Investing in youth skills development in Lagos

12 August 2015

The United Nations Secretary-General, Ban Ki-moon called for political and financial investment in developing the skills of young people in order to build a more just and sustainable future for all. “With the right skills, these young people are exactly the force we need to drive progress across the global agenda and build more inclusive and vibrant societies,” he continued.

Speaking at a Youth Skills Workshop organized by the United Nations Information Centre (UNIC) Lagos and a Non-Governmental Organization (NGO), “Yes-I-Believe Academy”, in observance of the first World Youth Skills Day, the Secretary-General represented by the National Information Officer and the Officer-in-Charge of UNIC Lagos, Oluseyi Soremekun, noted that “Skills development reduces poverty and better equips young people to find decent jobs.” 

He added that “it strengthens youth capacity to help address the many challenges facing society, moving us closer to ending poverty hunger, injustice and environmental degradation.” 

In his opening address, the Executive Director of Yes-I-Believe Academy, Mr Niyi Adekunle, urged the participants to maximize the skills training opportunity offered by the observance as that could be a turning point for greater achievement in their lives.

The Workshop featured training in Make-up; Cake making; Soft Furnishing; Beaded Jewelry; Fabric Accessories and Shoe making. The trainers were Mr John Olaolopin; Ms Oreoluwa Solana; Ms Nneoma Effanga; Ms Isi Onabolu; Mr Abiodun Folawiyo; Ms Yetunde Ifebogun and Ms Yimika Offo.

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International Youth Day at Tehran Peace Museum

12 August 2015

The 2015 International Youth Day theme is Youth Civic Engagement. Youth Civic Engagement, a main goal of the United Nations System-Wide Action Plan on Youth, seeks to promote young people’s effective inclusive civic engagement at all levels. There has been recent increasing attention on youth civic engagement by governments, UN international organizations, civil society organizations and other.

Having this in mind, the Tehran Peace Museum (TPM), in cooperation with the Iranian Youth Parliament (IYP), and the United Nations Information Center (UNIC) office in Tehran, for the first time held a ceremony on the occasion of International Youth Day on 12 August 2015 at the Museum located at the Tehran City Park. More than 50 young people participated in the ceremony. 

The Director of the Museum Mr. Mohammad Reza Taghipour Moghadam greeted the participants and told about work of the Museum in the area of peace education. Then, after introducing the International Youth Day, UNIC Reference Assistant Ms. Nazanin Ghaemmaghami delivered the UN Secretary-General’s message.

Volunteer Ms. Elizabeth Lewis from the United Kingdom, introduced the "Young Reporters" project of the Museum which is aimed to promote youth civil engagement.

Mr. Ali Samadi, Vice President of The Iranian Youth Parliament, also a young volunteer from the TPM, reported the missions and activities of this organization and announced about upcoming the opening ceremony of the Iranian Youth Parliament. He talked about the importance of the Youth Parliaments across the world especially in Europe.

Mr. Mosab Asadi-Lari one of the volunteers at the Museum said: “I learned more today about UN values and Youth Day. I feel motivated to continue my volunteering work aimed to promote peace and I will brief my friends about Youth Day.”

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International Youth Day in Cameroon

12 August 2015

The United Nations Information Centre (UNIC) Yaounde co-organised with the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Civic Education events to mark the 16th International Youth Day in Cameroon on the theme: “Youth and Civic Engagement” on 12 August 2015. The event took place at the Yaounde City Hall and presided by His Excellency Bidoung Mkpatt, in the presence of the Minister of Basic Education; H.E Youssouf Adjija and H.E Catherine Abena Ondoua; Minister of Women’s Empowerment and the Family.

Mr. Jean Marc Afessi Mbafor; President of the Cameroon National Youth Council said that “Youth have a role to play as active citizens, for youth engagement entails contributing to building democracy and the nation as a whole.” Mr Mbafor promised that they will ensure the success of the ongoing national civic education campaign. Christian Ndombi, Representative of UNESCO read the message of the UN Secretary General; Ban Ki-moon and that of UNESCO’s Director General; Irina Bokova. In his message, Mr Ban “In this landmark year, as leaders prepare to adopt a bold new vision for sustainable development, the engagement of youth is more valuable than ever. At this critical moment in history, I call on young people to demand and foster the dramatic progress so urgently needed in our world.”

Minister Bidoung Mpkatt called on young people in Cameroon to rise up to the terrorist challenges facing the nation from the Boko Haram group. He called on youths to show their concern by joining the blood donation campaign launched in Yaounde, meant for soldiers wounded in the war against Boko Haram. He further urged youths to report any suspicious people in their midst to the authorities, insisting that “Cameroonian youths must all be united in combating Boko Haram terrorist group”. Bidoung Mpkatt said that this year’s theme was very timely, given the ongoing national civic education campaign, stating that youths must actively contribute to proffering solutions to national issues.

UNIC also mounted a One UN Stand during the commemoration ceremony to showcase UN’s action for youths.

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A Student from Walvis Bay Wins UNIC’s Essay Writing Competition

10 August 2015

Amber Kamati from the International School of Walvis Bay became the first winner of the Friendship Day essay writing competition that was organized by UNIC Windhoeks Information Centre. The competition asked primary school students to write an essay about the process of making a new friend and to reflect on the meaning friendship. The second and third places went to Shekupe Shikojeni and Vipuamuje Tjaveondja, respectively. Both Shikojeni and Tjaveondja attend school at Khomasdal’s Gammams Primary School.

The International Day of Friendship was proclaimed in 2011 by the United Nations General Assembly with the idea that friendship between peoples, countries, cultures and individuals can inspire peace efforts and build bridges between communities. UNIC decided to celebrate the Friendship Day – 30 July - by turning to those that sometimes struggle to make new friends, even though their friendships often blossom in the most sincere way – primary school students. The students were asked to elaborate on how they would go about making a new friend, how they would reach out to someone who is yet to make friends and what impact a new friendship would have on their lives.

The competition’s winner Kamati began her work by recalling that “a friend is someone who knows the song of your heart and will sing it to you when you forgot the words.” She went on to observe that “true friendship has a lot of definitions” and challenged the reader to discover their own definition of friendship. It was this critical yet spot-on perspective that earned the twelve-year-old from Walvis Bay the first place. The second place was occupied by Shekupe Shikojeni who aptly observed that “the truest friendships are built with both parties accepting each other for who they are.” Tjaveondja Vipuamuje from Gammams Primary School, who landed the third place, urged the reader to seek new friends: “In the end, you will have someone to rely on for advice and someone to lead you in the right path of life and a person to share your happiness with.” 

The essay competition was a great success with numerous entries from around the country. It was wonderful to read the well thought out submissions and heartwarming to see first-hand that the youth of Namibia place great value in establishing and nurturing friendships. The winner of the essay competition received a trophy, and the runners up received certificates from UNIC Windhoek.

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