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UNIC staff donate blood

Blood provides life saving assistance to many people in need of blood. According to medical opinions, one donation of blood saves three lives and hence it is important that individuals donate blood. On an average the Human body is said to contain 4 to 5 litres of blood, of which can be donated after every third month for men and every four months for women.

Many people are involved in tragic accidents that leave them in a position where they are in an urgent need for blood.  Through the donation of blood, hospitals and clinics are able to have a stockpile of blood ready in case of any emergencies.  Donors are always asked to eat a substantial amount of food at least three hours prior to donating blood and drink lots of fluids after donating in order to help the body replenish its blood supply. Donors are also further asked not to take part in any form of exercise, and stay away from consumption of alcohol up until the body manages to replenish its supply.

On 15 June 2018 the United Nations staff turned out in numbers at the United Nations House, in Windhoek in order to take part in the blood drive organised by UN Cares. UN Cares works to ensure wellness for United Nations staff and thus is responsible for organising events that resonate with wellness. The UN staff members took part in the event with excitement, and were ready to donate a life through this selfless act. UNIC Windhoek’s small team also played their part and donated blood.

Blood is not only merely required in times of accidents or injuries but is required also for platelets and plasma required by patients. If an adequate amount of blood is available in a food bank, patients can be smoothly treated. Hence people should regularly donate blood to ensure an adequate availability of it when patients need it.

Importance of an Internship and interning at UNIC Windhoek

Internships are a proven way to gain relevant knowledge, skills, and experience while establishing important connections in your field of study. Internships are also a way to get your feet wet and find out if a specific field is something you could see yourself doing full-time.

On the 10th of July 2018, National Information Officer, Ms. Anthea Basson provided an overview of UNIC Windhoek’s internship opportunities during a mini workshop at the Namibia University of Technology (NUST). The engagement with 30 students provided in-depth overview of the different types of internship, internship conditions and skills that may be developed. A number of these skills are a crucial for a young professional for being independent, flexible and ingenious at work.

In addition, UNIC Windhoek internships opportunities provide an excellent way to gain experience and exposure to the workforce. Volunteering shows commitment to causes and certain values that are intrinsic to the individuals who have participated in these types of experiences.

The lecture included testimonies of a communication for development and graphic design intern.  The interns Joseph Bohbot and Christophine Kamati stressed that by doing a great job and completing more than what is required of them, will provide them with a great reference letter / report for future reference. The UNIC Windhoek internships are a great way to learn the ropes. The encouraged students to take full advantage of internship opportunities and don’t take the experience lightly. Asking questions is one key to learning in an internship and keeping yourself flexible throughout the internship can open many doors.

UN Staff participates in YOGA Day events

Yoga is a physical exercising activity that is used by multitudes of people in order to improve health, heal aches and pains, and keep sickness at bay. Yoga has numerous benefits that are important for an individual’s health. Improved flexibility is one of the first and most obvious benefits of yoga. Individuals that take part in yoga start to experience a gradual loosening of the muscles.

However apart from the improved flexibility, Yoga poses various additional health benefits such as; building muscle strength, perfects posture, prevents joint break down, protects spine, betters bone health and increases blood flow. This ensures that people are healthier, happy and breathing well. All these health benefits are important so that people are able to lead health and productive lives.

In light of this, the UN Cares coordinator in Namibia, saw it imperative to organise a yoga day, for the United Nations staff at the UN house in Windhoek. This was done prior to the celebration of the International Day of Yoga, celebrated annually on the 21st of June. Yoga is a physical, mental and spiritual practice that originated in India. The day was first proposed by the Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, in his Address to the UN General Assembly. The Indian embassy in Namibia conducts, yoga classes every morning at the Indian embassy, free of charge to the public.

The Indian embassy in collaboration with UN Cares provided  UN staff members with an opportunity to take part in a special Yoga session, preceding the international Yoga day. The yoga session at the UN house drew more than 15 staff members that were joined by some members of the public that regularly take part in the Yoga sessions of the embassy. UNIC Windhoek staff also participated and commended the UN Cares team for a well organised session geared toward the mental and physical health of all staff.

UNIC Windhoek staff attend in house Women’s Leadership Series

The UNIC Windhoek ladies attended the first Women’s Leadership Series hosted by the Gender Theme Group, UN Namibia.  The aim of the series is to empower women leaders and foster greater gender responsiveness in the workplace. On Friday, 29 June 2018, UN staff members had the chance to engage with UN Resident Coordinator a.i. Rachel Odede and Managing Director of PWC Namibia, Nangula Uaandja.

