Category Archives: Outreach Activities

WWD2017: Namibia uses wastewater

Each year on 22 March, the international community comes together to celebrate the world’s most valuable resource, water. Water covers 70% of the earth’s surface, and this year’s World Water Day (WWD) is dedicated to understanding the management of this precious resource, specifically the importance of wastewater.

Water is a resource that all people need on a daily basis. On the other side of things, all people also create sewage on a daily basis, a fact that is frequently overlooked. For this reason, the importance of wastewater persists, and its importance extrapolates because of on-going problems such as; climate change, environmental factors, population growth, increased urbanization, on-going water mismanagement and faulty water service provision systems.

Wastewater and the new water cycle

Wastewater can be used to Namibia’s advantage, and it importance is substantial due to the fact that that it is interconnected with other sources of water. For this reason, the repercussions of its mismanagement must be considered. With poor management, dangerous and harmful elements can enter the environment and can have devastating impacts on the environment and subsequently have an effect on us as humans (Menges, 2017).

Historically the natural water cycle accounts for wastewater. Through the natural process of precipitation and condensation, water is filtered through soil and creates aquifers, where water is naturally purified. Ground water, river runoff and transpiration from plants and animals causes evaporation and the process repeats itself. However, new factors now play into the water cycle.

Due to urbanisation there is a new water cycle, the urban water cycle. Rainwater and other water sources are caught in dams where the water receives pre-treatment for human consumption. It is then distributed for human consumption where, once used, is collected again. This wastewater is either classified as greywater or blackwater. Greywater is wastewater obtained from water used in bathroom sinks, showers, tubs, and washing machines, whereas blackwater contains fecal matter and is therefore collected from toilets (Lamb, 2008).

Wastewater receives various treatments making it either ready for human consumption, especially relevant in Namibia, or will safely be reintroduced into the natural cycle. Treatment of waterwater can add essential nutrients that can be exploited for agricultural use. Without the last step there would be severe effects on the environment. Continue reading

A day in her shoes: #WCW Sister Christy

As part of the United Nations Information Centre (UNIC) Windhoek’s on-going #WednesdayCelebrateWomen Campaign, UNIC Windhoek got to know Sister Christy, a registered nurse at the Cancer Association of Namibia (CAN) and #WCW for the month of March, by shadowing her for a day.

Cancer awareness in Namibia is rapidly increasing because of CAN’s effective awareness campaigns which are implemented through the hard work and dedication of its staff. For this reason, a day in Sister Christy shoes starts off early. She says, “I start off by driving the cancer patients to the hospital for treatment.” Continue reading

#BeBoldForChange Artwork on display at the UN House

Art work, created by students at the University of Namibia (UNAM) on International Women’s Day (IWD), is currently on display at the UN House in Klein Windhoek.

The dynamic pieces depict how the empowered woman is powerful beyond measure and beautiful beyond description and were created during the United Nations Information Centre (UNIC) Windhoek’s #BeBoldForChange Art Competition.

The Competition was part of UNIC Windhoek’s two-hour awareness programme which comprised of numerous activities including an open mic and student’s pledging to promote women’s empowerment. Continue reading

IWD: UNAM students encourage their peers to #BeBoldForChange

International Women’s Day (IWD), commemorated globally on 8 March, is a, “time to reflect on progress made, to call for change and to celebrate acts of courage and determination by ordinary women who have played an extraordinary role in the history of their countries and communities” (UN International Observances).

In light of IWD, the United Nations Information Centre (UNIC) Windhoek hosted an awareness-raising event at Olupale Square on the main campus of the University of Namibia (UNAM) in an effort to engage with tertiary students on gender equality, women’s empowerment and Goal 5 ‘Gender Equality’ of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

UNAM Student Representative Council (SRC) Representative for Community Development Mr. Laeka Ileka opened the event by highlighting that women play an important role in society and are a great source of light in all aspects of society. He continued to explain that the reason IWD exists is to show women across the globe that their efforts and the challenges they face have not been forgotten.

Following the introduction, students were invited to share their thoughts and opinions on women’s empowerment and gender equality through an open mic session. Continue reading

Holocaust Remembrance 2017: Educating for a better future

On 7 February 2017, UNIC Windhoek observed the International Day of Commemoration in Memory of the Victims of the Holocaust. High School students from Jan Mohr Secondary School, particularly those specializing in History, attended the day long event held at the United Nations House in Klein Windhoek.

