Author Archives: Mouton

We Recycle!

Every day, Namibia’s 2.4 million citizens produce 3,000 tons of waste.[1] In efforts to reduce waste and promote the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), the United Nations Information Centre (UNIC) in Windhoek did its part to contribute to a greener Namibia. On 10 October 2017, UNIC Windhoek recycled huge piles of outdated publications from the United Nations Library in support of the SDGs addressing climate action.

Preserving our environment requires targeted efforts to protect, restore and promote the conservation and sustainable use of terrestrial and other ecosystems.[2] Goal 15 of the SDGs promotes the protection, restoration and sustainable use of terrestrial ecosystems, sustainably managed forests, combated desertification and reversed land degradation and biodiversity losses.[3] In the period 2010 – 2015, the global net loss of forest area dropped from 7.3 million hectares per year in the 1990s to 3.3 million hectares.[4] While this is promising, we still have a long way to go. We can all work together to use less paper, recycle and protect our environment.

Did you know that paper fibers can be reused and recycled up to 7 times?[5] The next time you pick up a piece of paper, try to think of it as 7 future pages, not just the 1 in your hand. Recyclable items that are improperly disposed of are no longer useful and could end up contaminating the environment, in landfills or incinerated. Recycling allows useful materials to be recovered and reused to prevent entrance into the waste stream. Every ton of paper that is recycled is a ton of paper that does not go into a landfill. Even every 1-ton of paper saves 10 giant trees![6]

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UNIC & UNESCO collaborate to teach Namibian children about Tolerance

To bring the message of tolerance home to the Namibia child, UNIC Windhoek and UNESCO collaborated to present a week long educational outreach on the message of Tolerance. International Day for Tolerance is observed on 16 November 2017.

 Tolerance is an act of humanity, which we must nurture and enact in our own lives every day, to rejoice in the diversity that makes us strong and the values that bring us together.” – UNESCO Director – General, Audrey Azoulay

From 13 – 16 November, UNIC & UNESCO team visited six different primary schools in the Khomas region, reaching more than 1800 Learners. The educational outreach was aimed at sensitizing primary school children about tolerance, in support of the global campaign launched by the UN to promote tolerance, respect and dignity for all across the world.

The team reached out to St. Andrews Primary School and Gammams Primary school in Khomasdal, St. Georges Private school in town, A.I Steenkamp and Namutoni Primary School in Katutura and Amazing Kids Private School in Cimbebasia.

During the school visits, the children were eager to learn what the word  tolerance meant and where tolerance should be practised. The team delivered a presentation introducing the UN’s 17 Sustainable goals to the youngsters, with a strong focus on Goal #16 Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions. This contextualized tolerance for the children and helped the team to explain how tolerance could aid in helping to achieve Goal #16.

Tolerance recognizes universal human rights and the fundamental freedoms of others. In that sense, we must accept the fact that people are naturally diverse. Only tolerance can ensure the survival of mixed communities in each region of the world.

The United Nations is committed to strengthening tolerance by fostering mutual understanding between cultures and peoples. This imperative is at the basis of the Charter of the United Nations, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and the UNESCO Declaration of Principles of Tolerance and these are more important than ever in an era when violent extremism and radicalism are on the rise and conflicts are widening.

The children in attendance listened attentively to the highlighted words: diversity, stereotype, inclusion and acceptance. Through the reflection rounds they had the opportunity to reflect on their actions and words they used on a daily basis and think of ways to change their perceptions, attitudes and behaviour.

Introducing this concept at an early age, allows primary school learners to be cautious about their perceptions and behaviours and how they can alter the way they view the world and people around them. Not only, to do self-evaluation but also to be able to identify intolerance and to stand against it and speak up when faced with it.

Education has a responsibility to foster the right type of skills, attitudes and behaviour that will lead to sustainable and inclusive growth, reducing inequalities and enhancing tolerance.The primary school learners walked away, knowing how to combat intolerance and have gained introspection for their future interaction in their diverse country.

