Tag Archives: Sustainable Development Goals

UN Day 2017: Youth encouraged to champion sustainable development

Windhoek, 24 October 2017 – In celebration of the 72nd anniversary of the United Nations (UN), the UN System in Namibia (UN Namibia) hosted an exhibition for learners aimed at encouraging the youth to use their voices to bring about positive change in line with national, regional and international development agendas. The exhibition, held under the theme, “United with UN Namibia for sustainable development” took place on 24 October 2017 at the UN House in Klein Windhoek.

Kicking off the exhibition, the UN Resident Coordinator to Namibia, Kiki Gbeho said that partnerships, not only with development partners, stakeholders and academia, but also with the youth, are crucial to eradicate poverty, save the planet and ensure prosperity for all.

“We challenge [the youth] to be the generation that creates a fairer world; a world with a health and educated population and where poverty is a thing of the past. We challenge you to unite for development,” the UNRC said.

Youth make up a large percentage of Namibia’s population, and according to UNESA, Africa’s youth population is expected to more than double by 2055. Demonstrating the innovation and drive of the younger generation, learners from the Sunshine Private School marimba band performed an original piece about the SDGs as part of the proceedings, encouraging the audience to use their voices to be the change they want to see and to achieve the 17 global goals.

The Deputy Minister of Economic Planning Hon. Lucia Iipumbu echoed the integral role of partnership in the achieving development agendas, specifically the Fifth National Development Plan (NDP5).

“Together we have put in place some solid foundations for shared progress, which I am convinced we will continue to build on. We will continue to empower women, engage the youth, uphold human rights for all, eradicate poverty and provide technical support and expertise to push the development agenda forward in Namibia,” Hon. Iipumbu said.

Following the event, learners and invited guests, including Deputy Ministers from Land, Fisheries and the Office of the Prime Minister, representatives from Namibia’s line ministries, representatives of the diplomatic corps and development partners, had the opportunity to learn more about the UN’s work in Namibia and interact with various programme staff members. The dynamic exhibition also raised awareness of the United Nations Partnership Framework (UNPAF), the partnership framework between the UN Namibia and the Namibian government.

UN Day, an observance celebrated globally, marks the anniversary of the entry into force in 1945 of the UN Charter. With the ratification of this founding document by the majority of its signatories, including the five permanent members of the Security Council, the UN officially came into being. In Namibia, over 170 staff members make up the UN System in Namibia.

Sustainable Development Goals welcome visitors to UN Namibia house

The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are central to the work of the United Nations (UN). In Namibia, the SDGs are weaved into the country’s current national development plan, NDP5, demonstrating the national government’s unwavering commitment to work towards the greatest development agenda of our time.

At a historic UN summit on 25 September 25 2015, world leaders adopted the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, consisting of a set of goals that aim to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. These goals are a call to action for all countries to promote prosperity while also protecting the planet and resources.

 The UN House in Namibia houses agencies, programmes and funds which work in support of the Government of the Republic of Namibia (GRN) in the areas of education, health, the environment, food security, gender equality and poverty.

 To promote public understanding and awareness of the 17 Goals, UN Namibia branded the different segments of the UN House boundary wall with one of the SDGs. The branded mural creates a striking, colourful display and heightens visibility for the landmark Global Goals – something that all citizens can embrace and inevitably help work towards.

 For these goals to be reached, everyone needs to do their part, including you. Click here to learn more about the United Nations and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

 

 

 

 

   

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.

Financial Literacy Decoded: Students at National Health Training Centre “Learn-the-Lingo”

An air of academic prestige was palpable on campus at the National Health Training Centre—revealing an institutional history devout to an increasingly growing field: medical sciences. On the morning of 28 August 2017, UNIC team members walked up to the Training Centre’s administrative building excited about what was about to take place in the company of approximately 80 learners.  The team first met with Ms. Kalimba; she wore a kind smile and created the steadfast impression that she harbored utmost regard for her student’s well-being.

