Tag Archives: #WCW

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

#WednesdayCelebrateWomen: Sister Christy advocates for Goal 3: Good Health and Well-Being


The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are a worldwide call to action to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure that all people enjoy peace and prosperity. Adopted in 2015, the SDGs comprise of 17 Goals that aim to transform the world by 2030.

As part of the #WednesdayCelebrateWomen #WCW Campaign, the United Nations Information Centre (UNIC) Windhoek asks each WCW feature to pick one of the SDGs which resonates with them most and share how they plan to work towards achieving that particular goal.

Sister Christy, a registered nurse at the Cancer Association of Namibia (CAN) and UNIC Windhoek’s #WCW for the month of March, chose Goal 3: Good Health and Well-Being. This goal is intended to safeguard healthy lives and uphold the well-being for all at all ages.

Echoing the targets of Goal 3, Sister Christy says that, “Health is a fundamental human right for everyone, irrespective of your gender, race, age educational status or socio-economic background, and every person is entitled to have the best possible health status.”

In terms of Goal 3, noteworthy steps have been taken to increase life expectancy and reduce needless deaths associated with child and maternal mortality. From the time the SDGs were implemented, much progress has been made on increasing access to clean water and sanitation, reducing malaria, tuberculosis, polio and the spread of HIV/AIDS worldwide.

Good health and well-being is a key focus area in Namibia and in Sister Christy’s work. She explains, “It’s my responsibility to be part of the team that actively works hard in order to promote health, prevent disease and prolong life.”

Increasing knowledge, raising awareness and shifting attitudes related to the prevention, promotion, treatment and rehabilitation of common health have been some of the attention areas in achieving Goal 3.

Sister Christy pledges to try her, “[…]utmost best to create awareness and provide health education on the importance of healthy lifestyle choices and timely health care, not only [for] cancer but [for] health in general.” 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

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.”

#WednesdayCelebrateWomen: UNIC Windhoek celebrates social entrepreneur Ndahafa Hapulile

ndahafa-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 Ndahafa Hapulile, an advocate for gender equality who received recognition as an Emerging Entrepreneur at the Namibian Business Hall of Fame induction.

Ndahafa is currently employed as an Assistant to the Secretary General of the SWAPO Party. Additionally, she is an elected board member of the National Youth Council (NYC) of Namibia, chairing the Programme Oversight Committee.

She says, “As a social entrepreneur, I act as a change agent in my community by coming up with innovative ideas to improve systems and invent new approaches, with the hope of creating solutions to change society for the better.”

Check out Ndahafa’s interview with UNIC Windhoek! Read along as she talks about the career challenges she has faced due to her gender. Similarly, see her views on gender equality.

1.) Have you come across any challenges in your field because of your gender?

In every field, there are challenges. However, one of the more notable challenges I have experienced is [dealing with] the stereotypes associated with femininity [specifically when being ‘ladylike’ or ‘looking girly’].

In my field, I have noticed that women who look feminine tend to be thought of as “less brainy”. Beauty is seen as a form of weakness and vulnerability. Many women tone down their femininity to look and act more masculine in order to fit in.

However, as an advocate for gender equality [with experience in the] mining environment as a Metallurgist in training, I am determined to fight these stereotypes and draw inspiration from women like Hon. Dr. Saara Kuugongelwa-Amadhila and Rosalia Martins-Hausiku who maintained their ‘ladylikeness’ and still made wonderful strides in their respective fields. Continue reading

#WednesdayCelebrateWomen: UNIC Windhoek celebrates UN Cares Programme Coordinator Raturua Tjindere

raturua-wcw-updatedIn 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 Raturua Tjindere, a UN National Volunteer and UN Cares Programme Coordinator.

Raturua was born and raised in Namibia along with her five siblings. She says that her parents are her biggest motivation in life. “I am a humble and strong person today because of my wonderful mother,” she says.

After attending secondary school at Jan Mohr in Windhoek, Raturua studied at the University of Namibia (UNAM) and graduated with a Diploma in Local Government Studies.

She then started her first job as a credit controller, and she says, “I didn’t know that God had better and bigger plans for my life.”

In 2015, she applied and was selected for a youth volunteer post as a Program Assistant with United Nations Development Programme (UNDP). From there, she sought out United Nations Volunteers and was hired to the position where she finds herself today, as a UN National Volunteer and UN Cares Programme Coordinator.

