference, which was officially launched after an opening ceremony on 7 June.

In line with the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), this year’s MUNNAM High School Conference topics will focus on, “Harnessing the Green Economy to Eradicate Poverty” and “Improving Coordination in Humanitarian Reponses to Natural Disasters and other Emergencies.” Continue reading