14 May 2013
On 19 April 2013, Cosmo City Secondary School in Johannesburg hosted UNIC Pretoria for a briefing on the UN. This event was lead by the UNIC Librarian.
The 8 Goals for Africa video was screened to grade 12 students followed by the UN4U video. The Librarian gave an overview of the work of the UN and the Millennium Development Goals. The students were engaged in the discussion session which provoked interesting questions on poverty in general and what the UN was doing specifically towards the eradication of poverty in South Africa. Students also wanted to know how they could get involved in the work of the UN while still in school. The UNIC Librarian conducted a quiz and rewarded students with the UNICEF publication Miles Ahead and pencil cases.
The UN team handed out information packs on various UN topics to the students, and the UNIC Librarian encouraged the students to visit the UN websites and UNIC Pretoria facebook and twitter pages for additional information and communication purposes as well as a visit to the UNIC Library in Pretoria.
The principal, Mr. Mokate and the life orientation teacher Mr. Makobe thanked the UNIC team for visiting the school and extended an invitation to visit the school again to engage on other topics of interest to students.
The event concluded with a student volunteering to read an excerpt of the UN Secretary-General’s speech addressed to the youth at the 2010 Young Atlanticist Summit in Lisbon, Portugal: "You have to work and think about how we can make this world a better place for all. This is what I'd really like to ask our young leaders. We will try as leaders of today to minimize the problems which we will hand over to you. But it is up to you. You have to take ownership and be the leadership of tomorrow. For that to be possible, you have to strengthen your capacity and widen your vision as a global citizen.”
12 April 2013
Itsoseng Combined High School in Hebron, North West Province, hosted the UN Information Centre (UNIC) in Pretoria for a FUN Day event on 15 March. The theme of the event was poverty elimination and development and the UN’s involvement in addressing these issues. Radhika Lal, Strategic Planning Adviser for the UN Country Team was the guest speaker.
UNIC Librarian, Hope Kabamba, introduced the team and gave a brief introduction of the UN system and what the UN was doing in South Africa and globally. Radhika Lal explained what the UN Development Programme (UNDP) was doing in South Africa and globally. Her presentation on eradicating poverty prompted a lot of questions from the students who were very interested to know what the UN was doing to eliminate poverty and how the UN could help them in their community.
Thembi Lekoape, life orientation teacher, thanked the UN team and invited them to come back to the school in future for other briefings. In turn, Ms. Kabamba extended an invitation to all learners to visit the UNIC Library.
After the briefings, the UNIC team toured the school’s vegetable garden which is managed with the help of the government municipality in the area, which supplies water twice a week in order to sustain the crops. Due to high poverty levels in the area, the garden benefits some of the students who are struggling with food insecurity in their households. The students expressed great interest in the briefing and participated actively as the topic is a reality of life in their area.
06 March 2013
On 6 March, the UNIC Pretoria organized a full-day workshop for library users on how to access UN information on the internet. The purpose of the workshop was to improve public literacy of UN information and to encourage library users to use UN information/documents as their primary information source. The workshop included a briefing on how the UN bodies are structured, with relevant themes intricately interwoven to ensure participants are familiar with UN information/documentation and how to access it.
The UNIC Librarian, Hope Kabamba, welcomed the participants and screened the UN4U video to show the different programmes and activities of the United Nations, including the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). Participants were also taken through a presentation to look at the reporting relationships between the UN main organs, programmes/funds, agencies and their related documentation. Romain Lecadou, UNIC Interim Webmaster, also gave a brief overview of the UNIC and UN in South Africa websites, guiding participants through different content, links and how to access them. This was followed by a question and answer period.
In the second session participants were given a chance to experience a hands-on sessions, guided by the Librarian and the Webmaster. It showed the advantages and disadvantages of each electronic reference tool and how to use them for maximum results. Participants learned about UN documents such as resolutions, meeting records, press releases and sales publications as well as other UN and non-UN reference tools and materials, including UN Today and UN yearbooks.
After the practical session, a survey was conducted which showed that the participants found the workshop useful. This was also evident through the many questions and the interaction during the presentations and practical sessions.
In closing, the UNIC Librarian thanked all participants and encouraged them to continue to visit the UN websites. An open invitation was extended to them to come back for more questions whenever they needed assistance in accessing UN online information/documentation.
27 January 2013
UNIC Pretoria partnered with the Johannesburg Holocaust & Genocide Centre and the Liliesleaf Museum on 27 January to commemorate the International Day in Memory of the Victims of the Holocaust, at Lilliesleaf Museum in Johannesburg. The venue was of particular significance because the museum/ farm was a secret meeting place for people who had the enormous courage to care about the future of a just and non-racial South Africa in the 1960s.
Internationally-renowned psychologist Paul Goldreich gave the keynote address, “Rescue and Repair”. Mr. Goldreich has worked with the effects of extreme trauma resulting from the Holocaust and more recent world conflicts, such as the war in former Yugoslavia. For the past 25 years, he has worked with first and second generation holocaust survivors.
Other presentations were by Nicholas Volpe, CEO of Liliesleaf and Tali Nates, Director of the Johannesburg Holocaust & Genocide Centre. The 200 people in attendance included Holocaust survivors and their families, the diplomatic corps, media, and the general public.