The Model United Nations Namibia (MUNNAM) programme, spearheaded by the United Nations Information Centre (UNIC) Windhoek has been very successful since its inception during 2012. MUNNAM Clubs are hosted at secondary schools in the various regions in Namibia, where high school students meet to run mock simulations or discuss the current international relations trends. Sustaining and mentoring these clubs is a key priority of UNIC Windhoek and is one of the reasons the Centre supports the set up and hosting of the MUNNAM stand at the St Paul’s College Extra-curricular fair on an annual basis.
At St. Paul’s College, each student is required to participate in two extra mural activities for the school calendar year, and the extra-curricular fair provides the students with information on the various activities at their disposal. The MUNNAM Stand at this year’s fair once again attracted hordes of students who were eager to find out what this fun, UN related activity was all about. UNIC Windhoek designed special flyers and provided fact sheets, banners, UNIC water bottles along with MTN Business Namibia (sponsors of MUNNAM) bags and pens to the students interested in joining the programme. The Deputy Principal of the school, Ms. Jenkins, was stationed at the stand along with the existing MUNNAM St Paul’s Club members who happily informed newbies about the programme. Continue reading
This year, the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women and the 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence occur at a critical juncture for efforts to end violence against women and girls (VAW/G) as the world gears up to mark the 20th anniversary of the Beijing Platform for Action, the Millennium Development Goals reach their deadline, and a new global development agenda takes shape. This moment therefore provides an important opportunity to galvanize additional attention around the issue of violence against women and girls.
- The UNiTE Campaign activities on the International Day to Eliminate Violence against Women and the 16 Days of Activism have the following objectives:
- To focus government attention on the issue of violence against women and girls as one of the Critical Areas of Concern of the Beijing Platform for Action;
- To call for the inclusion of the issue of violence against women and girls in all Bejing+20 discussions as well as those around the post-2015 development framework;
- To amplify the calls of UN Women’s Beijing+20 campaign to mobilize governments and citizens alike to demand a world where gender equality is a reality by demonstrating the intersectionality of the concerns reflected in the Beijing Platform for Action through the lens of violence against women and girls;
- To raise the profile of the UNiTE campaign and the UN Trust Fund to End Violence against Women (UNTF) and its grantees with a view to raising funds for the UNTF grant giving cycle in 2015.
In 2013, the UNiTE campaign launched a global call for action to “Orange the World in 16 Days.” UN entities, civil society organizations and individuals across the world led an array of creative and highly visible events in over 50 countries, which drew attention to the issue and created opportunities for discussion around current initiatives and solutions. The initiative aimed to create the symbolic image of a world free from violence against women and girls. The colour orange was a uniting theme which ran through all events as one of the official colours of the UNiTE campaign, and as a bright and optimistic colour, representative of a world free from violence against women and girls.
The 20th anniversary of Beijing opens new opportunities to reconnect, regenerate commitment, charge up political action and mobilize the public. The emphasis of UNiTE campaign activities will therefore be on engaging the community and the individual, and taking the UNiTE campaign ‘local’ through ‘door to door advocacy’ – not only in government buildings and town halls, but also in villages, libraries and market places. Everyone has a role to play in their community: men, boys, religious leaders, local politicians, barbers, food stall sellers, shop owners, teachers, doctors and police officers.
Presentation on Respect and Tolerance
A joint educational outreach initiative by UNIC and UNESCO to teach children about respect and tolerance. Four UN staff members of the aforementioned organizations delivered a designed lesson plan to grade 8 and 9 learners of Hochland High School.
Approximately 400 learners sit in on this presentation. The presentation provided a brief overview of the Declaration of Principles on Tolerance and also how to fight intolerance. The learners were visibly interested and when told all are equal, several learners murmured in agreement.
The learners were then divided into four groups with each group being led by a UN staff member. The groups were guided on an interactive game on tolerance. Stickers of different shapes and sizes were put on the backs of the learners. The identified categories included: circles, triangle, squares and an additional category of different shapes such as arrows, pentagons etc. In accordance of the different shapes, learners were instructed to form groups. The expectation was that the learners should form groups in association of the different shapes. This happened in most cases, however, there were several exceptions. One of the groups was made up of circles, however, there were 4 triangles in the group. When asked: who are you? The learners identified themselves as the circle group, but allowed the 4 triangles to join anyway. Another group was made up of many different shapes. When asked why they formed a group the learners responded “We are friends, we don’t care about the shapes”. This was great to see that even though most groups had a certain dominant shape no one was excluded for having a different shape.
Hochland High Learners playing a game on Tolerance
After the presentation and the interactive game the learners were given the opportunity to ask questions. Aside from questions on tolerance, the learners were very interested about the work of the United Nations in Namibia. The learners also embraced the idea of learning learning about other cultures and the fight against intolerance. The topic spark great interest among the learners and more so also used it as an excused to question the UNIC interns about Germany. The students were equally delighted to teach the interns about Namibia and how to say hello in various Namibian languages.
The learners were very happy to have learned about tolerance and several asked the UN staff to visit their school more often.
UN Country Team of Namibia
On the 24th of September 2014, the United Nations Communication Group on behalf of the Country Team (UNCT) invited representatives of Namibian media to a Media Dinner Event. This event was designed to promote the partnership between the UN agencies in Namibia with the different Namibian media house, ranging from newspapers, television and radio. Before the event started, introductions of the UN staff as well as the representatives of the media were made. During this introduction the media were able to put a face to the respective UN agencies.
The event officially opened with the welcoming remarks by Mr. Musinga T Bandora the UN Resident Coordinator. In these remarks he thanked the media for their role in promoting the image of the UN within Namibian society.
Following the welcoming remarks the floor was opened for questions and discussions with the media. The media representatives were given the opportunity to ask not only Mr. Bandora, but also to approach the Heads of Agencies with their questions.
UNICEF Representative, Micaela Marques de Sousa addressing a question on malnutrition.
The questions ranged from how prepared Namibia is in regards to the Ebola crisis through to whether the UN would be involved in monitoring the upcoming elections in Namibian. The UNICEF and UNAIDS also elaborated in detail about their work in Namibia, with both able announcing success stories whilst highlighting the importance to continue working with Namibian children and HIV/AIDS victims respectively.
The media welcomed this event as a chance to learn more about what the UN does in Namibia as well as being able to ask specific questions to the relevant agencies. Many representatives of the media spoke about the benefit of such an event with great interest being shown for such events to be held in the future. Likewise the UN acknowledged the media’s important role in informing the Namibian public about the UN. The event was then brought to an end with a Vote of Thanks by Anthea Basson the head of the United Naitons Information Centre (UNIC).
Members of different media houses and the UN System in Namibia