UNIC Windhoek set up its annual Holocaust Exhibition in the foyer and the UN Library since 27 January, and welcomed visitors to view and reflect on this years poster set themed, the “State of Deception: The Power of Nazi Propaganda”.

The students walked through the exhibit in their own time and were ushered to the venue where the UNIC team led a two learning discussion on the Holocaust. Students unpacked and brainstormed the meaning of some key phrases, such as “Human Rights,” “Genocide,” “Holocaust,” “Racism,” etc. They reported back to the group and the UNIC team were taken aback at how knowledgeable the youngsters were.

The posters were an important backdrop providing a platform for an interactive learning – the UNIC team took the group back to the exhibition and carefully guided them through each poster. Each poster provided ample opportunity for discussion and questions were jotted down for the last part of the programme. Continue reading

#WednesdayCelebrateWomen: UNIC Windhoek celebrates senior resident nurse Sister Christy

As a way to promote women’s empowerment and gender equality, UNIC Windhoek is continuing with its #WednesdayCelebrateWomen campaign from last year, through which the Centre celebrated inspiring women each Wednesday. This year, as a way to get to know each feature better, UNIC Windhoek will feature one inspiring women per month.

For this month’s #WCW, UNIC Windhoek celebrates Christolina Kaventura, a registered nurse by profession who is popularly known as Sister Christy.

Sister Christy is currently employed at the Cancer Association of Namibia (CAN). She is actively involved in generating cancer awareness at the community level and through social media, in the organization of wellness days and in training nurses on pap smears and breast examinations. Sister Christy’s true passion involves the National Cancer Outreach Programme which allows her, together with the CEO Rolf Hansen, to visit the rural areas of the country to host cervical and breast cancer screenings and to educate fellow Namibians.

Check out Sister Christy’s interview with UNIC Windhoek! Read along as she talks about cancer in Namibia, challenges faced by Namibia’s health system and shares her thoughts on women’s empowerment and gender equality. Continue reading

UNIC Windhoek learns about the Holocaust for a ‘better future’

27 January 2016- On the International Day of Commemoration in Memory of the Victims of the Holocaust, the United Nations Information Centre (UNIC) Windhoek staff learned about this tragic and defining point in history through a dynamic exhibition at the UN House in Windhoek, Namibia

The exhibition is part of UNIC Windhoek’s Holocaust Educational Outreach Programme, which this year is focusing on “Holocaust Remembrance: Educating for a Better Future”.

This theme “emphasises the universal dimension of Holocaust education as a platform for building respect for human rights, increasing tolerance and defending our common humanity” (UN International Observances).

The UNIC Windhoek staff learned about the importance of the genocide prevention and are ready to share this knowledge with their peers.

The exhibition is open to the public and will be set up at the UN House for the next two weeks. Continue reading

2016 #WCW Features continue to inspire and promote gender equality

Throughout 2016, the United Nations Information Centre (UNIC) Windhoek celebrated women and their accomplishments through the #WCW #WednesdayCelebrateWomen campaign.

“The multifaceted #WCW campaign reached a large audience, as it was shared on UNIC Windhoek’s website and across social media. Our hope is that the campaign inspired many girls and women to go after their dreams and to bring about positive change in their lives,” said Anthea Basson, the National Information Officer to Namibia.

Starting around International Women’s Day in March 2016, UNIC Windhoek introduced a weekly social media campaign through which it celebrated the accomplishments of women with the goal of raising awareness of the importance of continuing to strive towards achieving gender equality. Continue reading

#UNICrecap: UNIC Windhoek highlights its successes on social media

2016 has been a successful and exciting year for the United Nations Information Centre (UNIC) Windhoek! In celebration of its accomplishments, UNIC Windhoek will highlight its 2016 programmes on social dsc_0498media from Monday, 19 December through Saturday, 31 December through its #UNICrecap campaign.

The National Information Officer to Namibia, Anthea Basson, says that many new initiatives were started in 2016.

“The UNIC Windhoek team worked very hard throughout the year. Not only did we expand our existing programmes, including Model United Nations Namibia (MUNNAM) and UN4U, we introduced creative initiatives such as the Namibia Agreement, the High School Practicum facts-1-10Programme and #PeacePals while at the same time raising awareness of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs),” Basson said.

