2016 has been a successful and exciting year for the United Nations Information Centre (UNIC) Windhoek! In celebration of its accomplishments, UNIC Windhoek will highlight its 2016 programmes on social media from Monday, 19 December through Saturday, 31 December through its #UNICrecap campaign.
The National Information Officer to Namibia, Anthea Basson, says that many new initiatives were started in 2016.
“The UNIC Windhoek team worked very hard throughout the year. Not only did we expand our existing programmes, including Model United Nations Namibia (MUNNAM) and UN4U, we introduced creative initiatives such as the Namibia Agreement, the High School Practicum Programme and #PeacePals while at the same time raising awareness of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs),” Basson said.
The Namibia Agreement, an agreement to take climate action signed by Namibian students on 22 April when world leaders were signing the historic Paris Agreement, was one of the many initiatives that focused on addressing climate change that UNIC Windhoek implemented this year.
With Namibia’s drought impacting people across the country, UNIC Windhoek also used digital platforms to spread word of the importance of taking climate action to address climate change. This included a social media campaign called the #55facts campaign, alluding to the 55 countries or those responsible for 55% of greenhouse gas emissions ratifying the Paris Agreement for it to come into force.
Another social media campaign that promoted climate action was the World Water Day water campaign, specifically the #ShorterShower Challenge. UNIC Windhoek teamed up with local artist Gazza and encouraged the public to finish showering #UNder5minutes before one of his songs finished playing.
“UNIC Windhoek expanded its audience reach by implementing multi-faceted social media campaigns throughout the year aimed at raising awareness. Specifically, we introduced the #WednesdayCelebrateWomen campaign,” Basson said.
Playing a significant role in the United Nations Communication Group (UNCG) in Namibia as the UNCG Secretariat, UNIC Windhoek spearheaded many other initiatives, including leading the commemoration of UN Day through a high-quality exhibit, encouraging increased branding of the SDGs as well as enhancing the UNCG communication channels.
Through the introduction and execution of the UN Namibia monthly e-newsletter as well as the #MondayMenu, a social media calendar shared each week, UNIC Windhoek played a key role in ensuring that UN Namibia ‘communicated as One.’
“The UN System in Namibia works in many diverse sectors in line with the United Nations Partnership Assistance Framework (UNPAF)’s pillars; education and skills, health, institutional environment and poverty reduction,” Basson says.
She continues, “Together, UN Namibia addresses a wide-range of development issues. The Newsletter and UN Namibia social media pages provide digital channels through which awareness of UN’s diverse work can be raised.”
UNIC Windhoek also continued to focus on youth empowerment throughout the year. Through the High School Practicum Programme as well as through MUNNAM, students gained valuable skills such as public speaking, writing and researching while learning about the United Nations and its work.
“The MUNNAM Students as well as the High School Practicum Programme students inspired the whole UNIC Windhoek team with their drive to bring about positive change in Namibia and their creativity in doing so,” said Basson.
UNIC Windhoek commemorated international observances through various programmes, including the International Day of Commemoration in Memory of the Victims of the Holocaust, International Mother Language Day, International Day of Happiness, International Day of Reflection on the Genocide in Rwanda, World Humanitarian Day, International Day of Peace and International Day for Disaster Reduction.
Not only did UNIC Windhoek engage with the Namibian public, but its programme work also expanded internationally. For its #PeacePals programme, a pen pal programme aimed at promoting peace, UNIC Windhoek worked with UNIC Pretoria in South Africa to promote a culture of international peace among primary level learners.
UNIC Windhoek looks forward to 2017 and continuing to communicate the work of the United Nations with the Namibian public.