Category Archives: Outreach Activities

Windhoek International School (WIS) SDG club visit the UN house

The WIS learners “Make the World a better place” through the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), visited the UN house. The group buzzed with excitement as they toured the building, stopping by each agency and finding out which SDG relates to which UN agency in Namibia.

After the tour, the group made their last stop in the library where Anthea Basson from the United Nations Information Centre (UNIC) Windhoek tested their understanding about the tour and provided more information about the United Nations and the SDGs. She expressed her gratitude to the young SDG advocates and their teacher for reaching out to UNIC Windhoek for teaching support on specific projects.

She encouraged them to continue their excellent work and learning process and most importantly to take action. Reminding them of their integral parts in working towards the achievement of the SDGs

The visit ended with a group photograph in front of the UN House.  The Centre were impressed with the elevated level of awareness and understanding the group has shown throughout the sessions.

The UNIC staff have facilitated several learning sessions with the school which involved children of all ages in an enriching experience to take action and providing complimenting resources for our SDG educational outreach programmes in Namibia.

WIS children think of ideas to #EndPoverty

The UNIC team visited Windhoek International School for a second time on 15 October 2018. This marked their continuing support toward the school’s activity ‘Make the world a better place’, teaching children aged 6-11 about the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The aim of the visit was to specifically point out actions and discuss ways the children could take action and create impact on different SDGs.

UNIC started the session with a ‘recycling exercise’, whereby they placed glass, aluminium and plastic objects across the classroom. Three differently marked bins were placed in front and the children had to put the objects in the right bin. The discussion that followed was about recycling and how it helps the planet, but also reduces poverty by saving resources. From there, the discussion turned to other ways to help save the world, and affect poverty reduction. Ideas included: saving water by turning off the taps when not directly using them, taking shorter showers, using leftover water for plants etc. The students were particularly intrigued with interesting facts e.g. reducing your shower by two minutes could save 37 litres of water!

Another idea presented was to start a school garden, or plant something in their own yard. The idea was to get the children to raise some sort of crop, and then collectively take them to a soup kitchen or feeding scheme. They would directly help SDG #1 and #2, install a sense of responsibility by looking after the plant, and feel proud upon seeing the result.

Finally, the discussion turned to different actions the school could take to directly address poverty reduction. Fundraising events such as bake sales, themed parties and competitions were all mentioned, as well as monthly collections of clothes, toys, school materials, books etc., that they could donate to a centre of their choosing. Both the students and their teacher, Ms. Nambiar, seemed excited to present these ideas to their school, and start contributing to the Global Goals.

Ms. Nambiar thanked the team for all the ideas and proactive discussion, and agreed with the students that the time to act is now. The school will likely commence with fundraising activities, and with planting crops before the end of the year. UNIC is excited to be a part of this process, and see how they progress in the future.

SDGs Youth Training: Bringing the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to Informal Settlements

The youth organization Possibility Thinkers, and the Ministry of Youth in collaboration with the United Nations Information Centre (UNIC) Windhoek hosted a training session on the 17 Sustainable Development Goals with the youth of the Moses II Garoeb Constituency. The UNIC team outlined the 17 Goals, detailing what each goal means and hopes to achieve. The introductory approach laid the foundation in discussing ideas and limitations but also provide practically applicable solutions that affect youth in communities.

The initial training facilitated by UNIC is a pilot in gauging youth awareness of the SDGs and is part of a larger programme by Possibility Thinkers titled,  “Namibia’s Development Question in the context of the SDGs.”  The aim of the programme is to create awareness on the SDGs at community level with the goals of creating platforms for engaging youth in the monitoring and accountability of the SDGs, developing a youth led accountability monitoring framework building the capacity of youth in social accountability, budget and service delivery tracking and sensitising the youth and community members about the SDGs and their importance in everyones life.

The programme will strengthen the network of Namibian youth engaging with the SDGs, encourage partnerships and bring together political, civil society and business leaders. Young leaders will have the opportunity to share experiences and perspectives on what needs to be done to realise the SDGs in Namibia by 2030.

The UNIC team engaged in a fruitful dialogue with 25 participants, age 18-43. The participants did break away sessions in smaller groups to develop action plans for a specific and concrete ways to implement the SDGs in the community. With a greater focus on SDG #8 Decent Work and Economic Growth.  Furthermore, the youth wish for continuous community engagement to apply knowledge and skills to benefit others or serve the public good

Poverty, UN Humanitarian work and Urban development at Deutche Hohrere Privat Schule (DHPS)

On 28 June 2018, The United Nations Information Centre, (UNIC) Windhoek  was invitedd to join other stakeholders and technical experts to deliver presentations to grade ten learners at DHPs.  UNIC Windhoek was invited to present on poverty, humanitarian and urban development in Namibia.

The presentation formed part of the school’s annual two-day  programme,  which includes a field visit to the informal settlements in Katutura. The presentation day on day two provides stakeholders to present to young people on their programmes and mandates. Other presenters included the First Lady of Namibia’s “One Economy,” Physically Active Youth (PAY), Hans Seidel Foundation and many more.

