Category Archives: Outreach Activities

Messages of Peace from Jakarta to Windhoek

The International Day of Peace is observed around the world on 21 September. The General Assembly has declared this as a day devoted to strengthening the ideals of peace, both within and among all nations and peoples.The theme for 2017 is “Together for Peace: Respect, Safety and Dignity for All.”

The theme honours the spirit of TOGETHER, a global initiative that promotes respect, safety and dignity for everyone forced to flee their homes in search of a better life. TOGETHER unites the organizations of the United Nations System, the 193 Member States of the United Nations, the private sector, civil society, academic institutions and individual citizens in a global partnership in support of diversity, non-discrimination and acceptance of refugees and migrants. It was initiated during the United Nations Summit for Refugees and Migrants on 19 September 2016.

“In times of insecurity, communities that look different become convenient scapegoats,” said United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres. “We must resist cynical efforts to divide communities and portray neighbours as ‘the other’. Discrimination diminishes us all. It prevents people — and societies — from achieving their full potential.” He added, “Together, let us stand up against bigotry and for human rights. Together, let us build bridges. Together, let us transform fear into hope.”

To commemorate this day, the United Nations Information Centre Windhoek facilitated an innovative #PeacePals programme, where five schools in Windhoek wrote post cards to their peers in Jakarta, sending a message of peace and what it means to them. Today, UNIC Windhoek distibuted the post cards received from Jakarta to the Namibian learners on peace and its fundamental role in our lives.

The UNIC team visited  the participating schools to deliver the messages of Peace  sent from Jakarta.  The first delivery was to the Waldorf Private School. The team also visited the Windhoek Technical High School, Academia Secondary School, Windhoek International School and Jan Mohr Secondary School.

The learners were very excited to read from their Jakarta #PeacePals friends who left their e-mail  and social media handles allowing the students to keep in touch. This serves the main purpose of the #PeacePals project which is to create a platform through which students can connect with students from other countries and share their views on world peace.  

Read Namibia and UN Namibia encourage children to read

The United Nations System in Namibia (UN Namibia) handed over books to children and reiterated the importance of literacy at Read Namibia’s UN Plaza Readathon on 16 September 2017.

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).

Speaking at the Readathon, the UN Resident Coordinator (UNRC) to Namibia, Kiki Gbeho highlighted the importance of reading and attributed her success to literacy. “I am where I am today because of reading,” she stated.

The UNRC further explained what the UN is and its work in Namibia. Literacy and quality education has been on the forefront of the UN’s development agenda globally and in Namibia. Specifically, Goal 4 ‘Quality Education’ of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) aims to increase literacy around the globe by 2030 and through the Education and Skills Pillar of the United Nations Partnership Framework (UNPAF) 2014-2018, the UN works with Government to address education challenges.

To get the crowd excited about reading, the UNRC read How the Giraffe Got So Tall by Abby Long to the children.

Maria Hiwilepo, a pilot for Air Namibia, also spoke at the event, encouraging the children to follow their dreams, work hard, stay in school and have the foresight to think ahead towards their future.

Following the speeches, the children read books in groups, wrote their own stories and played word games. The children received donated books as prizes and gifts to take home from UN Namibia, which were the result of a UN Staff book drive held the week before.

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.

Windhoek International School Children learn about their rights

The United Nations Information Centre (UNIC) in collaboration with UNICEF Namibia, held a presentation at the UN house on 13 September 2017 about the Convention on the Rights of the Child.   Approximately 40 learners aged between eight and ten from Windhoek International school attended the presentation.

The presentation covered the importance of children’s rights which includes empowering children to enjoy and exercise their rights and to respect and uphold the rights of others as they act to promote justice for peace.

Children were briefed on their responsibilities to know their rights. They have the right to quality education, health care, to a name and nationality as well as the right to freedom of expression. The Children displayed extraordinary engagement and interest in learning about the presentation and the rights they are entitled to.

