Author Archives: Mouton

Windhoek High School Organize Canned Food Drive ahead of Nelson Mandela Day 2017

Nelson Mandela based his entire life on the principle of uplifting others, addressing critical social issues and most importantly sharing a memory in the promotion of justice and social cohesion.

On 13 July 2017, the United Nations Information Centre (UNIC) Windhoek collaborated with Windhoek High School (WHS) to host the second Nelson Mandela Day Canned Food Drive. The project is part of a greater effort to assist local soup kitchens with food supplies in commemoration of Nelson Mandela International Day on 18 July. Over 650 canned food items were collected from the event and donated to the Okuryangava Feeding Centre, a local soup kitchen in Katutura.

Four high schools in Windhoek pledged their commitment to alleviate hunger in vulnerable communities—a core tenet of Mandela’s legacy. The initiative has seen tremendous success in solidifying partnerships and assisting soup kitchens, thus easing the burden of soup kitchens and aiding them to focus on servicing members of their respective communities.

At the handover ceremony Windhoek High School students, and the UNIC team highlighted the meaning behind the upcoming day that commemorates Nelson Mandela’s exceptional dedication to community service. The Day was established on 18 July 2009 through a United Nations resolution to commemorate the tireless activism of Nelson Mandela. Its foremost principle is to dedicate 67 minutes to community involvement, assisting those in need of support. The UNIC team has made it a priority to see his legacy continued and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG’s) has consistently implemented in the design process of community outreach initiatives. While the canned food drive project strikes at the heart of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals, it particularly emphasizes the second goal, “Zero Hunger”, which is geared towards the elimination of world hunger and malnutrition, as well as supporting sustainable food systems. Part of Mandela’s legacy was advocating for the eradication of global hunger and with the SDG’s now permeating UN initiatives  at international and local levels, canned food drives are very much a part of his legacy and the modern strides toward development that the SDG’s aim to achieve.  Continue reading

#PeacePals: Jan Mohr students share thoughts on peace

On the 13th of July 2017, the United Nations Information Centre (UNIC) Windhoek team visited Jan Mohr Secondary School in Windhoek to carry out the third instalment of the #PeacePals project.

The #PeacePals project is designed to increase awareness on the importance of sustainable peace by educating young adults on the Sustainable Developments Goals (SDG’s) with particular emphasis on SDG 16 (Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions).The project was initiated to start a global conversation on peace by providing students with the opportunity to share their opinion with other students across the globe.

The presentation was focused on the significance of peace as a prerequisite for the alleviation of most humanitarian crises we’re faced with today as well as the different UN bodies focused on conflict resolution. Particular emphasis was placed on the tragic consequences that resulted from wars and genocides in different countries around the world by highlighting the refugee crisis in Europe.  Continue reading

The Vision of Human Rights Grows in Namibia

Tuesday 4 July the United Nations Information Centre (UNIC) Windhoek launched the excitingly new Human Rights Visionary Programme. The outreach was pioneered at both Emmanuel Shifidi Secondary School and Highline Secondary School in Katutura.

 The Human Rights Visionary Programme aims to communicate the fundamental principles of the United Nations (UN) verified through the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR). The programme focuses on the first article of the UDHR which states that “all people are born free and equal in dignity and rights.”  The aim is to spread the vision contained in the first sentence of the declaration which demands for a world where everyone has an equal dignity in practice and not just on paper.

 The 4 main goals of the project are:

1.     To educate High School Learners about the United Nations.

2.     To raise awareness of the importance of Human Rights.

3.     To impart the values of dignity and equality to their fullest extent.

4.     To inspire and spread the vision of an ideal world where the full realization of Human Rights become a reality.

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#PeacePals: Spreading Peace, from Windhoek to Jakarta

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. Continue reading

#WednesdayCelebrateWomen July 2017: UNIC Windhoek celebrates Dr. Peggy Emvula.

WednesdayCelebrateWomen July 2017: UNIC Windhoek celebrates Dr. Peggy Emvula.

 Each month through the #WednesdayCelebrateWomen campaign, the United Nations Information Centre (UNIC) Windhoek celebrates inspiring women making a positive impact in Namibia.

