Tag Archives: #PeacePals

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.

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.  

#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

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

#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

#PeacePals: Jakob Marengo learners pen thoughts on peace

dsc_0194After participating in a climate change outreach in February, hosting a climate change workshop in April, taking part in the #ProsperousPaths inititative and hosting Dr. Helena Ndume in light of Nelson Mandela Day, Jakob Marengo Secondary School in Khomasdal was paid another informative visit by the United Nations Information Centre (UNIC) Windhoek team on Wednesday, 28 September. A group of twenty students participated in the #PeacePals programme and had the opportunity to share their thoughts on the outreaches the UNIC Windhoek team has brought to the school.

The Principal of Jakob Marengo Secondary School Ms. Ottilie Abrahams, who is no stranger to UNIC Windhoek’s work, welcomed the team with a smile and expressed her excitement that Jakob Marengo’s pupils would participate in commemorating the International Day of Peace through an educational, writing exercise. Continue reading

#PeacePals: Namibians write letters about peace to South African students

DSC_0444The International Day of Peace, or #PeaceDay, is celebrated each year on 21 September and is dedicated ‘commemorating and strengthening the ideals of peace both within and among all nations and peoples’. In order to promote a culture of peace on an international scale, the United Nations Information Centre (UNIC) Windhoek taught grade 7 learners at Ruimte Primary School in Rehoboth, Namibia about peace, and the students wrote letters to students in South Africa, serving as #PeacePals.

Diving into the presentation, UNIC Windhoek asked what peace means, and together, the learners provided a multidimensional definition. The learners raised their hands and mentioned that it means ‘non-violence’, ‘love’ and ‘when people get along’.

PeacePals 12Then, the topic switched to why peace is important. The learners listened intently as the UNIC Windhoek team explained that peace prevents unnecessary disputes and conflicts from happening and with that, ensures that people are not put in danger. Peace also promotes development and creates long-lasting, friendly relationships.

The students then learned that there are many organisations across the globe that promote peace, including the United Nations and its various agencies. Specifically, through the Department of Peacekeeping Operations, men and women from different countries are sent to areas where there is conflict in order to help the local governments establish peace and security with the aim of creating a safer and healthier environment for all people living in that area. Continue reading