UNIC’s National Information Officer marks 18 years service to UN System Namibia

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On Friday, 24 June 2016, the UN Resident Coordinator’s Office celebrated UNIC Windhoek’s National Information Officer, Anthea Basson. She marked her 18th year of service to the UN System in Namibia. The unofficial surprised event was a small gathering of UNDP Namibia and UNIC Windhoek staff, sharing cake and tea in the UNDP boardroom. The UN Resident Coordinator, Kiki Gbeho, congratulated Anthea Basson for her long service to the United Nations. She commended and encouraged her to continue leading and fulfilling her mandate at the UN. UNDP’s Assistant Resident Representative, Sarah Mwalima also congratulated Basson and highlighted the important work of a UN public servant, she noted how UN experienced staff are well sought in the job market.

Basson felt honoured and thanked Kiki for recognizing her contributions to the work of the UN. She also publicly acknowledged the influences of a long line of UN Resident Coordinators and the instrumental role they have played in shaping her UN career. “Working with them has been a privilege, their mentorship transformed my professional life and I am looking forward to my four to five year journey with you Kiki” she stated.

She also declared that, “the United Nations provides so many opportunities for growth and service that it’s difficult not to excel in what you have to do. So many individuals have contributed to my personal and professional growth and therefore I also would like to thank the Department of Public Information staff in New York and UNIC Windhoek staff for their ongoing support and role they have played and continue to play in my career.” Continue reading

#WCW: UNIC Windhoek celebrates yoga instructor Beauty Boois

Beauty Boois, WCWEach Wednesday, the United Nations Information Centre (UNIC) Windhoek celebrates women and their accomplishments. This Wednesday, UNIC Windhoek celebrates Beauty Boois, a local yoga instructor.

Boois, whose yoga journey began five years ago, received a scholarship from the Africa Yoga Project to complete a Yoga Teacher Training in Nairobi, Kenya. Since then, she has established her own yoga business, ‘Yoga By Beauty’ which offers group, private and corporate yoga classes as well as hosts yoga events and partakes in community outreach.

Check out Beauty’s interview with UNIC Windhoek! Read along as she describes her yoga journey as well as shares her thoughts on gender equality and women’s empowerment. Continue reading

Secretary General’s message on International Day of Yoga 2016

THE SECRETARY-GENERAL

MESSAGE ON THE INTERNATIONAL DAY OF YOGA

21 June 2016

yoga-logoYoga is an ancient physical, mental and spiritual practice that originated in India and is now practiced in various forms around the world.  The word ‘yoga’ derives from Sanskrit and means to join or to unite, symbolizing the union of body and consciousness.

Yoga balances body and soul, physical health and mental well-being.  It promotes harmony among people, and between ourselves and the natural world.  Recognizing its universal appeal, the United Nations General Assembly proclaimed 21 June as the International Day of Yoga.

This year’s observance of the International Day of Yoga highlights the important role healthy living plays in the realization of the Sustainable Development Goals, adopted last year by all 193 United Nations Member States. Continue reading

Local Yoga instructor speaks about Yoga journey on International Day of Yoga

IMG_2520The International Day of Yoga was proposed by India at the 69 session of the United Nations and was commemorated for the first time last year on 21 June 2015. This years’ observance highlights the important role healthy living plays in the realization of the Sustainable Development Goals. In light of this observance, UNIC Windhoek learned more about yoga from Beauty Boois, the owner and instructor at Yoga By Beauty.

Boois’ yoga journey began five years ago, when she learned about Surya Namaskara, a yoga sequence known as ‘sun salutation’. She then became very interested in deep breathing, meditation and the physical practice aspects of yoga and established a daily practice and shared her yoga journey on social media. People began to approach her for guidance and lessons, and in 2013 Boois began teaching yoga for free once a week at Parliament Gardens.

After a year of teaching, she received a scholarship from the Africa Yoga Project to complete a Yoga Teacher Training in Nairobi, Kenya. Since then, she has established her own yoga business, Yoga By Beauty, through which she offers group, private and corporate yoga classes as well as hosts yoga events and community outreach.