For this month’s #WCW #WednesdayCelebrateWomen, UNIC Windhoek celebrates Dr. Peggy Emvula, the first Namibian Radiation Oncologist, doing remarkable work for cancer patients in Namibia. Check out her interview with UNIC Windhoek to learn more about this amazing woman!

Can you tell us a bit about yourself and your career? What is one of your career achievements that you are most proud of?

I was born in Namibia some 57 years ago. I come from a humble family of six siblings. My parents are both late. I had my primary education in Northern Namibia and my secondary education at Dobra in Windhoek. In 1979 I left the country for Angola and then Zambia, where I underwent training for journalism at the Africa Literature Centre in Kitwe. I then returned back to Angola in 1981 where I worked as a journalist for the Combatant, a paper for the People’s Liberation Army of Namibia (PLAN). In 1982 I left for Sofia, Bulgaria to study medicine at the Medical Academy Sofia. My dream has always been that of becoming a doctor with the aim to help people. I completed my medical training in 1989 and came back to Namibia. I got employed by the Health Ministry since 1990. During my work, I noticed patients with cancer especially those who were advanced and could not be sent to South Africa for treatment but could be offered short courses of treatment at home which was not available then. So when an opportunity came up to go for training in cancer treatment, I immediately applied and was granted the opportunity. I am a proud mother of one son. One of my career achievements I am very proud of is being able to fulfill my dreams. Cancer is one of the most feared diseases by man. I am able to bring smiles on my patients’ and their families’ faces. There is nothing more satisfying than seeing a patient coming in on a wheelchair and then after treatment coming back walking on his/her two feet or coming in crying from pain and going out smiling because you were able to alleviate that.

What are your thoughts on women’s empowerment and gender equality?  

Women still don’t enjoy the same rights and opportunities across all sectors of society including economic participation and decision making. Different behaviours and aspirations and needs of women and men are not equally valued and favoured. For me, gender equality is just a dream we are living. Traditionally women still suffer discrimination and exclusion from decision making. Continue reading

UNIC Windhoek bids farewell to talented interns

We don’t know where the time went, but it has gone as quickly as it arrived. Friday, 30 June 2017, the United Nations Information Centre (UNIC) Windhoek celebrated and said goodbye to eight exceptional interns. They were a hardworking and intelligent group of young men and women that gave their all to the Centre and the United Nation’s (UN) mission in Namibia.

The purpose of the UNIC Windhoek internship programme has been and will continue to be an initiative aimed at cultivating the wealth of talent within the Namibian youth. To expose interns to the unique working environment of the UN, and to groom them into experienced professionals capable of thriving within any working environment.

Experience has shown that interns at UNIC bring creativity, enthusiasm and a dynamic work ethic to the office, capable of implementing effective outreach activities and advocacy within Namibia.

This year’s group was no different as they epitomized the qualities necessary to support the UNIC office. With that being said, the Centre would like to acknowledge the efforts of Mr. Tom Shilongo, Ms. Mbatjita Ndjoze, Ms. Erna Tjombonde, Ms. Kristine Mupita, Mr. Cheryl Emvula, Mr. Alphonce Marealle, Mr. Robert Ngololo, Ms. Emma Schreiber and Mr. Mpho Katjiuongua. These young professionals gave their all to UNIC during the past six months. Continue reading

#MondayMenu: 3 – 9 July 2017

UN Namibia: What’s happening at UN Namibia this week? Check out the #MondayMenu for 3  – 9 July 2017.

#PeacePals, the United Nations Information Centre (UNIC) Windhoek’s peace pen-pal programme that launched last year, aims to raise awareness of the complexities of achieving worldwide peace and its interconnection with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

For the second year of the programme, UNIC Windhoek is collaborating with UNIC Jakarta in expanding the #PeacePals project over two continents. UNIC Windhoek is presenting about peace at two secondary schools in Windhoek on 3 July, at which students will be writing postcards to students in Indonesia.

The 40th Session of the FAO Conference is taking place from 3 – 8 July at the FAO Headquarters in Rome. There will be a side event dedicated to the Fall Armyworm, a moth whose caterpillar has been causing damage to maize throughout the African continent, including in Namibia.

The 120th session of the Human Rights Committee will be held at the United Nations Office at Geneva from 3 to 28 July 2017.