The team concluded the outreach with an activity of leaving their fingerprint on a canvas tree. This symbolised that they are colourful leaves that form part of the human family tree and furthermore pledging that going forward, they will be more tolerant in school, in their country and the world.

UNIC Windhoek participates in UN Vision 2030 and Strategic Prioritization Workshop

The current  United Nations Partnership Framework (UNPAF) which maps out the UN System’s support to the national Government of the Republic of Namibia ends next year. To understand Namibia’s development context and to develop strategic priorities for the next framework, the UN System in Namibia (UN Namibia) hosted the UN Vision 2030 and Strategic Prioritization Retreat from 13-15 November 2017 in Windhoek.

Over the three day retreat, participants gained an understanding of Namibia’s development context, developed a UN Vision 2030 towards achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and identified strategic outcomes and priorities for UNPAF 2.0, the next partnership framework between the UN/GRN.

UNIC Windhoek participated throughout the retreat, gaining an understanding of the trajectory of development in Namibia. As UNIC Windhoek serves as the UNCG Secretariat to the UN Communication Group, an internal mechanism aimed at enhancing the UN’s joint communication, the knowledge gained from information-sharing and discussions at the retreat will be beneficial for the UNIC in advising on communication priorities for UNPAF 2.0.

#LetsRead campaign in support of #ReadNamibia

UNIC Windhoek in support of the ReadNamibia coalition, will post a weekly feature on social media platforms in support of the #LetsRead campaign. The campaign highlights what Namibians  are currently reading, in an effort to heighten awareness around the importance of reading and literacy in Namibia. Creating a reading culture has numerous benefits and can vastly improve learning and quality education. The campaign is aligned to SDG Goal 4, quality education.

Our #LetsRead feature this week is Nolizel Franks…

Nolizel Franks is an intern at the United Nations Information Centre #UNIC in Windhoek and spends her weekends volunteering with #ReadNamibia.As the founder of Leap Learning Centre, Nolizel provides special education to young learners grades 1 through 7. As a graduate of the University of Cape Town, she places a high emphasis on the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals #4: Quality Education and strives to make Namibia a better place through educational initiatives.

What is she reading?Nolizel is reading The Refugees by Viet Thanh Nguyen, winner of the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction in 2016.She is also reading Mama Namibia by Mari Serebrov, a story based on the true events of the Herero Genocide of 1904.

What have you been reading lately? You can help us support #literacy in #Namibia by donating used books to your local library, reading to children in your community or volunteering with the Read Namibia Coalition! For more information please visit http://bit.ly/2jdkMPS #Letsread #education #SDGs

Namibian youth marimba band mesmerize audience with SDG performance

UN Day is one of the most important observances on the UN calendar, providing the UN System in Namibia with some time to take stock of its key achievements, reflect on successful partnerships and push forward to realise the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

With the theme of UN Day aptly built around the achievement of the SDGs, it came as no surprise that the special entertainment, provided by the Sunshine Private School marimba band, was about the SDGs. The school marimba band prepared a 10min repertoire which had the audience moving to their unique sounds. It was followed by a spoken word performance on the 17 SDGs by a grade six learner, Tafadzwa Bopoto. He led the dignitaries and invited guests through each of the 17 goals, explaining what each goal meant.

Tafadzwa described the goals in simple terms which resonated well with the audience of learners from different schools. “Everybody deserves a meal,” he noted when referencing Goal 2, Zero Hunger, “as a student, education is very important, once we get an education, we can achieve whatever goals we want,” he noted when he reflected on Goal 4, Quality Education.

The audience members were all ears, as they nodded their heads and applauded in agreement, the entire marimba band echoed Tafadwa’s sentiments by playing a tune and calling out the Goals. When Tafadzwa concluded explaining the 17 Goals, he asked the audience questions, testing them on what he had just presented through his carefully crafted explanation of the 17 SDGs.