Ms. Kalimba corralled the UNIC team into a traditional-style classroom where the latest UNIC outreach presentation would be unveiled. This week’s presentation was centred on Financial Literacy for youth in Windhoek. The Programme, titled with the auspicious name “Learning-the-Lingo” (LTL) delves into terms and concepts commonly used by financial and banking institutions. These are financial terms and concepts that often erect a terminology barrier and can serve to discourage students from taking advantage of financial services and resources. By decoding common financial lingo [or jargon] the presentation aimed to instil a confidence among youth that will help motivate them to take advantage of financial services such as banking, mobile banking, credit, and loans. The Programme also assists in providing students with a basic understanding of money management strategies and tools to prepare them for the transition into professional lives where they will be confronted with money management opportunities.

At first, students looked puzzled; as to why the United Nations was in their studious habitat revelling in the importance of money management and financial resources. However, the presentation made a fixed effort to round any corners of confusion by elaborating on financial literacy’s unique place within the UN, particularly its relevance to the UN Charter and most importantly, to the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals.

The presentation’s overarching themes included reasons to save earnings, brief summaries of banking products and services traditionally offered by the big banks in Namibia, the common terms attached to those services, while also endorsing effective financial resources that can kindle the entrepreneurial spirit—a spirit that often lines the ambitions of the industrious youth of today. The Programme also incorporated a highly relatable segment that addressed the “paycheque-to-paycheque lifestyle”—something many youth struggle with as popular culture commonly encourages a lifestyle of hyper materialism and living beyond one’s means. These superficial lifestyles were debunked using the rationale that money spent in excess to convey one’s personal success carries the potential to dissolve that same success.

The presentation corresponded with five of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG’s). Goal 1—No Poverty, Goal 4—Quality Education, Goal 5—Gender Equality, Goal 8—Decent Work and Economic Growth, Goal 9—Industry Innovation and Infrastructure. Learning-the-Lingo effectively permeated these five (SDG’s) by procuring youth attention towards financial autonomy; motivating young people to take control of their monetary resources. Presenters encouraged young people to make responsible decisions with their savings by using the money management acronym “BISP” which stands for: Budget, Invest, Save, Protect—an acronym which was soon heard being rehearsed by 80 learners in the corridors outside of the classroom. Presentation material also touted the importance of always keeping the enduring sentiment of a “future self” in mind before spending earnings. LTL persuaded young people to devise well-informed plans that will allow them to accumulate, maintain, and grow earnings. Learners were informed of financial resources such as credit services and appropriately structured loans that can relieve daily economic pressures and constraints which so often hamper the potentials and social capital of individuals and stymie entrepreneurial pursuits. 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

Striving Towards a Better Future: UNIC Team Empowers Youth at Windhoek Central

180 enthusiastic students from Windhoek Central Primary School received a visit from United Nations Information Centre Windhoek on 9 August  to learn more about its educational outreach programme entitled UN4U. The programme teaches about the goals and vision of the United Nations and specifically focuses how the UN works for each of us.

The presentation showcased the work of UN agencies, programmes and funds in the country guided by the United Nations Partnership Framework (UNPAF)  and the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDG). The primary school learners were intrigued by the various acronyms that were thrown at them and were seemingly curious with topical details on the partnerships the UN creates with the national government  in Namibia. The essential aspect of  this years UN4U outreach challenged the UNIC presenters to break down the core of the presentation into layman’s terms to ensure that the Primary School assemblies comprehend the message conveyed to them.

The UNIC team encouraged a participatory audience and learners were eager to answer questions and share their knowledge about the UN and the 17 Sustainable Goals (SDGs). The learners passed around the microphone to add their voices on the subject matter presented.Recognizing the importance of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, learners felt empowered, learning about their inalienable rights to education, freedom of religion, expression of thoughts and ideas, to feel safe and protected by their caretakers, government and institutions in their community – just to name a few. The youth benefiting more knowledge in learning about the UN itself and the different UN organizations based in Namibia. Continue reading

Sunshine Private School learns how the UN works #UN4U

The third outreach for the UN4U programme took place on 3 August 2017 at the Sunshine Private School in Windhoek.  One hundred of the   senior students at the primary school participated in UNIC Windhoek’s UN4U programme, a programme which teaches how the United Nations works for you!