Highlighting the importance of setting goals and establishing networks of supportive people who can help you attain these goals, Odede said, “You need to have a vision or a goal. If you don’t know where you want to go, you won’t be there.”

Uaandja reminded our female staff members that you have to like what you’re doing to be successful. She explained that there are four different circles – your gifts, passions, burdens (things that irritate you that you want to change) and needs and opportunities around you. She said, “Where all these circles meet, that is your purpose and your career”.

UN staff members had a chance to ask Odede and Uaandja more about their career journeys as well as how they overcame challenges, such as gender inequality, in the workplace.

Through the Sustainable Development Golas (SDGs), specifically Goal 5, the UN aims to achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls

Poverty, UN Humanitarian work and Urban development at Deutche Hohrere Privat Schule (DHPS)

On 28 June 2018, The United Nations Information Centre, (UNIC) Windhoek  was invitedd to join other stakeholders and technical experts to deliver presentations to grade ten learners at DHPs.  UNIC Windhoek was invited to present on poverty, humanitarian and urban development in Namibia.

The presentation formed part of the school’s annual two-day  programme,  which includes a field visit to the informal settlements in Katutura. The presentation day on day two provides stakeholders to present to young people on their programmes and mandates. Other presenters included the First Lady of Namibia’s “One Economy,” Physically Active Youth (PAY), Hans Seidel Foundation and many more.

 UNIC Windhoek was pleased to be part of this informative educational programme which afforded an opportunity to highlight the Sustainable Development Goals as well.It is the second year that the Centre has participated in this annual event with grade 10 learners.

The presentation outlined current statistics on the poverty rate in Namibia, coupled with direct or rhetorical questions to learners views on poverty; the different forms of poverty, approaches on how Namibia could maximize on natural resources as well as types of humanitarian responses with emphasis on World Food Programme (WFP) and the government’s school feeding programme. Statistics indicate that 5% of the population control 70 % of the wealth, while the poor only have control over 30% thereof. The United Nations Development Programme notes Namibia as having one of the highest levels of Inequality.

Urban development emphasized on the impacts of urban migration and the significance of constructing sustainable cities for the future. According to the International Organization on Migration (IOM) the urban population in Namibia grew by a staggering 49.7% between 2001 and 2011. IOM indicates that Namibia’s rural areas are expected to shrink between 2011 and 2041, while the urban population points toward a trajectory of 43% to 67% in 2041. The overall presentation was penned around the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) concentrating on no Poverty and Sustainable Cities and Communities. The presentation encouraged learners to engage in a brief discourse pertaining the topic to share their thoughts, comments and opinions.


#UN4U Concludes at Suiderhof Primary

The final  instalment of the UN4U educational outreach programme for the 2018 concluded at Suiderhof Primary School, 600 learners were  in attendance  from grades 4 to 7.

On the 27th of June 2018, UNIC Windhoek team presented “how the United Nations works for you.”  The presentation highlighted the history of the United Nations, the different organs of the United Nations and how the specialized agencies, work in order to advance the goals and mandate of the UN. This was followed by a screening of a short video that summarized the entire presentation. The learners were introduced to the 17 Sustainable Development Goals and lay the foundation on how they can contribute to the achievement of the global goals in Namibia.

The success of this programme, extends and strengthens the existing partnership that already exists between the UNIC Windhoek team and Suiderhof Primary School. The team received a warm welcome from the school’s social science teacher Mrs Rene Linno and the principal of the school Mr Myburgh. During the question and answer session. Learners were rewarded with SDG branded bags, lanyards and pens.

At the end of the session, the school principal expressed his gratitude and appreciation on the presentation that was conducted by the UNIC team. The UNIC Windhoek team reached a total of over 1300 learners for the 2018 programme.

#UN4U Continues at Gammams Primary School

One of the primary  roles of the United Nations information Centre (UNIC) Windhoek is to go into the field and educate young people about the work of the United Nations and ensure the understanding of the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals.