In light of 2017 being the International Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development, the UN System in Namibia will be launching a digital campaign called #TourismTuesday on Tuesday, 4 July. The campaign aims to raise awareness of the impact tourism has on national, regional and international development agendas.

 

 

UNIC Windhoek hosts first UNAM Model United Nations mock conference

The United Nations Information Centre (UNIC) Windhoek hosted the first Model United Nations (MUN) UNAM Mock Conference at the United Nations (UN) House in Windhoek on 28 June 2017.

MUN is a global UN youth initiative in which students simulate different organs of the UN, most notably the General Assembly. Participants represent different member states of the UN and confront pressing world issues, through fierce debate, lobbying and drafting UN resolutions.

The programme is focused on enhancing debating skills, critical thinking, public speaking, research and writing skills. It also enhances the youth’s understanding of the UN Structure and contemporary debates relating to current global concerns and possible solutions. The distinguished programme runs at schools and universities across the world and, within Namibia, is spearheaded by UNIC Windhoek, since its introduction to the country in 2011.

Under the guidance of UNIC Windhoek and the UNAM Model UN Society, participants deliberated over the following topic: “The Role of the International Criminal Court (ICC) in the modern world, particularly in regards to Africa.” The topic is a contentious issue that could have serious repercussions on matters pertaining to justice on the African continent.

Even though it was a mock debate, with the official conference to be held later this year, discussions and speeches were compelling from the get-go, as delegates approached the topic from a myriad of different perspectives in order to find common ground.

The debate concluded with an award ceremony acknowledging all participants, with special recognition given to the best speaker, as well as best overall delegate of the session. The winners, along with all other participants, put forward a comprehensive and professional display, emphasizing the training and preparation they have received from MUN UNAM, in addition to the technical support they received form the UNIC team throughout the year.

#WCW:WednesdayCelebrateWomen celebrates Dr. Varnia Wicomb

WednesdayCelebrateWomen June 2017: UNIC Windhoek celebrates Dr. Varnia Wicomb

Each month through the #WednesdayCelebrateWomen campaign, the United Nations Information Centre (UNIC) Windhoek celebrates inspiring women making a positive impact in Namibia.

For this month’s #WCW #WednesdayCelebrateWomen, UNIC Windhoek celebrates Dr. Varnia Wicomb, a devoted wife, mother and general medical practitioner with an interest in obstetrics. Check out her interview with UNIC Windhoek to learn more about this amazing woman!

Can you tell us a bit about yourself and your career? What is one of your career achievements you are most proud of?

Today, I am a dedicated medical doctor, devoted wife to my husband, Harold Mouton, and proud mother of three beautiful children, Isabella, aged 6 years, Hannah 3 years old and little Luca, now 4 months of age.

I originate from the city of Cape Town in South Africa. There I was raised as the youngest of 3 children to a middle income family on the Cape Flats. Both my parents were raised in impoverished families in small Karoo towns in the Western Cape. During our upbringing the importance of education and humility was emphasised by my parents. Despite financial difficulties in our family, I attained my MBChB degree at the University of Stellenbosch in 2003.

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#ProudToServe UNIC celebrates Loini Shinyama on UN Public Service Day

Today, 23 June 2017, is the official commemoration of the United Nations Public Service Day, a day to highlight the contribution of public servants to their fellow citizens and the Sustainable Development Goals.Over the past week, UNIC Windhoek has featured the stories of dedicated Namibian public servants in an endeavour to  highlight the dedication and commitment of public servants in facilitating sustainable development and recognize their efforts towards social progress.

UNIC Windhoek interviewed social worker Ms. Loini Shinyama, a Windhoek based lady educated in her home-city, but raised in Omungwelume village in the northern part of Namibia. Ms. Shinyama works for the Ministry of Health and Social Services in Rehoboth, focusing on social welfare.

Having graduated from the University of Namibia with a Bachelor of Arts (Honors) in Social Work in 2015, Ms. Shinyama has been serving the Rehoboth community since April 2016. In outlining her duties as a social worker, Ms. Shinyama says, “The purpose of the social work profession is to promote and sustain social welfare, which enhances an individual’s well-being, focusing on the physical, psychological, emotional and practical aspects of their lives. Social work is extensive, involving case work, one-on-one consultation with clients, group work, home visits and community projects.” Continue reading