The United Nations Information Centres (UNICs) play a very important role in interacting with educational institutions in the countries/regions they operate, in order to raise awareness amongst educators and students on the role and work of the United Nations on priority issues. And UNIC Manama is no exception. The Centre raises awareness about the United Nations amongst educational institutions in the Kingdom of Bahrain by:
1) Visiting schools and universities (see “UN4U Outreach Campaign below”) to update students and teachers about the work of the United Nations in the country as well as at a global level.
2) Organizing guided tours for students to the UN House as well as to other UN agencies in the country.
3) Providing internship opportunities for university level students where the selected student works with UNIC Manama’s staff for an agreed period of time which in turn gives the student a valuable chance to gain an understanding about the day to day activities at UNIC both at a country and regional level
4) Providing schools/universities with relevant documents/reports to be placed in their respective libraries and further assisting interested schools/universities set up their own UN depository libraries by putting them in contact with the concerned UN officials for this purpose.
5) Assisting schools/universities observe several UN International Days through interactive activities involving the students, teachers and management.
In addition to the above, the following programmes/tools/initiatives are also available to educators for raising awareness about the United Nations amongst their students and within their respective institutions:
UN Academic Impact
The United Nations Academic Impact Academic Impact is a global initiative that aligns institutions of higher education with the United Nations in actively supporting ten universally accepted principles in the areas of human rights, literacy, sustainability and conflict resolution. Over 650 institutions from 104 countries and more than 40 international academic networks have joined this initiative. There is no cost or fee involved to be affiliated; the Academic Impact only expects each participating college or university to actively demonstrate support of at least one of those ten principles each year.
The United Nations Cyberschoolbus
The UN Cyberschoolbus is an online education component of the Global Teaching and Learning Project, whose mission is to promote education about international issues and the United Nations. The target audience is teachers and students from primary to secondary school. It develops new print and online educational materials on a wide range of social issues and offers opportunities for students around the globe to interact and collaborate on finding solutions to global problems.
UN Chronicle is a journal for academic and educational outreach and for informed debate on the work of the Organization. UN Chronicle Online has developed a new UN Education Portal as an information hub and resource for teachers and the educational community.
Global Model United Nations
At the Global Model United Nations Conference, students from every region of the world role play as foreign diplomats and participate in simulated sessions of the United Nations General Assembly and other multilateral bodies in the UN system. While preparing for Model United Nations conference, students develop leadership skills and research, writing, public speaking and problem solving skills that they will use throughout their lives. In addition, participation also encourages consensus building, conflict resolution and cooperation and the enhancement of leadership skills.
UN Works Programme
UN Works is an innovative multimedia platform that puts a human face on the work of the UN by exploring global issues through the personal stories of people and their communities. The programme develops partnerships with broadcast networks, celebrities, UN agencies, NGOs, educators, foundations and corporations to explore the stories of people and their communities.
“UN4U” Outreach Campaign
The UN4U initiative was launched by the Department of Public Information at the UN Headquarters in New York to raise awareness about the Organization’s work to serve humanity and to commemorate UN Day which is celebrated annually on 24 October. Since the launch of this initiative, UN officials worldwide have visited several schools and have successfully teamed up with school officials to inform students about the UN and help them familiarize with the Organization's values, principles, initiatives and objectives for a better world.
In line with this initiative, UNIC Director visited The Sacred Heart School, Bahrain on 09 November 2010, where he delivered a speech about the UN and its goals with a focus on the eight Millennium Development Goals and the UN International Year of Youth. This event, which was attended by a total of 500 students within the age group of 13-16 years, included a screening of the UN4U video message, a PowerPoint Presentation on the United Nations, screening of the song “8 Goals for Africa” and concluded with an interactive question and answer session with the students.