Contributing to the development of the second instalment of the UN4U programme the UNIC team visited Gammams Primary School on 22 June 2018 to deliver another insightful  presentation to over 400 learners, detailing how the “UN works for you”. The programme is presented annually as a precursor to the UN Day celebrations that are set to take place on 24 October 2018. The programme includes an overview of the United Nations, its history, UN peacekeeping, UN organs, UN agencies present in Namibia and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

A warm welcome was extended to the team by the learners  and teachers. The presentation included a brief overview of how the UN came about, the role of the General Assembly, the Security Council, and UN peacekeeping missions and how it responds to security threats. Furthermore, programmes and specialised agencies of the UN were also highlighted to showcase the UNs response in different situations e.g. emergencies, disease outbreak, disasters, etc. This was followed by a short video screening segment in order to summarise the history of the United Nations. Continue reading

#UN4U and the Sustainable Development Goals

The UNIC Windhoek Team reached out to Tobias Hainyeko Primary School, situated in the Okuryangava location in Katutura, to carry out the first instalment of this year’s UN4U programme. A presentation was conducted by the UNIC team to a group of over 400 learners.  UN4U is an educational outreach programme which brings UN officials to speak to students at their schools. The programme is aimed at communicating the fundamentals of the United Nations work with a strong focus on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The programme was tailored in a manner that the students should own the SDGs and come up with possible suggestions in achieving it.

The programme highlights the history of the United Nations, the UN flag and what the flag represents; introduction of the United Nations Secretary General Antonio Guterres; followed by an in-depth explanation of the organs of the United Nations and how they work. The presentation also provided an overview of the various specialised agencies based in Namibia.

The active participation of students was encouraged by reciting all 17 Sustainable Development Goals out loud to emphasize the importance of each goal and what they could do in order to contribute to achieving the goals. In order to make the goals relevant a strong link was shown by the presenters on how the 2030 goals are incorporated into Namibia’s Harambee Prosperity plan and the fifth National Development Plan (NDP5)

The schools Life skills teacher Ms. Ases expressed the schools gratitude on the presentation that was made by the UNIC team. Additionally the learners choose an SDG which resonates with them.  The following gaols received the most attention: No poverty SDG 1, Zero Hunger SDG2, Good Health and Well Being SDG 3 and Quality education SDG4.

Peer statistics training empowers UNIC Windhoek interns

Training is an important part of the graduate internship programme at the United Nations Information Centre (UNIC) Windhoek. These trainings are delivered not only by staff members but interns as well. It is an opportunity for them to share their knowledge in different fields as well as harness their public speaking and presentation skills.

On Friday, 15 June 2018, our international intern Joseph Bohbot provided training to three national  internson capturing, analysing and using statistics. Joseph, a national of France who has a Masters  degree in Geopolitics and currently completing his Masters in Communications holds vast experience with data collection. Joseph updated UNIC Windhoek’s evaluation forms, which are given out all initiatives. UNIC Windhoek is committed to ensuring the satisfaction of participants that attend our events and outreaches, with the content they receive and in the relation to  the United Nations staff. The updated form has streamlined the questions to ensure that they are targeted, strategic and capture the essence of the event.The forms have been used to gauge satistfacation as well as to analyse the impact, success and challenges of the outreaches from the very young audiences to the older audience.

 Capturing the data post event is very important, and Joseph trained his fellow interns about statistics and how these statistics not only allow us to better understand the impression made on our target audiences but also about how the information is used to improve and grow programmes. Data analysis is an integral component of understanding the expectations of the Namibian society in terms of development and receiving feedback at the grass-root level strengthens programming.

The UNIC Windhoek graduate internship programme aims to harness the skills of interns to build capacity and transfer knowledge among peers. Continuous learning is an integral part of the internship, and interns both, local and international, use their expertise to build their strengths as a team, fostering a sense of camaraderie and partnership.


Tackling our planet’s problems from outer space

In the sixty years since the space age began with the launch of Sputnik-1, the first artificial satellite, humankind has achieved remarkable progress in the exploration and use of outer space. This would not have been possible without international cooperation.

With more and more countries, organizations and companies accessing space and its economic and societal benefits, international cooperation to ensure the safe, secure and sustainable use of outer space now and in the future is more crucial today than ever before. That is why diplomatic efforts at the United Nations to drive forward such cooperation are so vital.

From 18 to 21 June, the world will gather in Vienna for UNISPACE+50, the first United Nations global space summit of the twenty-first century, organized by the United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs (UNOOSA). This will be only the fourth time in history that government representatives join heads of space agencies, policy-makers, industry representatives and other stakeholders at the United Nations on a large scale. Our top priority will be to look for ways to use space to improve lives around the world and protect our planet.

A lot has changed since the first UNISPACE conference was held in 1968. Today, space is big business. Last year the global space sector was estimated to be worth USD $330 billion. Access to space is also growing rapidly. Over 70 United Nations Member States now have established government space agencies. This is complemented by an ever-increasing number of private companies and industry. In 2017, a year in which the world placed over 450 new satellites – a record number – in orbit, commercial entities conducted just under half of all launches. Continue reading