Nelson Mandela International Day: UNIC Windhoek serves the Trail Blazers of our time

DSC_0294As the population of persons 65 years and older grows, society needs to be prepared to serve the elderly, the trail blazers of our time. Nowadays, many old people are neglected or forgotten by their children and support systems as society moves away from being more family centric. This means volunteers play an important role in caring for the varying needs of the elderly, including not only spiritual concerns, but health and mobility issues, emotional needs, and other practical concerns of daily life.

In celebration of Nelson Mandela International Day, which is commemorated annually across the globe on 18 July, the United Nations Information Centre (UNIC) Windhoek used its #Time2Serve the elderly of the Katutura Old People’s Home. The team aimed to provide companionship and support to a generation which is commonly neglected and to provide space for this generation to be able to share their stories and be heard. Continue reading

Muay Thai and Promoting Peace: Ophthalmologist Dr. Ndume takes action with youth against GBV on Mandela Day

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In light of Nelson Mandela International Day, commemorated each year of 18 July, on Thursday 21 July 2016, the United Nations Information Centre (UNIC) Windhoek honored Nelson Mandela’s dedication to peace by partnering with Combat Club, a local Muay Thai club, and educating learners at Jakob Marengo Tutorial College about self-defense.

On Nelson Mandela International Day, individuals around the world are encouraged to devote 67 minutes – one minute for every year of Mandela’s public service – to helping others and jointly stepping towards a global movement for good. Because of the high prevalence of violence against women and gender-based violence (GBV) in Namibia, UNIC Windhoek used its #Time2Serve to educate young girls about self-defense in order to provide them with the agency to protect themselves when faced with danger. Throughout the outreach, there was a large emphasis on the fact that violence should be the last resort in a situation of danger.

EDSC_0042The event was officiated by the Namibian Ophthalmologist Dr. Helena Ndume, who encouraged girls to help the country find solutions to end violence against women and girls and to protect human rights. Dr. Ndume was the first woman to receive the UN Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela Prize, which honors the outstanding achievements of people who have dedicated their lives to the service to humanity. Dr. Ndume’s lifelong work has encompassed the treatment of blindness and eye-related illnesses, both in Namibia and throughout the developing world. To date, Dr. Ndume has helped over 30,000 Namibians receive eye surgery at no-cost as well as implant intraocular lens to address blindness, cataracts and myopia in many patients. Continue reading

Prosperous Paths: UNFPA Namibia Representative Dennia Gayle addresses teenage pregnancy with Rocky Crest High School learners

rocky crest high school: prosperous pathsWednesday morning was an exciting morning for the Rocky Crest High School female learners, as they had the opportunity to engage with the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) Representative to Namibia Ms. Dennia Gayle through the UN System in Namibia’s ‘Prosperous Paths’ outreach programme.

After a brief introduction by the National Information Officer to Namibia, Ms. Anthea Basson, Ms. Gayle asked the girls to share their thoughts on women’s empowerment, as she emphasized that the minds of young people produce some of the best ideas.

Answering the question ‘why is it important to invest in teenage girls?’, Ms. Gayle reminded the learners that although teenage girls around the world face more and greater challenges than their male counterparts, it does not mean that the boy child is not affected but rather the depth of the challenges faced by the girls is higher than that of boys. Continue reading

Quest for Empowerment: Changing traditional structures against women through Prosperous Paths

Tanben College: Prosperous PathsThe ‘Prosperous Path, Leading in Vocation’ education outreach initiative critically aims at motivating girls and advocating that women’s empowerment is central to sustainable development. This engagement called for the recognition of the need to empower girls, particularly to strengthen their own capacities and to encourage their participation in the decision-making processes.

The open dialogue with secondary level learners at Tanben College highlighted numerous problems such as drug and alcohol abuse, prostitution, teenage pregnancy, discrimination and rape, to mention a few. The most particular challenge for some of the girls was that traditional structures hold them back from reaching their full potential and owning their self-worth.

Ms. Basson encouraged the audience to provide possible solutions to the problems raised.  One of the learners suggested the implementation of measureable mentorship programmes that help girls stand up for themselves. Another, suggestion was that Namibia should adopt the measure taken by some European countries to ensure the employment of 40% women in companies. Continue reading

Prosperous Path: Cosmos High School addressed gender inequality and HIV/AIDS among young girls

Cosmos High School: Prosperous PathsEducation is the key factor for women’s empowerment, prosperity, development and welfare, and in building the self-confidence, skills and knowledge necessary to participate fully in global sustainable development.