The Namibia Agreement, an agreement to take climate action signed by Namibian students on 22 April when world leaders were signing the historic Paris Agreement, was one of the many initiatives that focused on addressing climate change that UNIC Windhoek implemented this year. Continue reading

#WednesdayCelebrateWomen: UNIC Windhoek celebrates mother and dedicated student Natalie Kamati

natalie-wcwIn order to promote women’s empowerment and to generate awareness of the importance of gender equality, the United Nations Information Centre (UNIC) Windhoek celebrates women and their accomplishments each Wednesday.

For this week’s #WCW #WednesdayCelebrateWomen, UNIC Windhoek celebrates Natalie Kamati, a dedicated student who has embraced being a teenage mother.

Check out Natalie’s interview with UNIC Windhoek! Read along as she talks about how she has grown from the challenges she has faced as a teenage mother, her career goals and women’s empowerment.

1.) Could you tell us a bit about yourself?

I am a normal teenager currently in high school and aspire to pursue a career once I finish school. I regard myself as easy going however as most teens I am guilty of sometimes thinking I know all answers. Life has taught me to be humble and being the only girl among boys has taught me to be assertive. I am often told I have a big heart, and I am always willing to help.

2.) What are your thoughts on women’s empowerment, and why it is important?

I have been blessed to be in a family with very strong women. My grandmother raised 6 children by herself and all her children managed to get an education. Additionally, I was raised by my mother.

The women in my family taught me the importance of working hard and standing on your own two feet. Especially in Namibia where passion killings are constantly on the rise. I think it is important to teach girls to work hard and not rely on sugar daddies making them vulnerable to passion killings. It is important we empower our fellow women in accordance with the Harambee Prosperity Plan.

3.) Could you tell us about your experience being a teenage mother? Have you faced any challenges? What has been the best part of being a mother?

It was by far one of the hardest challenges I had to face in life. Coming from a strong Christian family emotions range from shame to excitement and regret. However my son has been such a blessing. Being a teenager with no financial means or the maturity to raise my son I have to thank my parents for being a strong support system and being there every step of the way. My son is motivating me to work harder, finish school and pursue a college degree in order to give him a better life. I constantly remind myself that no matter what people say and fingers pointed at me, he is my silver lining and not my end or downfall. Life of a teenage mother is filled with constant challenges but I am forever grateful for my Heavenly Father for strengthening me through the challenges and giving me a very supportive family.                                  

4.) How do you balance between being a young mom and attending school?

I would be the first to admit that finding the right balance is a daily challenge. I have support from my mother. She encourages me to work hard at school so that I have a shot at a great future. My son stays with a nanny during school hours and after hours I spend time with him. My mom usually takes care of him in the evening to give me a chance to do homework or study for exams. It is a constant juggling act especially when he is sick.

5.) After you finish with secondary school, what do you plan to do next?

As a teenage mother, having my son has encouraged me to work harder in order for me to provide him with a better future. I foresee a career as a social worker or a psychologist in order to help teenage girls and the elderly.

6.) What is your advice to teenage mothers?

I know as a teenage mother we always think we know and have all the answers. I want to encourage all the young people to listen to your parents and value their advice. I pray to God that pregnancy does not happen to other young girls, for those that did, I pray that they get the love and support that I got from my family. Our parents’ advice is best no matter the challenges, it will be hard, but we will make it. Remember you are the creator of your own destiny our first lady is a perfect example.

7.) Who is your mentor/role model and why?

My role model is my mother. Seeing her work really hard and getting up every day just to make sure her children are happy and have what they need, makes me proud to have her as my mother and she inspires me to want to do many great things. May I add that she’s still pursuing her studies at her age (just completed her Honours degree). Now that is the type of encouragement a teenage mother needs.

8.) What is your wish for young girls in Namibia?

Namibia as a democratic country provide us with many opportunities which we can pursue for our own success as the sky is the limit. I want to encourage young girls not to get encouraged by temporary flashy stuff but to empower ourselves to become strong woman. We hear about passion killing and gender based violence, we should stand strong and soar in order to contribute to woman empowerment in the country. Their circumstances should not compel them into becoming what they are not destined to be, they can make it if they want to, BUT, there are no short cuts in this life, work hard and always put God first. Nelson Mandela once said, “Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.”