One child stood up and told the audience that she has the right to equality. “To be treated fairly and with respect and also treat others equally and with dignity”. A child has the right to grow up in a family environment, in an atmosphere of happiness, love and understanding. They have the right to food, shelter, clean water and to be able to participate in the society as individuals.

The presentation was based on the Convention on the Rights of the Child which was adopted and opened for signature, ratification and accession recession by General Assembly and is also known as Resolution 44/25 of 20 November 1989. The Government of Namibia adopted it on the 28 September 1990.

The presenters created an atmosphere for the children to engage and participate and ensured that the Children’s Rights are deeply rooted in their minds. Children learned that they have the right to a meaningful life with proper guardians and people who care for them. They learned about how they have the right to, an identity, an official record of who they are, to play, to rest and to have privacy.

The presentation covered the important ways children are protected from abuse and extortion. Emphasis was also placed on children to speak their minds and share their opinions in ways that do not offend or harm others.

At the conclusion of the presentation, learners were presented with scenarios that provided an overview of violations of their rights. They were encouraged to review their rights and discuss ways in which the scenarios violated the Convention on the Rights of the Child. In its totality, the presentation taught the children about their rights, to speak up for themselves and to seek help from their guardians when they think their rights are being violated. The young learner’s engagement showed that they were already very familiar with their rights and well prepared to take on the responsibility of protecting and harboring their rights and those of their peers.

#MondayMenu: 11 – 17 September 2017

UN Namibia: What’s happening at UN Namibia this week? Check out the #MondayMenu for 11 – 17 September 2017.

UNESCO Windhoek Office in collaboration with UNAM will be hosting a Training of Educators on the Supervision of Research Proposals from 11 to 12 September. The training is mainly to capacitate educators to effectively supervise under-graduate educational research projects and the use of information and communication technologies (ICTs) in research.

The World Food Programme (WFP) is facilitating a Training of Trainers for Conducting a Food and Nutrition Security Assessment. The training is taking place in Otjiwarongo from 11 to 15 September 2017.

UNESCO Windhoek Office will also be holding a Training Workshop for Life Skills Teachers from 12 to 14 September in Zambezi Region.

UNIC Windhoek in partnership with UNICEF Namibia will raise awareness on children’s rights and responsibilities with learners ages 9 and 10 from Windhoek International School (WIS) on 13 September 2017. Through a presentation, the students will also learn about the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child.

UN Namibia is running a book drive this week. Collections will be donated at the Read Namibia UN Plaza Public Event on 16 September. In line with Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) 4 ‘Quality Education’, the public event aims at raising awareness of the importance of literacy and reading for Namibia’s youth.

#PeacePals project concluded at Windhoek International

The fifth instalment of the #PeacePals project concluded for the year at the Windhoek International School with 110 learners in attendance ranging from grades 9-12.

On the 1st of September 2017 the auditorium set a relaxing atmosphere for our audience, an open-minded and eager group of learners and educators keen to engage in the topic of International Peace. The presentation was conducted by the UNIC team and was fostered by questions and answers during the presentation.

The audience was informed of the role the United Nations plays in the world and how the 17 Sustainable Development Goals were designed to aid in achieving Vision 2030, not just in Namibia, but in the world. The learners were reminded how they contribute to enhancing the Sustainable Development Goals and how people from around the world play their part to ensure that these set goals are obtainable within the 13 years ahead.

In anticipation of the International Day of Peace taking place on the 21st of September; the audience was focused on the refugee crises that has affected the world in the last 4 years. The audience was intrigued to know how they could contribute to the overall objective of SDG 16 known as ‘Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions’. The Peace Pals project which was created to enable learners to have a cross border international communication channel with other learners from Jakarta allowed them to share their views around the topic. The Peace Pals expressed themselves on postcards giving insight on what peace meant to them and how they can try to promote peace in their daily lives and in the lives of those around them.

