On the 10 May 2016, the high school practicum program participants covered two topics, communication skills (as part of the skills training in the programme) and the Rwanda Genocide as part of their human rights studies (UN work). The students kick started their morning with an exciting communication skills exercise.
They were tasked to research and present different communication skills and later demonstrate how to professionally and persuasively spread a message. The teams delivered presentations touching on negative and positive body language, the tone to use when giving a presentation and tips for a well-designed and interesting layout. The exercise refreshed the students’ memory on how to properly deliver a presentation. Ms. Anthea Basson from UNIC Windhoek congratulated the presenters for improving their presentation skills compared to the days before leaving the students peppy and excited for new topics to come.
The communications component was followed by the UNIC team presenting on the Rwanda Genocide that took place in Rwanda during the 100-day period from April 7 to mid-July 1994. The team led the students through the chronological history of the genocide.
Based on this historical learning session, the students were divided into three groups and had to answer the following questions to gain a better understanding of the work of the UN at that time and the occurrences typically preceding and following a genocide. The questions read as follows: How could the outcome of the Rwandan Genocide have been different if the UN intervened quicker and more efficiently? What could the UN member states have done to prevent the Genocide from happening in the first place? What recommendations do you make that genocide does not appear in the future?
As a practical exercise the practicum participants had to come up with something very creative, a piece to spread the message of forgiveness to the Rwanda people. Poetic texts showed great sensibility and respect to the history of Genocide and people’s suffering during and after the expulsion and oppression of so many innocent men, women and children. At the same time the poems spread the message of forgiveness and forbearance, encouraging a more united and forward-thinking Rwandan society.