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UNCT sign Condolence Book at Embassy of Egypt Windhoek
The United Nations Country Team ( UNCT) which comprise of all heads of UN agencies in Namibia, paid a special courtesy visit to the Embassy of Arab Republic of Egypt today. The purpose of the visit was to sign the Condolence book which the Embassy has opened to mourn the late H.E. Dr. Boutros Boutros Ghali. The late statesman was the Former Deputy Prime Minister for Foreign Relations and the Former UN Secretary General, he passed away 16 February 2016. H.E. Boutros Boutros Ghali became the first Secretary General from Africa in 1992, he served as the 6th Secretary General of the United Nations. Current UN Secretary General Ban Ki moon described Boutros-Ghali as a respected statesman and scholar of international law who brought formidable experience and intellectual power to the top UN job. The Secretary General further went on to say, “His commitment to the United Nations – its mission and its staff – was unmistakable, and the mark he has left on the organization is indelible.”
The Holocaust and Human Dignity
The Holocaust and the United Nations Outreach Programme seeks to remind the world of the lessons to be learnt from the Holocaust in order to help to prevent future acts of genocide. The theme for the Holocaust remembrance and education activities in 2016 is “The Holocaust and Human Dignity”. The theme links Holocaust remembrance with the founding principles of the United Nations and reaffirms faith in the dignity and worth of every person that is highlighted in the United Nations Charter, as well as the right to live free from discrimination and with equal protection under the law that is enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. The Holocaust, which resulted in the destruction of nearly two thirds of European Jewry, remains one of the most painful reminders of the international community’s failure to protect them. The Outreach Programme was created at the request of the United Nations General Assembly in its resolution 60/7, adopted on 1 November 2005. The “Holocaust Remembrance” resolution also designates 27 January as an annual International Day of Commemoration in memory of the victims of the Holocaust – observed with ceremonies and activities at United Nations Headquarters in New York and at UN offices around the world. In the run up to a series of educational outreach activities on the Holocaust programme, United Nations Information Centre (UNIC) Windhoek set up an exhibition at the UN House in Klein Windhoek in the foyer, allowing UN staff, guests and the general public to gain a better understanding of the Holocaust. When the UNIC team set up the exhibition, there was already staff who engaged with the team to learn more about the holocaust. The Exhibition will remain at the UN house, while a mobile exhibition will be set up to complement the UNIC educational programme and screening exercise at various educational institutions in Windhoek.
Gobabis host 2016 World Radio Day celebrations
Namibia joined the rest of the world on 13th February 2016 to commemorate World Radio. The national celebrations took place in Gobabis at the Epako Community Hall, Omaheke Region under the global theme “Radio in Times of Emergency and Disaster”. The Deputy Prime Minister of the Republic of Namibia, Honourable Netumbo Nandi Ndaitwah officiate the ceremony which also allowed her to interact with the community of Gobabis. She said that “Responding to emergencies is easier and more transparent when there is a platform to disseminate information”. Radio is an inexpensive medium that requires relatively simple technology and its reach extends from policy makers to remote communities and marginalized groups in the quickest possible time. It offers a platform to different groups to intervene in public debates, irrespective of people’s educational level. She added that World Radio Day 2016 will draw people’s attention on the unique role radio plays in times of emergency and disaster. Furthermore, radio has a strong and specific role in emergency communication and disaster relief. Therefore Radio should be part of the entire process before, during and after a disaster making sure that information is disseminated to reach said Hon Netumbo Nandi Ndaitwah. Giving his introduction remarks the Minister of Information and Communication Technology Honourable Tjekero Tweya emphasised that the media should play its various normative roles which are to inform, entertain and educate the public as well as mobilise people for development. Radio is a powerful medium before, during and after an emergency or a disaster. The impact that radio has in emergency situations is crucial as such some of the emergencies and disasters are not manufactured by human beings he added that “each one of us including the media has a role to play when we respond to such situations” said Hon Tweya. United Nations Resident Coordinator, Ms. Kiki Gbeho delivered the Message of the UNESCO Director General, Ms. Irina Bokova and also convey the message of the UN Secretary General, Mr. Ban Ki Moon . She said “Free, independent and pluralistic media empower citizens with information that enables them to make informed choices and actively participate in democratic processes.” This helps bring about accountability and transparency by supporting dialogue between law maker and the society. The media