The 1000 postcards received from the five various schools were sent to the various partner schools in Indonesia. On the 21st of September 2017 the learners of the five participating schools in Windhoek will receive postcards from their fellow peers. Herewith they will have an insight of their counterparts’ views, concerns and solutions on global peace. Continue reading

Financial Literacy Decoded: Students at National Health Training Centre “Learn-the-Lingo”

An air of academic prestige was palpable on campus at the National Health Training Centre—revealing an institutional history devout to an increasingly growing field: medical sciences. On the morning of 28 August 2017, UNIC team members walked up to the Training Centre’s administrative building excited about what was about to take place in the company of approximately 80 learners.  The team first met with Ms. Kalimba; she wore a kind smile and created the steadfast impression that she harbored utmost regard for her student’s well-being.

Ms. Kalimba corralled the UNIC team into a traditional-style classroom where the latest UNIC outreach presentation would be unveiled. This week’s presentation was centred on Financial Literacy for youth in Windhoek. The Programme, titled with the auspicious name “Learning-the-Lingo” (LTL) delves into terms and concepts commonly used by financial and banking institutions. These are financial terms and concepts that often erect a terminology barrier and can serve to discourage students from taking advantage of financial services and resources. By decoding common financial lingo [or jargon] the presentation aimed to instil a confidence among youth that will help motivate them to take advantage of financial services such as banking, mobile banking, credit, and loans. The Programme also assists in providing students with a basic understanding of money management strategies and tools to prepare them for the transition into professional lives where they will be confronted with money management opportunities.

At first, students looked puzzled; as to why the United Nations was in their studious habitat revelling in the importance of money management and financial resources. However, the presentation made a fixed effort to round any corners of confusion by elaborating on financial literacy’s unique place within the UN, particularly its relevance to the UN Charter and most importantly, to the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals.

The presentation’s overarching themes included reasons to save earnings, brief summaries of banking products and services traditionally offered by the big banks in Namibia, the common terms attached to those services, while also endorsing effective financial resources that can kindle the entrepreneurial spirit—a spirit that often lines the ambitions of the industrious youth of today. The Programme also incorporated a highly relatable segment that addressed the “paycheque-to-paycheque lifestyle”—something many youth struggle with as popular culture commonly encourages a lifestyle of hyper materialism and living beyond one’s means. These superficial lifestyles were debunked using the rationale that money spent in excess to convey one’s personal success carries the potential to dissolve that same success.

The presentation corresponded with five of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG’s). Goal 1—No Poverty, Goal 4—Quality Education, Goal 5—Gender Equality, Goal 8—Decent Work and Economic Growth, Goal 9—Industry Innovation and Infrastructure. Learning-the-Lingo effectively permeated these five (SDG’s) by procuring youth attention towards financial autonomy; motivating young people to take control of their monetary resources. Presenters encouraged young people to make responsible decisions with their savings by using the money management acronym “BISP” which stands for: Budget, Invest, Save, Protect—an acronym which was soon heard being rehearsed by 80 learners in the corridors outside of the classroom. Presentation material also touted the importance of always keeping the enduring sentiment of a “future self” in mind before spending earnings. LTL persuaded young people to devise well-informed plans that will allow them to accumulate, maintain, and grow earnings. Learners were informed of financial resources such as credit services and appropriately structured loans that can relieve daily economic pressures and constraints which so often hamper the potentials and social capital of individuals and stymie entrepreneurial pursuits. Continue reading

UNIC Team participates in blood donation public lecture

The United Nations Information Centre (UNIC) Windhoek team participated in a public lecture aimed at raising awareness of the importance of blood donation on the Wednesday, 16 August.

The public lecture, the third of its kind, was held at the Namibia University of Science and Technology (NUST) under the theme “Give Blood, Give Now, Give Often”. It was hosted by the Blood Transfusion Service of Namibia (NAMBTS) in collaboration with the Ministry of Health and Social Services (MoHSS) and the World Health Organization (WHO) Namibia.

