Tag Archives: poverty

#WCW:WednesdayCelebrateWomen celebrates Dr. Varnia Wicomb

WednesdayCelebrateWomen June 2017: UNIC Windhoek celebrates Dr. Varnia Wicomb

Each month through the #WednesdayCelebrateWomen campaign, the United Nations Information Centre (UNIC) Windhoek celebrates inspiring women making a positive impact in Namibia.

For this month’s #WCW #WednesdayCelebrateWomen, UNIC Windhoek celebrates Dr. Varnia Wicomb, a devoted wife, mother and general medical practitioner with an interest in obstetrics. Check out her interview with UNIC Windhoek to learn more about this amazing woman!

Can you tell us a bit about yourself and your career? What is one of your career achievements you are most proud of?

Today, I am a dedicated medical doctor, devoted wife to my husband, Harold Mouton, and proud mother of three beautiful children, Isabella, aged 6 years, Hannah 3 years old and little Luca, now 4 months of age.

I originate from the city of Cape Town in South Africa. There I was raised as the youngest of 3 children to a middle income family on the Cape Flats. Both my parents were raised in impoverished families in small Karoo towns in the Western Cape. During our upbringing the importance of education and humility was emphasised by my parents. Despite financial difficulties in our family, I attained my MBChB degree at the University of Stellenbosch in 2003.

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Practicum Students visit the Food Bank & have a round table discussion

The High School Pacticum Programme is in its eighth day and the students continue to showcase great enthusiasm and participation. They began their morning session on 18 May with a review facilitated by UNIC’s Anthea  Basson on what they did  the day before.

After the review, Anthea handed over to  the  team Alphonce and Emma to engage with the team on two different topics; namely the “Effects of hunger and poverty in the Namibian youth” and “How can the United Nations assist in engaging the youth in fighting against poverty?”. The team was then divided into two groups  tasked to to do research on the topics  received. After completing their research the students  came up with questions that they were going to ask one another.

Once they formulated their questions, the programe led into a  round table discussion where each team presented their topic to the other team. Meanwhile, the other team was allowed to ask questions. The discussion became heated as each team tested the others’ arguments. The first group brought up issues such as how hunger can lead to youth neglecting their education, and the second group spoke about how the United Nations can implement programs specifically to educate the youth.

The intense discussion called for a brief tea break which was followed by another similar discussion. Only this time, the topics were “What issues are not addressed in relation to youth and hunger?” and “How can the youth assist in breaking the cycle of poverty and hunger?” Once again the groups presented their findings after doing a bit of research and then again were questioned by the opposing team. The first group told the others about issues such as “political agenda behind food distribution” and “The lack of infrastructure can cause hunger.”The second group suggested the building of greenhouses in urban areas in order to provide food and jobs for the youth. It was an exciting debate.

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#FemaleLeadership: Learners promise to use their talents to help those around them

2-4“Never stop fighting until you arrive at your destined place – that is, the unique you. Have an aim in life, continuously acquire knowledge, work hard, and have perseverance to realise the great life.” -A. P. J. Abdul Kalam, Former President of India

Similar to this quote, the girls learned about their individual intrinsic value through the ‘Prosperous Paths: Fostering Female Leadership’ programme session on 8 November 2016.

The programme session kicked off with the learners reintroducing themselves to each other and the new participants of the programme. However, many of the learners have already started to make new friends in the programme, and before the programme started, they were already having side conversations about women’s empowerment and the topics from the day before.

day-2-3Throughout the day, the girls were tasked to come up with different ways to uplift themselves and fellow Namibian women from poverty. After intricate discussions, the learners collectively agreed that pursuing ‘blessers’ or ‘sugar daddies’ is not a viable solution to alleviating themselves from poverty.

The learners then watched a testimonial of a young girl talking about her ‘sugar daddy’ experience. This video fuelled further floor discussion amongst the learners, which allowed the learners to look within themselves and evaluate their own teen behaviour. Continue reading

UNPAF Poverty Pillar discusses poverty with DHPS secondary level Learners

dsc_0005On Thursday, 22 September 2016, the United Nations Information Centre (UNIC) Windhoek on behalf of the United Nations Partnership Assistance Framework (UNPAF) Poverty Pillar visited the Deutsche Höhere Privatschule (DHPS) for its Project Day, at which students had the opportunity to talk with ‘experts’ from diverse sectors in Namibia in regards to poverty eradication and urbanisation.

Starting off the morning, the experts introduced themselves to the students in the school’s auditorium. Then, the students had the opportunity to visit different classrooms to have one-on-one conversations with experts, to hear more information about each expert’s work as well as to ask questions.