The United Nations System in Namibia embarked on a month long journey to educate 5000 girls about gender equality and women’s empowerment, but also to motivate them to gain more knowledge about issues that affect them in order to achieve a higher status and build positive self-esteem, confidence and the necessary courage and inner strength to face challenges in life.

Education is the most powerful tool in changing the position of the girl child in society, and the ‘Prosperous Path, Leading in Vocation’ dialogue session with the learners of Cosmos High School identified the obstacles and discrimination girls face on a daily basis, leading to fruitful discussion of how to bring about change. Continue reading

Prosperous Paths: Jan Mohr learners share ways to achieve Goal #5 of the SDGs

Jan Mohr - Prosperous PathsAlcohol and substance abuse, early age sexual relations, teenage pregnancy and peer pressure are some of the issues that affect Secondary School learners across Namibia. More than 66% of the Namibian population is aged 30 and below, and if these issues are not addressed, they will continue to affect the younger generation’s academic and social lives.

Starting off the day, the Jan Möhr administration invited Pastor Chris Johnson to bless the girls before they begin with exams, and he touched on some of the issues which affect student’s academic performances and urged the students to stay away from drugs, alcohol and sexual activities. Pastor Johnson’s speech was a great ice breaker for the Prosperous Paths outreach, as it motivated the learners’ to think about problems faced by women across Namibia. Continue reading

Prosperous Paths: Windhoek Technical School Learners Share Solutions to Solve Gender Inequality

Windhoek Technical High- Prosperous PathsThe UN System in Namibia engaged with over 410 girls from Windhoek Technical School as part of ‘Prosperous Paths’, a programme that aims at empowering and educating Namibian girls. The girls were very supportive and excited to be part of the campaign, engaging in meaningful discussions regarding issues of gender inequality with the UN System staff.

Ms. Anthea Basson, the National Information Officer to Namibia, started by introducing the mandate of the United Nations and asked questions to evaluate the learners’ knowledge of the UN and its work in Namibia.

She then asked the learners the question, “What are the biggest challenges facing women and girls in Namibia, and how do we solve them? The girls impatiently awaited their turn to voice their concerns on issues affecting women and girls and they passionately shared their insight, and proposed solutions. Continue reading

#WednesdayCelebrateWomen: UNIC Windhoek Celebrates Educator Bridget Jenkins

Bridget Jenkins- #WCWIn order to promote women’s empowerment and to generate awareness of the importance of gender equality, the United Nations Information Centre (UNIC) Windhoek celebrates women and their accomplishments each Wednesday. For this week’s #WednesdayCelebrateWomen #WCW, UNIC Windhoek celebrates Bridget Jenkins, a history teacher and Deputy Principal at St. Paul’s College in Windhoek, Namibia.

Before finding herself at St. Paul’s, Bridget was born and raised in a rural village along the coast of South Wales. At the age of 16, she had the opportunity to attend an international college that aims to develop international understanding, the United World College of the Atlantic, where she met people from all around the world. This experience had a large impact on Bridget, who continued on with her education at University in York.

Through her University’s Centre of Southern African Studies, she became interested in the history of southern Africa and met many Namibians who were campaigning for Independence at the time. Her experiences motivated her to continue studying, finishing with a Masters of Arts in African History and a Postgraduate Certificate in Education (PGCE). She has been teaching and enjoying a career in education ever since. Continue reading

Combretum Trust students learn about gender equality through Prosperous Paths Outreach

DSC_0094The United Nations System in Namibia team continued its Prosperous Paths outreach programme at Combretum Trust, a secondary level school in Windhoek, on Friday, 8 July 2016.

Anthea Basson, the National Information Officer to Namibia, started by asking Combretum Trust’s female learners a few questions about the United Nations to test their knowledge as well as to gauge their familiarity with the UN’s work in Namibia. The students stated the UN Agencies they had heard of and explained the work each agency does in Namibia. Continue reading

NAMCOL films educational series at UN House

DSC_0005 (1)The United Nations Information Centre (UNIC) Windhoek team hosted filming crew from the Namibian College of Open Learning (NAMCOL) at the UN House on Thursday, 7 July 2016. NAMCOL is an educational institution that provides study opportunities for adults and out-of-school youth.

The College has been commissioned by the Ministry of Education to develop a series of video programmes in a range of Grades 10 – 12 subjects as part of the Ministry’s strategy to support learners countrywide.

The young local actors (students) came to record an educational series which aims at educating students about the role of various international organizations in Namibia as part of the Junior Secondary School History curriculum. Continue reading