The blood donation public lectures are aimed towards educating the public on the different facets of the blood transfusion services in Namibia, with particular emphasis on the shortage of consistent blood donors in the country, as this leads to a shortage in supply. Continue reading

Waldorf School learners become #PeacePals

After learning about the importance of international peace, students at Waldorf School, situated on the eastern edge of Windhoek, became #PeacePals and wrote postcards of peace to learners in Indonesia on 15 August 2017.

The United Nations Information Centre (UNIC) Windhoek team is aiming to reach 1,000 learners through its #PeacePals programme, and Waldorf School was the fourth of five schools that the Centre will be visiting this year.

Starting off with the presentation, approximately 70 students learned about the negative consequences of conflict on individuals, communities and countries and the different UN bodies focused on conflict resolution and the promotion of peace. The students became aware of how violence directly disrupts social life and opportunities for human prosperity after learning about the refugee crisis in Europe. Passionate about the topic, students frequently chimed in during the presentation to share their concerns with global peace. Continue reading

Striving Towards a Better Future: UNIC Team Empowers Youth at Windhoek Central

180 enthusiastic students from Windhoek Central Primary School received a visit from United Nations Information Centre Windhoek on 9 August  to learn more about its educational outreach programme entitled UN4U. The programme teaches about the goals and vision of the United Nations and specifically focuses how the UN works for each of us.

The presentation showcased the work of UN agencies, programmes and funds in the country guided by the United Nations Partnership Framework (UNPAF)  and the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDG). The primary school learners were intrigued by the various acronyms that were thrown at them and were seemingly curious with topical details on the partnerships the UN creates with the national government  in Namibia. The essential aspect of  this years UN4U outreach challenged the UNIC presenters to break down the core of the presentation into layman’s terms to ensure that the Primary School assemblies comprehend the message conveyed to them.

The UNIC team encouraged a participatory audience and learners were eager to answer questions and share their knowledge about the UN and the 17 Sustainable Goals (SDGs). The learners passed around the microphone to add their voices on the subject matter presented.Recognizing the importance of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, learners felt empowered, learning about their inalienable rights to education, freedom of religion, expression of thoughts and ideas, to feel safe and protected by their caretakers, government and institutions in their community – just to name a few. The youth benefiting more knowledge in learning about the UN itself and the different UN organizations based in Namibia. Continue reading

Sunshine Private School learns how the UN works #UN4U

The third outreach for the UN4U programme took place on 3 August 2017 at the Sunshine Private School in Windhoek.  One hundred of the   senior students at the primary school participated in UNIC Windhoek’s UN4U programme, a programme which teaches how the United Nations works for you!

The presentation included information about the history of the United Nations, the UN Charter and its significance,   UN membership, the different organs of the UN as well as the various agencies, funds and programmes which make up this international organisation. It highlighted children’s rights and the work of UNICEF in particular.It also included a section on the 17 Sustainable Development Goals that are so crucial to the UN’s global mission.  The team also relayed information about the UN System in Namibia and its partnership with government structured in the United Nations Partnership Framework ( UNPAF) which highlights key pillars as the blueprint that drives the UN System in Namibia’s work towards the development agenda in Namibia.

The UN4U outreach created an opportunity for the youngsters to ask questions and engage with the team with the goal of learning more about the United Nations globally and in Namibia. The presentation is delivered in an interactive format that is relatable to students and encourages engagement through question and answer sessions. Through the use of photos, gifs, videos and statistics – the team presented the students with a holistic view of the UN System and its mandate.

The UN4U programme  complemented the school’s curriculum well and nuanced their understanding of the subject matter. UNIC provided UN Charter’s to the school which were placed in the library. In addition, a poster of the Sustainable Development Goals with a catch phrase “Shaping a world that empowers our Youth through the Sustainable Development Goals.”