The presentation included information about the history of the United Nations, the UN Charter and its significance,   UN membership, the different organs of the UN as well as the various agencies, funds and programmes which make up this international organisation. It highlighted children’s rights and the work of UNICEF in particular.It also included a section on the 17 Sustainable Development Goals that are so crucial to the UN’s global mission.  The team also relayed information about the UN System in Namibia and its partnership with government structured in the United Nations Partnership Framework ( UNPAF) which highlights key pillars as the blueprint that drives the UN System in Namibia’s work towards the development agenda in Namibia.

The UN4U outreach created an opportunity for the youngsters to ask questions and engage with the team with the goal of learning more about the United Nations globally and in Namibia. The presentation is delivered in an interactive format that is relatable to students and encourages engagement through question and answer sessions. Through the use of photos, gifs, videos and statistics – the team presented the students with a holistic view of the UN System and its mandate.

The UN4U programme  complemented the school’s curriculum well and nuanced their understanding of the subject matter. UNIC provided UN Charter’s to the school which were placed in the library. In addition, a poster of the Sustainable Development Goals with a catch phrase “Shaping a world that empowers our Youth through the Sustainable Development Goals.”

 

 

UN Namibia Town Hall on “Greening the Blue”

On Thursday, 27th July 2017, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) with the support of United Nations Communications Group (UNCG) hosted the “Greening the Blue” Staff Town Hall to discuss the latest movement in the journey towards making the United Nations House a more environmentally sustainable place. Following former UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s 2007 call upon all UN agencies to “go green”, the solar panel launch on the 26th of July at the UN House was a big step towards the Greening the Blue initiative (GtB).

The “Greening the Blue” initiative is part of the UN’s global drive to fulfil its 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), the foundation of the 2030 Agenda. Within the SDGs, Goal 7, “Affordable and Clean Energy“, strives to ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all and Goal 13, “Climate Action“, aims to take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts. The GtB initiative strives to create a more mindful UN in order to address environmental sustainability in Namibia and promote the SDGs through exemplary leadership. While the GtB initiative is specifically targeted to reduce carbon footprints in the UN system, its greater aim is to help efforts to design programs and projects in line with international, regional and national aspirations to conserve the environment and limit carbon footprints. Continue reading

Energy Ministry and CoW join solar panel launch at UN House

On Wednesday 26 July 2017, the Deputy Minister of Mines and Energy, Hon. Kornelia Shilunga on behalf of the Hon. Obeth Kandjoze, officially launched the United Nations (UN) House solar panels on Wednesday, 26 July 2017 alongside the City of Windhoek (CoW) and the UN System in Namibia (UN Namibia). The UN House, located in Klein Windhoek, is where UN Namibia offices are located.

As Namibia receives a high amount of sunlight, the UN Resident Coordinator (UNRC) to Namibia, Kiki Gbeho emphasized that the UN’s move towards using solar energy is an opportunity to showcase best practice, in terms of the use of renewable energy in support of Namibian, and global efforts, to combat climate change.

The recently agreed Sustainable Development Agenda, identifies clean energy as an integral part of the global strategy to end poverty, protect the planet, and ensure prosperity for all.

“Specifically, Goal 13 of the 17 SDGs (Sustainable Development Goals) speaks to Climate Change, while Goal 7, aims to ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all,” Gbeho said.

Since the installation in the beginning of May, power usage at the UN House has decreased by approximately 50%, which in monetary terms translates to a total savings of roughly N$ 60,000 per month.

If the current savings trend continues, coupled with the current effort to monitor power usage around the office, UN Namibia forecasts savings of at least 60% in the next few months going forward. This, over time, will result in a large amount of monetary savings that can be implemented into programmatic work as opposed to operational costs.

On behalf of Hon. Kandjoze, Hon. Shilunga highlighted Namibia’s great potential in renewable energy, specifically solar power, with its abundance of land, an average of 300 sunny days per year and the second highest solar irradiation regime in the world. Continue reading