The Sunshine Private School marimba band’s spoken word showcased the talent of Namibian youth and added a wonderful ambience to the official proceedings. It was a highlight of their performance, and a testimony to the UNIC Windhoek team in the foundation the Centre is laying when embarking on educational outreaches to schools in Windhoek through programmes such as UN4U with a strong focus on the SDGs.

For the audience members and learners who participated in the UN Day 2017 observation, the 17 SDGs will never be the same again. Tafadzwa’s rendition broke down the goals in layman’s terms making them easy to understand. The Sunshine Private School was applauded for their preparation and entire performance. Their composed songs and spoken word was geared around the global goals and extremely memorable.

 

Read Namibia coalition learn about social media for grassroots causes

Tuesday, October 31st 2017 UNIC Windhoek lent support to a workshop hosted at the US Ambassador’s residence on behalf of the Read Namibia Coalition.

Read Namibia, which aims to educate young learners and give them the skills and knowledge needed to become global citizens, is made up of a diverse group of partners including the Association of Diplomatic Spouses (ADS), the Ministry of Education, Arts and Culture (MoEAC), the Namibia University of Science and Technology (NUST) and the University of Namibia (UNAM).

In an effort to support grassroots movements and broadcast information about Read Namibia, volunteers Lindsay Harrington of UNIC and Ida Sallah of the Coalition of Diplomatic Spouses, gave an educational introduction to communications strategizing and the use of social media for grassroots causes. As a low cost and powerful tool, social media networks can serve as excellent platforms to facilitate communications about grassroots efforts and grow visibility. The workshop detailed the ways in which coalition members can harness the powers of social media to broadcast Read Namibia’s mission and values to the general public in the Windhoek area. Volunteers discussed concepts like generating community engagement, educating the public about literacy initiatives in Namibia and enhancing Namibia’s reading culture among youth.

Read Namibia collaborates with volunteers from Embassies and High Commissions in Namibia, local libraries, schools and private sector partners to host reading events and

donate reading materials to young learners. While inspiring a love of reading in the younger generation, Read Namibia hopes that it can help combat illiteracy and promote quality education in an effort to transform Namibia into a knowledge-based society.

#MondayMenu: 30 October – 5 November 2017

UN Namibia: What’s happening at UN Namibia this week? Check out the #MondayMenu for 30 October – 5 November 2017.

FAO Namibia will be hosting Integrated Rural Development and Nature Conservation (IRDNC) Trainings on the Rangeland Reseeding-Resilience Building Nexus on 31 October. Learn more: http://bit.ly/2iIfrQl

World Cities Day, 31 October, aims to promote the international community’s interest in global urbanization, push forward cooperation among countries in meeting opportunities and addressing challenges of urbanization, and contributing to sustainable urban development around the world. Learn more: http://bit.ly/109o7jX

WHO and partners, together with the Ministry of Health and Social Services (MOHSS) in Namibia have consequently started to align country and partner efforts around a unified and multi-sectoral preparedness framework for a harmonized technical, financing, and evaluation benchmarks in the country.

Following the voluntary Joint External Evaluation (JEE) of IHR Core Capacities that was conducted in Namibia in December 2017, the country is in the final stages of completing a National Action Plans for Health Security (NAPHS), for preventing, detecting and responding to public health threats independently of whether they are natural, deliberate or accidental emergencies. This NAPHS is expected to be reviewed, costed and finalized in the meeting that is scheduled to take place from 31 October to 2 November 2017, in Namibia. Learn more: http://bit.ly/2zZX4L6

On Wednesday, 1 November, Namibia will commemorate the International Day of Poverty Eradication at Five Rand Camp.

The inauguration of the Yahoo Japan Patrol Camp at Etosha National Park will be taking place on Saturday, 4 November. Yahoo Japan, UNDP Namibia, the Embassy of Japan in Namibia, the Strengthening the Protected Areas System (PASS) and the Namibia Parks and Wildlife are involved in the initiative

UNIC Windhoek highlights the SDGs

At the UN Day exhibition, the United Nations Information Centre showcased its work to guests and young people in attendance. The UNIC exhibit showcased some programmes such as the Model United Nations programme as well as educational outreach programmes such as UN4U, Holocaust, PeacePals and more.

