UNIC, Lagos Government, SMILE, partner to mark International Youth Day

12 August 2014

Youth at the event

The United Nations Information Centre (UNIC), Lagos, in collaboration with Strategy for Mentoring Initiative and Leadership Empowerment (SMILE) and the Lagos State Government office for Youth and Social Development observed the 2014 International Youth Day with panel discussion on the theme: Youth and Mental Health – Mental Health matters’.

The event which attracted 828 participants comprising of 46% female and 54% male; representatives of 23 media organisations; 35 voluntary and non-governmental organisations; five government Agencies and four United Nations organisations, featured four panelists which included a Psychiatrist, Wellness Expert, Psycho-therapist and a general Medical Practitioner.

In his message on the occasion, the United Nations Secretary General, Ban Ki-moon, noted that “Mental health is how we feel; it is our emotions and well-being.  We all need to take care of our mental health so that we lead satisfying lives.  Let us begin to talk about our mental-health in the same way we talk about our overall health.” The message which was read by UNIC Lagos Senior Public Information Officer, Ms Envera Selimovic, added that everyone should remember that with understanding and assistance, young people with mental health conditions could flourish and make valuable contributions to our collective future. 

Setting the tone for the panel discussion were Miss Amaka Efughi (23 years) and Mr Kalid Sotonye (22 years) who gave testimonies about their past drug addiction and mental conditions which cost them their university education at the time and six years of their lives. They expressed their happiness about their rescue, rehabilitation and re-enrolment back to the university. 

In her welcome address, the Deputy Governor of Lagos State, Hon. Mrs Adejoke Orelope-Adefulire, urged stakeholders to pay attention to the 15 factors that the World Health Organisation (WHO) had identified as relevant to mental health among youth, some of which are education, unemployment, poverty, drug abuse, armed conflicts, Information and Communication Technology (ICT), among others. She was represented by the Special Adviser to the Governor on Youth and Social Development, Dr Dolapo Badru.

The occasion was also used to disseminate preventive public information on the Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) when UNIC Lagos National Information Officer, Oluseyi Soremekun, made a presentation on “Ebola: What you need to know” while officials of the Lagos State Ministry of Health later distributed public information leaflets on the disease.

Closing the event, the President, Strategy for Mentoring Initiative and Leadership Empowerment (SMILE), Mrs Bimpe Bamgbose-Martins, thanked UNIC for its commitment to promoting partnership and synergy with Non-Governmental Organisations (NGO) in addressing some societal issues that are of interest to the United Nations.

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Targeting Youth in Turkey

10 May 2014

Participants at the event

On 10 May, a “UN in Action” documentary related to youth affairs was presented to a group of around 200 students at the Turgut Özal University.

The event started with a speech by UNIC Information Officer on the UN action plan on the youth. The speech also mentioned the UN Secretary-General’s five year action plan and the role that youth play in it.

In the second part of the event, a UN Population Fund (UNFPA) representative, on behalf of the UN in Turkey Youth Thematic Group, made a presentation on what the UN agencies in Turkey do in issues related to youth.

The UN Country Team in Turkey established a youth thematic group as Turkey has a big young population and youth face several challenges, including finding decent jobs and education.

The UN Communication Group led by UNIC Ankara, in cooperation with the Youth Thematic Group has executed activities targeting the youth in Turkey. 

May 19 is celebrated in Turkey as the Youth Day.

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Learning about UN activities in Azerbaijan

18 February 2014

To inform youth about the United Nations work in Azerbaijan and the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), the UNO Baku team organized an informative session for students at the UN House, on 18 February. The event brought together the representatives of AIESEC, the international youth association and highlighted the importance of education, which was a good start for future networking and collaboration opportunities.

The UNO team screened a documentary and made a short presentation depicting the challenging work of the United Nations in hotspots around the world. The students got an opportunity to present their knowledge of both the United Nations and current events worldwide. Students were particularly interested in issues pertaining to the UN’s work in Azerbaijan, as well as the MDGs, which some thought were more critical for Azerbaijan than others, since some of the goals are no longer an issue in the country.

“Today we found the session very informative, and we learned many things about the work of the UN in Azerbaijan,” said Murad Zeynalov, Local Committee President of AIESEC. The UNO Baku team also discussed the possibility of organizing joint events with AIESEC to raise youth awareness about the MDGs and other development issues that remain main priorities for the United Nations.

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Extra Curricular Activities Fair

29 January 2014

The 29thof January was an exciting day for St.Paul’s College Windhoek students, as the Extra-curricular activity fair held for the students showcased a plethora of after-school activities, ranging from educational to community service. As of 2014, it became compulsory for all students to participate in at least one extramural activity. Hundreds of students roamed the activities fair hall, to identify an activity they would enjoy for 2014.

 One activity that was exceptionally popular with the students was the Model UN Namibia programme (MUNNAM). The MUN Club members at the school, set up an exhibition table comprising of UN material and banners. The club was supported by UNIC Windhoek. The set up was spearheaded by MUN Club member Lars Schuler, who coordinated and ensured active support from the UNIC team.

 With a staggering 54 students signing up to join the MUN Club at St Paul’s, Lars and his fellow club members were pleased with the outcome. UNIC staff (along with existing MUN club members) were there to answer any queries that the students had. The students were extremely enthusiastic to join the MUN Club at St Paul’s College. Many took home flyers pertaining to different topics within the UN, as well as water bottles with the compliments of UNIC Windhoek. St.Paul’s College is thrilled to have such a well-rounded MUN team that varies in age and background! With many juniors signing up, the MUN Club is set to sustain itself and reach new heights during the 2014 conference.

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