is an important stakeholder in promoting peace, tolerance and dialogue between cultures, people, religious and political groups. Ms Gbeho urges the media to help the UN in popularising this new development Agenda – the Sustainable Development Goals. Saying “Information and public awareness campaigns are indispensable tools in making the general public understand the concept of sustainable development and be aware of its importance.” World Radio Day is a day set aside to celebrate radio as a medium of communication; to improve international cooperation between broadcasters; and to encourage major networks and community radios alike to promote access to information and freedom of expression. Through the 2016 World Radio Day celebrations, the role of radio in times of emergency and disaster is being promoted. Radio plays many functions in our social life and the most important one is the function of companion, said UNESCO Windhoek Head of Office Dr Jean Pierre Ilboudo. Delivering his welcoming address at the celebration, Governor of Omaheke Region Festus Uitele characterised radio as a critical element for the agricultural sector and livestock farmers in the region in keeping up with global agricultural trends. “Without proper information, our people will be left out. Therefore, the importance of radio cannot be over-emphasised, especially for the farmers and the agricultural sector in the Omaheke Region. It has contributed to the development of the region in its own respect and continues to do so, even today,” he said. Also speaking during the event, Head of the European Union (EU) Delegation to Namibia, Jana Hybaskova said radio is a daily guest that brings information and is notably the first ever telecommunication medium of all time. “Radio is a guest of honour and it shares information that is correct, moral and ethical in many regards,” she said. Hundreds of residents in Gobabis flock to the event and where refresh with food, water, drinks and T-shirts. The main theme for this year is sub divided into five sub themes which are: Freedom of expression, access to information and journalists’ safety should be disaster-proof, Radio empowers survivors and vulnerable people, and Radio has social impact and provides access to information, Radio saves lives and the immediate accessibility of pre-coordinated radio frequencies is essential to saving lives.
Photo accreditation: Mr Joseph Ilonga.
Risk for children goes digital
Source: DORCAS MHUNGU,NamibianSun,10 Feb. 2016
Namibia will benefit from the global #WePROTECT Children Online campaign fund in the wake of global increases of cases of child sexual abuse and violence on the internet. Namibia’s United Nations Children’s Fund (Unicef) Representative, Micaela Marques de Sousa in interview with Namibian Sun and speaking on child sexual predation in Namibia, said young Namibians face a high risk of sexual violence and a considerable amount of sexual abuse online. The global action will identify and protect victims, remove child sexual abuse material from the internet and strengthen cooperation across the world to track down perpetrators and build global capacity to tackle sexual exploitation of children online.De Sousa said Namibia has no specific online regulation and the Child Care and Protection Act only provides for a limited provision on child pornography. “Hence child online protection will be incorporated in the new Electronic Transactions and Cybercrime Bill.”De Sousa said the Ministry of Information and Communication Technology is currently working on the draft bill which contains a specific provision on online pornography. This provision will provide Namibia with a comprehensive and progressive regulation which will allow for a national and international prosecution of child pornography offenders, De Sousa said. “In this digital age where children and young people increasingly have access to the internet and mobile phones, violence and abuse are no longer restricted to homes, schools and communities, but also happen in an online environment,” she further warned.She said while children have always been exposed to violence, exploitation and abuse, information communication technologies have fuelled and magnified the scale, scope, opportunities and types of risks to abuse and exploitation. De Sousa added that new forms of harm are emerging through the internet, mobile phones and platforms for games and videos. A study carried out in 2011 by the Centre for Justice and Crime Prevention titled, “Protecting the flames: Overcoming violence as a barrier to education in Namibia,” revealed that 46% of interviewed learners had experienced sexual assaults at school and one fifth of learners interviewed reported that they were physically forced to have sexual intercourse - with no difference between male and females.The study also found that out of every four, ten to 14-year-olds reported having experienced one or more forms of sexual abuse.“The internet, mobile phones and electronic media have unprecedented advantages for information sharing, communication, learning and development for young people. However, the online space also puts children at risk of having intimate and abusive images of them shared widely, of being lured by peers and adults into online or offline exploitation, or become victims of cyber bullying,” said De Sousa.