Besides working with the UN System in Namibia, Raturua also currently studies at the Namibia University of Science and Technology (NUST) doing a degree in Public Management.

Check out Raturua’s interview with UNIC Windhoek! Read along as she talks about stigma and discrimination in the workplace, women’s empowerment and gender equality. Continue reading

#WednesdayCelebrateWomen: UNIC Windhoek celebrates Lesley-Anne van Wyk

lesley-anne-wcwEach Wednesday, the United Nations Information Centre (UNIC) Windhoek celebrates women and their accomplishments.  Through her work for the Hanns Seidel Foundation Namibia she is instrumental in coordinating  environmental awareness and climate change projects in Namibia. This week we celebrate, Lesley-Anne Van Wyk.

Check out Lesley-Anne’s interview with UNIC Windhoek! Read along as she talks about climate change and the tips she gives on combating climate change. See what she reckons on gender equality.

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

My name is Lesley-Anne van Wyk and I was born and raised in Windhoek. I hold a Bachelors degree in Languages and Journalism from the University of Pretoria and a Masters degree in Globalisation and Development Studies from the University of Maastricht in the Netherlands. I have over 9 years of work experience in diverse roles and dynamic organisations. The last 5 years of my career have been focused in the spheres of environmental sustainability, climate change adaptation, food security and development communications. Currently, I coordinate an environmental awareness and climate change project at the Namibian office of an international foundation.

2.) What is climate change? How is climate change impacting Namibia?

Climate change, in simple terms, can be defined as changes in the average long-term weather patterns of a region for an extended period of time, typically decades or longer. Examples include shifts in wind patterns, the average temperature, or the amount of precipitation. These changes can affect one region, many regions or the whole planet. The Earth’s climate has never been completely static and in the past the planet’s climate has changed due to natural causes (e.g. volcanic eruptions, changes in the sun’s intensity). These effects are spread out around the globe mainly by ocean currents as well as wind and weather patterns to affect the climates of different regions. Human activities like the burning of fossil fuels or industrial production increase the levels of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. This traps more heat in our atmosphere, which drives global warming and climate change.

Namibia is particularly vulnerable because it already has a dry and highly variable climate. The vast majority of the population depends on natural resources for their livelihoods. The population growth of Namibia is expected to put additional pressure on (especially) land and water resources. Poverty, lack of income and lack of employment opportunities increase the vulnerability of households to cope with the impacts of climate change e.g. the shocks of extreme weather events such as droughts and floods.  Continue reading

#WednesdayCelebrateWomen: UNIC Windhoek celebrates Julize Skolnic, with over 20 years experience with the UN System in Namibia

julize-wcwEach Wednesday, the United Nations Information Centre (UNIC) Windhoek celebrates women and their accomplishments. In light of her work for the UN System in Namibia for well over 20 years, UNIC Windhoek celebrates Julize Skolnic, a hard working woman who is successfully balancing being working full time and being a mom and wife.

Julize was born in South Africa, Cape Town and grew up in Namibia. Julize reminisces that she was merely four years old when her parents moved to Namibia. “My husband is Namibian and I see Namibia as the country of milk and honey, it is good here as there is peace and stability,” Julize relates proudly.

Julize is married and has two children, one boy and one girl. She started off her career in the private sector as a private secretary to Managing Directors (MDs), a job that is known today as a personal/executive associate. Before joining the UNIC Windhoek Team in 1994, Julize worked for UNICEF Namibia for approximately four years. Julize has been with UNIC Windhoek for well over 20 years.

Skolnic admits that it is challenging balancing work and private life. She says “it’s been about choices in my life, it was either you follow your career or you are a good mom or good wife to your husband… when it comes to my children it is important to me to send out happy and balanced kids into this big world”. She goes on to advise women in similar situations that you have to make a plan and prioritize.

 Furthermore, Julize has a good working relationships with both men and women within the UN System in Namibia. She believes that gender equality is needed in today’s society for both men and women. Julize reckons that “One should not be favored or judged because of one’s gender. One should be defined by one’s personality, moral values and standards.”

Similarly, her motto in life is that “prevention is better than cure”. She explains that sometimes in life it is difficult because life is about right or wrong. She encourages doing right. This is because when doing wrong, it’s sometimes difficult to rectify/revert your actions whereas, it is much easier to do the right thing from the beginning.

 Julize’s advice to young girls pursuing their dreams is to “never give up, work hard and be true to yourself and your opinions. Not everyone might agree with you but the right people will.”