After learning more about the United Nations, the practicum participants dived deeper into the work of the United Nations. On 5th May 2016, UNIC Windhoek explained the concept of human rights and the students researched articles of the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR).
The session started with an engaging video about human rights. The students were surprised to learn that the concept of human rights did not exist until Cyrus the Great and Mahatma Gandhi laid the fundamentals for these pertinent, universal rights.
They also began to understand the importance of ensuring human rights for all people as they saw images of human suffering and as they found out violations of human rights here in Namibia. The students were in disbelief after hearing that one out of three children are poor; one out of four children suffers from abuse and one out of seven children do not have proper shelter in Namibia.
Following the video and a presentation outlining human rights and the 30 articles of the UDHR, the students were divided into groups. Each group was challenged to select one of the articles, refine a presentation on how the Namibian youth can own up to it, provide practical examples and explain what the youth can do in order to be taken seriously by the national authorities.
The groups elaborated and provided food for thought on freedom from discrimination, right to marriage and family and freedom of opinion and information. The groups shared physical and emotional examples of discrimination, while others provided insightful information on the cultural marital status of the Oshivambo, Damara and Herero people describing Lobola, the Olufuko festival and Tjiramwe. Other students stressed the importance of the youth becoming more active in decision making and sharing their opinions with the authorities.