 UNIC Windhoek was pleased to be part of this informative educational programme which afforded an opportunity to highlight the Sustainable Development Goals as well.It is the second year that the Centre has participated in this annual event with grade 10 learners.

The presentation outlined current statistics on the poverty rate in Namibia, coupled with direct or rhetorical questions to learners views on poverty; the different forms of poverty, approaches on how Namibia could maximize on natural resources as well as types of humanitarian responses with emphasis on World Food Programme (WFP) and the government’s school feeding programme. Statistics indicate that 5% of the population control 70 % of the wealth, while the poor only have control over 30% thereof. The United Nations Development Programme notes Namibia as having one of the highest levels of Inequality.

Urban development emphasized on the impacts of urban migration and the significance of constructing sustainable cities for the future. According to the International Organization on Migration (IOM) the urban population in Namibia grew by a staggering 49.7% between 2001 and 2011. IOM indicates that Namibia’s rural areas are expected to shrink between 2011 and 2041, while the urban population points toward a trajectory of 43% to 67% in 2041. The overall presentation was penned around the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) concentrating on no Poverty and Sustainable Cities and Communities. The presentation encouraged learners to engage in a brief discourse pertaining the topic to share their thoughts, comments and opinions.

 

#UN4U Concludes at Suiderhof Primary

The final  instalment of the UN4U educational outreach programme for the 2018 concluded at Suiderhof Primary School, 600 learners were  in attendance  from grades 4 to 7.

On the 27th of June 2018, UNIC Windhoek team presented “how the United Nations works for you.”  The presentation highlighted the history of the United Nations, the different organs of the United Nations and how the specialized agencies, work in order to advance the goals and mandate of the UN. This was followed by a screening of a short video that summarized the entire presentation. The learners were introduced to the 17 Sustainable Development Goals and lay the foundation on how they can contribute to the achievement of the global goals in Namibia.

The success of this programme, extends and strengthens the existing partnership that already exists between the UNIC Windhoek team and Suiderhof Primary School. The team received a warm welcome from the school’s social science teacher Mrs Rene Linno and the principal of the school Mr Myburgh. During the question and answer session. Learners were rewarded with SDG branded bags, lanyards and pens.

At the end of the session, the school principal expressed his gratitude and appreciation on the presentation that was conducted by the UNIC team. The UNIC Windhoek team reached a total of over 1300 learners for the 2018 programme.

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.

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.

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.

UNIC Windhoek promotes literacy at Okahandja Secondary School

Okahandja, 24 September: The United Nations Information Centre (UNIC) Windhoek handed over a donation of books to Okahandja Secondary School as a way to increase literacy among the youth.

In line with Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 4 ‘Quality Education’, the book donations will ensure that the youth have access to information they need to succeed. Through reading, young people can expand their knowledge, becoming empowered and educated, and can position themselves to be employable in the future. Accessible, quality education accelerates poverty reduction and reduces inequalities.

The donation of the books occurred at the end of the Prosperous Paths outreach, UN Namibia’s programme aimed at raising awareness of gender equality and empowering young women, which took place at the school the same day, 24 September 2017.

UNIC Windhoek also handed over a poster with the 17 SDGs for the school to hang up. The National Information Officer, Anthea Basson encouraged the learners to use the resources availed to them to expand their knowledge and to use that knowledge to bring about change in their communities.

Basson also informed the learners that UNIC Windhoek’s library, located in at the UN House in Windhoek, is open for them to visit and expand their knowledge of the UN.

 

UN Namibia empowers young females to follow #ProsperousPaths

Okahandja, 24 September: The UN System in Namibia (UN Namibia) discussed issues of the girl-child and gender inequality with over 200 learners at Okahandja Secondary School through the Prosperous Paths: Empowering the Namibian Girl-Child programme.

As part of its Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), the UN is working towards achieving gender equality and empowering all women and girls, in line with SDG Goal 5. Through a variety of programmes, including Prosperous Paths, UN Namibia aims to motivate and inspire the youth to follow their dreams and to be empowered and educated in order to be employable tomorrow.

After successfully engaging with over 5,000 girls in Windhoek in 2016, UN Namibia has begun to roll out Prosperous Paths in Namibia’s regions, starting with Okahandja in the Otjozondjupa region. Urging the female learners to use their unique talents and voices to bring about change, the UN Resident Coordinator to Namibia, Kiki Gbeho encouraged the learners to, “Take space, be prepared and dare to be different”.

The motivated group of learners took space at the event, using their voices to suggest solutions for issues impacting their communities, including gender inequality, poverty, teenage pregnancy and sexual violence. Highlighting the importance of education, one learner said that women and vulnerable groups should be empowered through various educational campaigns.

Another learner emphasised that sexual and reproductive health (SRH) education needs to start at home, with open conversations between parents and their children. Likewise, a learner mentioned that conversations about sexual violence and gender equality need to happen with boys and men from an early age.

Gbeho, impressed by the students, encouraged them to follow their dreams and find their #ProsperousPaths. “You all have the potential to make a difference. Success will come from you deciding that you will succeed against all odds,” she said.