Category Archives: Outreach Activities

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.

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