UNIC Windhoek rolls out UN4U Programme for 2017

Since the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), the United Nations Information Centre (UNIC) Windhoek embarked on a mission to ensure that the Namibian youth understand what the SDGs is all about and how they can be achieved over a 15-year target.

Contributing to the 2017 UN4U programme, the UNIC team visited the Deutsche Höhere Privatschule Windhoek (DHPS) on Tuesday, 1 August 2017 to educate grade 7 learners about the UN’s work and also to learn from the them and their teachers. This marks a series of three educational outreach initiatives in the run up to UN Day, which is celebrated annually on 24 October. The programme includes an overview of the United Nations, its history, UN peacekeeping, UN agencies present in Namibia, and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG’s). An additional segment of this year’s UN4U programme placed great emphasizes on the rights of the child and their needs.

A warm welcome by the the DHPS, ethics teacher, Ms. Tahnee Horenburg and learners to the introductory lesson on the fundamentals of the United Nations.In layman terms the team explained the roles of the UN organs, such as the General Assembly’s role in deliberating current problems and policymaking, as well as the Security Council, which recognizes and responds to world threats. Furthermore, the programs, funds and specialized agencies of the UN were highlighted to show the UN’s response to different problems. The video screening segment demonstrated the UN’s peacekeeping mission in conflict resolution and peace negotiations.

The core fundamental objective of UNIC Windhoek outreach initiatives is to raise awareness and educate the young about the UN’s 2030 Agenda, the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDG’s) Efforts between the UN in Namibia and the government were highlighted to show learners how the UN makes a positive impact in Namibia through the United Nations Partnership Framework (UNPAF). This collaboration with the Namibian Government is a 4 year strategic framework unifying the aims of the UN with Namibia’s national interests, focusing on four target areas: education, health, poverty and the environment. The SDG video screening highlights the importance of the collaborative efforts across all sectors of society in achieving them.

The third component of the engagement with the learners comprised of teaching learners about their rights. The Convention on the Rights of the child has important implications for the education of children.Understanding their rights, the issues they face is very important to help them to blossom socially. Especially the right to an education is vital for the economic, social and cultural development of all societies.

The role of UNICEF in Namibia was emphasized in promoting and protecting the rights of the child which include the right to immunization, literacy, freedom of thought, safety and security, and basic necessities such as food, water and shelter.

Reference resources in the time of need has been shared with the learners e.g “Tuneme.org” a website which children can visit to ask questions on sexual reproductive health, HIV/AIDS, bullying and domestic abuse. In Namibia itself children may contact can also reach out to “Childline / Lifeline,”a call in service that helps children to address problems
The learners were actively involved and raised questions or concerns on child labor, expressed interest in UN Peacekeeping missions, and why and why certain countries are not part of the UN.