Four groups of bright, enthusiastic learners visited UNIC Windhoek’s room to learn more about poverty in Namibia as well as the work dsc_0036of the United Nations. Starting off the presentation, Ms. Anthea Basson, the National Information Officer asked the students what poverty means to them. The students, who had an in-depth understanding of poverty, mentioned that there are two different types of poverty including absolute poverty and relative poverty. Continue reading

Windhoek primary school students eager to learn about poverty in Namibia and the world “I pledge to end poverty”

DSC_0344June 15th marked yet another exciting day at the United Nations House in Windhoek. UNICEF in conjunction with UNIC Windhoek hosted thirty-five young, vibrant students from Windhoek International School during which they were briefed on poverty in Namibia and the world.

DSC_0276The resident coordinator of the UN, Ms. Kiki Gbeho warmly welcomed the children, ranging from eight to ten years old, and introduced them to the work of the United Nations and its goals of combating poverty nationally and on a global scale. The students showed great interest throughout Ms. Gbeho’s opening and were eager to ask questions and share their thoughts on creative solutions to help those in need. The UN staff was visibly impressed by the children’s keen participation, and Ms. Gbeho encouraged them to keep their spirit and drive and eventually turn their ideas into reality in the future.

Following the discussion, the UNIC team briefed the students in more detail on facts and statistics on childhood poverty, why it exists and what more can be done to eradicate it. Continue reading

First-ever visit by a UNDP Administrator to Namibia

On the first day of the first-ever visit by an Administrator of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)  to Namibia, Helen Clark assured national authorities of her organization’s strong support to the country, at a time when it’s facing the most debilitating drought in its history.

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“Namibia is a well-governed nation” Helen Clark said.  “We align our focus with the National Development Plan 4, and we trust the country can get more value for its very important industries, and maximize the benefits for its population. Namibia continues to grapple with poverty in some parts, the challenges posed by its upper-middle income status, and the current drought which has a devastating impact on cattle and wild life, and threatens the livelihoods of many communities.”

The United Nations Development Chief discussed Namibia’s vision to bridge livelihood gaps to create income balance with senior government officials. She further drew attention to the allocation and utilization of natural resources for a more diversified economy with H.E Hifikipunye Pohamba, president of the Republic of Namibia. The president stated that “our upper-middle income status is not cognizant of the country’s historical background and its unique circumstances, exacerbated by the effects of climate change. Currently, almost half of our 2 million population is affected by the drought.”

At a meeting with the Speaker of the National Assembly, the Honourable Theo Ben-Gurirab, Helen Clark discussed the need to emphasize local value in job creation and natural resources allocation, to utilize extractive resources for a more diversified economy geared towards human development and the attainment of demographic dividends.

During a cluster ministerial working session, the Right Honourable Prime Minister Dr Hage Geingob emphasized the President’s position on the classification of Namibia as an “upper-middle income” country, stating that the justification on economic merit does not address the deep rooted income disparities among the population. The cluster meeting was held to discuss Namibia’s progress on the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), STGs and the Post 2015 Development Agenda. “Namibia’s voice in the Post 2015 Global Dialogue needs to be heard, and the country needs to be supported in fulfilling its objectives as outlined in its National Development Plan 4,” Clark said. The UNDP Administrator applauded the Government of the Republic of Namibia for fostering a peaceful environment and focusing on areas where it can sustain economic growth and wealth distribution, such as the fisheries industry.

The Cluster Ministerial work meeting was held with line Ministers at the old statehouse.

The Cluster Ministerial work meeting was held with line Ministers at the old statehouse.

Mrs Clark will meet with the officials of the Ministry of Environment and Tourism on Thursday and travel to the Erongo Region for a meeting with the Benguela Current Commission (BCC) in Swakopmund. The Commission serves as a vehicle for SADC countries Angola, Namibia and South Africa to jointly and sustainably manage the Benguela Current Large Marine Ecosystem (BCLME). This initiative is supported by UNDP to promote trans-border and South-South collaboration in the conservation and management of natural resources, through ocean governance policy, and the environmental aspects of marine mining.  The United Nations Development Chief will also tour the Hangana  Fish Processing Plant in Walvis Bay, and the country’s most important port; meet with civil society and women’s groups to discuss inclusion, gender-based violence and women’s empowerment, and visit the Havana Informal Settlement upon her return to Windhoek, to learn first-hand the challenges of addressing inequality in an upper-middle income country such as Namibia.