Boois explains that yoga has positively impacted her life, in more ways than one. “I’ve largely used yoga as a form of therapy, by expressing myself through the different poses, by sharing my practice with others, by becoming a more compassionate, tolerant and calm person through meditation and learning to let go of things that do not serve me and using every set back to grow and transform into the person that I want to be,” Boois says. Continue reading

Windhoek primary school students eager to learn about poverty in Namibia and the world “I pledge to end poverty”

DSC_0344June 15th marked yet another exciting day at the United Nations House in Windhoek. UNICEF in conjunction with UNIC Windhoek hosted thirty-five young, vibrant students from Windhoek International School during which they were briefed on poverty in Namibia and the world.

DSC_0276The resident coordinator of the UN, Ms. Kiki Gbeho warmly welcomed the children, ranging from eight to ten years old, and introduced them to the work of the United Nations and its goals of combating poverty nationally and on a global scale. The students showed great interest throughout Ms. Gbeho’s opening and were eager to ask questions and share their thoughts on creative solutions to help those in need. The UN staff was visibly impressed by the children’s keen participation, and Ms. Gbeho encouraged them to keep their spirit and drive and eventually turn their ideas into reality in the future.

Following the discussion, the UNIC team briefed the students in more detail on facts and statistics on childhood poverty, why it exists and what more can be done to eradicate it. Continue reading

UNIC Windhoek learns about blood donation in Namibia on World Blood Donor Day from NAMBTS

world blood donor day 2 wallpaperUnder the theme ‘Blood connects us all’, this year’s World Blood Donor Day was commemorated on 14 June 2016. In light of this international observance, the United Nations Information Centre (UNIC) Windhoek learned more about blood donation in Namibia from the Blood Transfusion Service of Namibia (NAMBTS).

Titus Shivute, the Educational Officer at NAMBTS outlines the importance of donating blood. Echoing the slogan ‘Share life, give blood’, he says that “Blood products save and enhance the lives of thousands of patients every year.”

“Becoming a regular blood donor can help ensure a safe blood supply for 53 hospitals and medical centres throughout the country in order to help guarantee that there is blood when someone needs it,” Shivute continues.

Blood in Namibia is always in short supply, thus Titus stresses the importance of donations in replenishing this supply. “The current blood stock (14 June 2016) is at 3.7days, meaning there is only enough blood supply for the next three days if no further blood donations are collected countrywide,” Shivute highlights. Continue reading

#WCW: UNIC Windhoek celebrates UN Resident Coordinator to Namibia, Ms. Kiki Gbeho

Kiki wcw updatedEach Wednesday, the United Nations Information Centre (Windhoek) celebrates women through its #WednesdayCelebrateWomen social media campaign. This week, UNIC Windhoek celebrates Ms. Kiki Gbeho, the UN Resident Coordinator to Namibia. Read UNIC Windhoek’s interview with Ms. Gbeho to learn more about her role as well and her thoughts on women’s empowerment and gender equality in Namibia.

Could you briefly describe your role as the UN Resident Coordinator to Namibia? What has been the most rewarding part of being in this position?

Key components of my work include to:

  • Ensure coordinated support to the Government of Namibia, when they request it, to deliver on their national development plans. The UN does this primarily through its partnership framework with government. The focus is in four areas (Poverty, Health, Education and Environment) with gender and youth cutting across all activities.
  • Ensure effective advocacy with not only the highest level of Government but also the people of Namibia particularly on the global development agenda 2030/SDGs. Advocacy includes the four partnership areas. The idea is to get across key messages, and share best practise and information from all over the globe with Namibia. I have noticed for example that information we share with statistical backing is appreciated on our social media accounts.
  • I also encourage and support national efforts in disaster risk reduction. For example, currently the UN is supporting the Office of the Prime Minister to develop a national strategy for mainstreaming Disaster Risk Reduction and Climate Change Adaptation into development planning. These efforts are in order to enhance national resilience to disasters. The UN is also supporting Government on Drought Preparedness, through development of policy and guidelines for nutrition in emergencies.
  • As the Designated Official, I ensure effective coordination of country-level security and the safety of all UN staff and dependants, and lead the inter-agency Security Management Team.

Why is women’s empowerment important?

His Excellency the President has declared a war on Poverty, elaborated the HPP and announced that 2016 is the year of implantation. We will not accelerate development nor eradicate poverty if half the population (51.5% female) are not on board. There are numerous studies that demonstrate that women are great multipliers of development progress. African women are the pillars of the community whether because of the work they carry out as care givers, or supporting their families by working on their farms. They are often held back because of lack of recognition and ‘rewards’ for the work they undertake; lack of education; and sometimes insufficient protection.

