Hermann Gmeiner Primary School pupils create building blocks of Peace

dsc_0631On the International Day of Peace, commemorated each year on 21 September, the United Nations Information Centre (UNIC) Windhoek Team created building blocks of peace with Hermann Gmeiner Primary School grade seven learners.

The International Day of Peace was established in 1981 and is devoted to “commemorating and strengthening the ideals of peace both within and among all nations and peoples.”

Through an engaging presentation, fifty-three grade seven pupils learned about peace and how the Agenda 2030: the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), which celebrated its one year anniversary this month, plays a large role in achieving world peace.

dsc_0618The UNIC Windhoek team had previously visited Hermann Gmeiner with the UN4U campaign, so the pupils and the school staff had a strong grasp of the work of UNIC Windhoek as well as the SDGs. The school’s principal Mr. Screuder welcomed the UNIC Windhoek team with friendly, open arms and expressed his gratitude that the UNIC Windhoek team choose to celebrate the International Day of Peace with the school.

The visit kick-started with a PowerPoint presentation about peace and how the seventeen SDGs play a pertinent role in achieving and maintaining world peace. Discussing that the United Nations works to ensure world peace across the globe, the UNIC Windhoek team explained that different agencies and departments work towards peace, including the Department of Peacekeeping Operations.

Cathleen AngulaThe students watched a video about the UN Peacekeeping Operations and were excited to learn that Namibians also are peacekeepers. This year, Namibian Police Officer Cathleen Angula. who lost her life in the name of peace while on a peacekeeping operation in Liberia, was awarded the Dag Hammarskjöld Medal,

The students then watched ‘We the People’ for the Global Goals, a video about the SDGs, through which celebrities and public figures express the importance of achieving each of the 17 goals. By achieving the SDGs, which aim to eradicate poverty, protect the environment, promote equality and ensure that all people have access to human rights, people can live together in peace.

Since the theme for this year’s International Day of Peace is ‘The Sustainable Development Goals: Building Blocks for Peace’, the pupils were tasked with the fun challenge of drawing or writing what peace means to them on block-shaped pieces of paper.

dsc_0611The grade seven pupils at Hermann Gmeiner enthusiastically showed off their drawing skills as they radiantly drew children holding hands on top of the Earth, people sharing food with one another and other intricate drawings depicting peace. The UNIC Windhoek team will create a peace collage using the student’s building blocks.

The UNIC Windhoek team reminded the students that although world leaders have agreed to work towards achieving the SDGs, everyone, including students, play an important role in achieving them. Similar to the bricks of a building which ensure that the building can stand, each person plays a large role in promoting peace around the world.