On Monday 3 July, the United Nations Information Centre (UNIC) began the second instalment of the #PeacePals project. The presentation was carried out by representatives of the UNIC Windhoek team at both Academia Secondary School and Windhoek Technical High School.
The programme recognizes the importance of an informed understanding of peace by providing an introduction to the UN 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDG’s), with a particular emphasis on SDG 16 which focuses on Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions. PeacePals is based on engaging with school students on the different facets of peace, and sharing the understanding gained with schools across the world.
The content of the presentation covered a range of topics including the importance of peace by elaborating on the negative consequences of conflict on individuals, communities and countries and the different UN bodies focused on conflict resolution. Particular emphasis was placed on refugees and the refugee crisis in Europe, concrete examples of how violence directly disrupts social life and opportunities for human prosperity.
After an informative presentation, the students were given postcards on which they wrote letters to students in Jakarta, motivating collaborative efforts towards achieving peace. These postcards provided an informative, as well as relatable student-to-student platform for communicating concerns and innovative ideas.
The students were enthusiastic and optimistic about the prospect of engaging with peers from a different country, and energetically engaged the UNIC team with thoughtful and insightful questions. They were very inquisitive about the workings of the UN in Namibia and were excited about being part of something bigger than themselves.
Postcards will then be sent to UNIC Jakarta who will in turn pass them on to the partnering school. The participating school, with the help of UNIC Jakarta, will subsequently send its respective postcards back to Namibia. The exchange emphasizes mutual understanding and a collective effort across different borders towards the same goal.
UNIC Namibia encourages the continuation of the #PeacePals project as it helps students across the globe understand the problems faced in other countries as well as the heartfelt emotions of how conflicts worldwide are affecting different economies and their people. The UNIC team will continue its outreach to schools around Namibia to further educate students on the principles of peace, instilling justice and building stern and healthy relationships between different cultures worldwide.