Africa will not grow, realise Agenda 2063, or the SDGs without investing in women. Women are a resource that is not fully tapped. Continue reading

UNIC successfully hosts 5th annual Model United Nations Namibia High School Conference

DSC_0118The 5th Annual Model United Nations (MUNNAM) High School Conference took place at the Safari Court Hotel Conference Hall on the 8th and 9th of June 2016, with an overwhelming attendance of 70 students from 12 different high schools across Namibia, amongst these participating schools were two from the Otjikoto Region, namely Etosha Secondary School and Otjikoto Secondary School.

KIKIAt the official opening ceremony, held on 8 June 2016, the UN Resident Coordinator, Kiki Gbeho raised the gavel to signal the official opening. She highlighted the importance of the topics under deliberation and encouraged the young people to take an active role in decision making and ensuring their voices are heard. Her message to the young Model UN delegates encouraged them to “take space, be prepared and dare to be different”.

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MTN Business Namibia’s Finance and Administration Manager, Keith Handura, the main sponsor, in his opening address encouraged the youth to be innovative and emulate the MTN Business core brand values. He applauded the UNIC Windhoek team for the educational initiative and encouraged the youth to utilize the platform to move to greater heights.

Contrary to the usual modus operandi, this year, two topics were discussed, both of which were themed around the newly implemented 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). ‘Woman’s Empowerment and the Link to Sustainable Development’ (as it pertains to Goal 5 of the SDGs) and ‘Ensuring Universal Access to Water’ (as it pertains to Goal 6 of the SDGs). Continue reading

#WCW: UNIC Windhoek celebrates MUNNAM 2012 Best Overall Speaker, Eulalia Joseph

Eulalia Joseph- WCW QuoteEach Wednesday, the United Nations Information Centre (Windhoek) celebrates women through its #WednesdayCelebrateWomen social media campaign. With the two-day Model United Nations Namibia (MUNNAM) 2016 Conference starting Wednesday 8 June, this week UNIC Windhoek celebrates Eulalia Joseph, the recipient of the Best Overall Speaker award at the 1st MUNNAM Conference in 2012.

Meet Eulalia Joseph, as she reflects on her journey…

Hi, I’m Eulalia, a 21 year old aspiring charted accountant at the University of Cape Town. My life presents a different challenge everyday and with that comes the opportunity to defy all odds and rise to the end of every day. I’m made of dreams and determination, and I’m driven by the desire to own an empire. In my free time you are likely to find me at the university’s debating union or indulging in photography. I took time in high school to find where my passions lie by partaking in everything from basketball to chess to drumming but I ended up enjoying and committing to  the Model United Nations club at St. Paul’s College, Windhoek. I continue to participate in Model United Nations conferences offered at university level which is testament to the fact that once, a MUNer always a MUNer.

1.) Why did you choose participate in the Model UN programme when you were at high school?

It was a new initiative, and I knew very little about the United Nations, so naturally I was attracted to the challenge. Additionally, as an orator I was drawn to the idea of being able to speak about the issues that profoundly affect people all over the world.

2.) You were selected as Best Overall Speaker during 2012 MUNNAM conference, what did this mean to you?

More than feeling honoured and being happy, to this day the award is a symbol of a young girl becoming fully cognizant of her own potential. Continue reading

Preparations and Countdown to #MUNNAM2016

DSC_0578With the Model United Nations Namibia (MUNNAM) 2016 Conference around the corner, the United Nations Information Centre (UNIC) Windhoek held an information session and is holding a social media countdown to generate excitement as well as to help delegates prepare for the event.

Starting on 1 June and running through 7 June, the day before the conference, UNIC Windhoek is cross posting a countdown that signifies the days remaining before the MUNNAM 2016 Conference that is being held 8-9 June at the Safari Court Conference Centre.

MUN countdown 1 twitterThe posts, which utilize the hashtag #MUNNAM2016, include reminders for the students about writing opening speeches, conducting research and other preparations for the conference, while also posing questions to excite the delegates.

UNIC Windhoek also held an information session Thursday 2 June, at which approximately 40 students from secondary schools in Windhoek were in attendance. The information session was hosted to provide additional support to students in preparation for the upcoming conference. Continue reading