Most prominently the UNIC exhibition handed out information about the Sustainable Development Goals along with SDG branded bags and UNIC branded pens. The young people received SDG word puzzles and games, and were keen to learn more about the Global Goals. As the hub for information about the UN, UN charters, information about human rights etc. were available to the public to take along.

UNIC staff interacted with Government, diplomats, civil society and young people who were keen to learn more and understand the UN in Namibia better. As people departed from the UN house, it was wonderful to see them leave with UNIC bags, branded with the the Sustainable Development Goals which they now had a better understanding of.

Exhibition showcases UN System in Namibia’s work

On United Nations Day 2017, the UN System in Namibia demonstrated to stakeholders from government, diplomatic corps and civil society how the agencies and programmes in Namibia work together to deliver as one in Namibia through an exhibition.

The exhibition was hosted at the UN house,  and brought together all resident and nonresident agencies, to demonstrate the progress being made in the areas of health, the environment, food security, aviation, labour, poverty, the environment and gender equality.

Invited guests and youth toured the UN building, interacting with programme staff and learning more about each agency’s work and how it relates to national development. UN agencies distributed reports, information sheets and promotional material in support of their agency mandates and ensured meaningful interactions through videos, demonstrations and interactive displays.

The exhibition provided a platform to share the UN System’s vision and work and foster further collaboration among partners.

UN Day 2017: Youth encouraged to champion sustainable development

Windhoek, 24 October 2017 – In celebration of the 72nd anniversary of the United Nations (UN), the UN System in Namibia (UN Namibia) hosted an exhibition for learners aimed at encouraging the youth to use their voices to bring about positive change in line with national, regional and international development agendas. The exhibition, held under the theme, “United with UN Namibia for sustainable development” took place on 24 October 2017 at the UN House in Klein Windhoek.

Kicking off the exhibition, the UN Resident Coordinator to Namibia, Kiki Gbeho said that partnerships, not only with development partners, stakeholders and academia, but also with the youth, are crucial to eradicate poverty, save the planet and ensure prosperity for all.

“We challenge [the youth] to be the generation that creates a fairer world; a world with a health and educated population and where poverty is a thing of the past. We challenge you to unite for development,” the UNRC said.

Youth make up a large percentage of Namibia’s population, and according to UNESA, Africa’s youth population is expected to more than double by 2055. Demonstrating the innovation and drive of the younger generation, learners from the Sunshine Private School marimba band performed an original piece about the SDGs as part of the proceedings, encouraging the audience to use their voices to be the change they want to see and to achieve the 17 global goals.

The Deputy Minister of Economic Planning Hon. Lucia Iipumbu echoed the integral role of partnership in the achieving development agendas, specifically the Fifth National Development Plan (NDP5).

“Together we have put in place some solid foundations for shared progress, which I am convinced we will continue to build on. We will continue to empower women, engage the youth, uphold human rights for all, eradicate poverty and provide technical support and expertise to push the development agenda forward in Namibia,” Hon. Iipumbu said.

Following the event, learners and invited guests, including Deputy Ministers from Land, Fisheries and the Office of the Prime Minister, representatives from Namibia’s line ministries, representatives of the diplomatic corps and development partners, had the opportunity to learn more about the UN’s work in Namibia and interact with various programme staff members. The dynamic exhibition also raised awareness of the United Nations Partnership Framework (UNPAF), the partnership framework between the UN Namibia and the Namibian government.

UN Day, an observance celebrated globally, marks the anniversary of the entry into force in 1945 of the UN Charter. With the ratification of this founding document by the majority of its signatories, including the five permanent members of the Security Council, the UN officially came into being. In Namibia, over 170 staff members make up the UN System in Namibia.