Foster a love for reading among Namibian Youth

09 February 2015

UNIC Windhoek handed over reading books to the Gammams Primary school library to encourage and build on the reading culture. The reading culture is on a sharp decline in our country, but through book donations and book corners, we can encourage the youth to foster a love for reading, a skill required in all subjects ultimately. Taking receipt of the books is Ms. Kaimo the principal at Gammams Primary school, a school in a disadvantaged neighbourhood. She expressed her gratitude toward UNIC Windhoek for the book donation.

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Discussing the Post-2015 Development Agenda with Young Australians

04 October 2014

On the 4 October, UNIC Canberra discussed the Millennium Development Goals and the Post-2015 development agenda with 200 young Australians participating in the National Capital Model United Nations at the Australian National University.

Directing the Speaker Panel, ‘Post-2015: A New Page for the Millennium Development Goals’, UNIC Canberra Director, Mr Christopher Woodthorpe highlighted the findings of the 2014 Millennium Development Goals Report and the ongoing process to develop a new agenda.

“Alluding to the title of this session, perhaps it is not a new page, but rather more a whole new book,” he said referring to the scope of the developing new agenda.

Joining Mr Woodthorpe on the panel was Mr Terence Wood, a Research Fellow at the Australian National University Development Policy Centre and Miss Fiona Burke, the 2014 UN Women Australia National Committee’s Youth Delegate to the UN Commission on the Status of Women (CSW).

Mr Wood gave an academic overview of the MDGs and discussed the Post-2015 Agenda amidst the challenges of international negotiation and global collective action.

Miss Burke talked about her experience at the 58th Session of the CSW and about the importance of acknowledging gender issues in the new agenda.

After their speeches, the audience had the opportunity to ask the panel members questions regarding the success of the MDGs, the Post-2015 agenda and the value of the MDGs on the country level.

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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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MUNNAM session on ICT regulation

14 July 2014
One of the participants

 

Academia Secondary School’s Model UN (MUN) club received ongoing training after the 3rd Annual Model United Nations High School Conference held in June 2014.   The excited Model UN delegates from the School were all new to the Model UN world and were thus very determined to religiously meet every week for two afternoons to practice and flex their MUN muscles.

Following a preparatory session on Information Communications Technology (ICT) regulation and an in depth discussion, the delegates were assigned countries and asked to prepare their position papers and draft resolutions for the mini mock classroom session which was held on 7 July 2014. The delegates proved that novice “MUNers” who were determined enough, could do a first-rate job presenting their position papers as well as negotiating like real diplomats. It was a fun filled session with many key insights shared and a positive learning experiences, and moreover, practical experience for the learners.

At the end of the session, information kits were distributed in preparation for the next week’s simulation on 14 July, to discuss global warming 2015. The promising delegates from Academia Secondary School reminded the UNIC team the difference the Model UN programme makes in the lives of ordinary high school students, who become involved in a whole new world, where they transform into extraordinary, insightful young people.

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