“Children can be both victims and perpetrators in the online space,” she added. Currently, Namibia has no data on the age group of victims and perpetrators. De Sousa said as a result, Unicef Namibia, Namibia University of Science and Technology (NUST) and the Centre for Justice and Crime Prevention (CJCP) are conducting an exploratory study on knowledge, attitudes and practices of ICT use and online protection risks by adolescents in Namibia. The study will reveal how adolescents use the internet, how they get online and what they like and don’t like about the internet.“In this study we will be interviewing approximately 1 000 adolescents from different constituencies in four regions in Namibia, the Khomas, //Karas, Omusati and Kavango East regions. The age group will be between 13 and 17,” De Sousa said.It is anticipated that the study will bring to the fore valuable information regarding negative experiences Namibian children encounter online and which groups of children with regard to age, sex and region are most affected. Namibia has no statistics on convictions and penalties imposed on online child predators but according to De Sousa, experiences from other countries show that the prosecution rate of child pornography cases is very low. Convictions are made complex she said, by the fact that it is difficult for authorities to identify offenders as most of them use programmes which mask their identities online.“Furthermore, the child pornography business operates in the so-called “dark web” which requires specific software, configurations or authorisation to access,” De Sousa said.
Danger lurks in an invisible place
Source: email@example.com, NamibianSun,11 Feb. 2016
This week’s meeting with the United Nations Children’s Fund country representative Micaela Marques de Sousa unveiled the bittersweet taste of the digital world and precisely, the internet. Dubbed by some as the greatest invention of all time, shrouded in all its glory are hair-raising threats that have prompted countries the world over to put their heads together in a bid to win the war on online child predation. The complexities of this digital form of violence perpetrated on millions of unsuspecting victims and of grave concern to children’s safety, needs urgent attention. As De Sousa unveiled this new form of violence, I realised that for every opportunity, there is also a flipside. In the medical fraternity, drugs prescribed to treat certain conditions might have negative side effects and this is the situation that the acclaimed digital world has placed us in. As De Sousa said, apart from the many benefits for children and youth, such as building professional contacts and friendships, learning and information gathering, exchanging ideas with people from all over the world, violence has migrated to the online environment and its extent and complexity is worrying. As we keep up with the speed at which technology is advancing and embrace smartphones, I realise their smartness has smitten us. We have exposed our children to all the sexual predators around the world lurking in the darkness of digital platforms we have very little knowledge of. The situation is even scarier when you are a BBC (Born Before Computers), as my boys call me, as the ignorance leaves you groping around in the darkness of this digital era. Most of us now have smartphones and national goals include availing internet service to all corners of the country. Most people now have access to internet services 24/7 and this is the exposure that we give to our children. Half the time as parents, we do not know what they are accessing and who our children are interacting with. Often, we are too engrossed in the demands of our professions that we are left with little time to monitor who our children are mingling with online, and what sites they are visiting. It is the balancing act that becomes crucial here. For sure we need legislation that will protect our children from becoming victims of online predators. The popular social media platforms like Facebook had been used to cyber-bully. Children are using phones to emotionally harass, shame or hurt other children. Adults are also using the internet to approach children online for sexual exploitation offline. The media has reported on many incidences of children committing suicide after being bullied online or after the content they shared in private is published to the worldwide audience and they cannot retrieve it. The internet has also exposed our children to inappropriate content that is violent, including pornography and xenophobia. What is positive for Namibia is being part of the global initiative to protect its children from online predators and having a law that will incriminate online child predation and prosecute such offenders with the Electronic Transaction and Cybercrime Bill, currently in progress. De Sousa’s contributions underscore the need for parents to have a healthy relationship with their children that allows an environment to talk about personal information. As parents or guardians, we can also share information with our children on ways to protect privacy, discuss content with them and make them understand how it can define a person’s personality, and how sharing such misleading images can give the wrong impression and make them a target for abuse. Our children need to be told that the so-called online connections and “friends” in most cases are not who they say they are and we must encourage our children to always ask if they are doubtful about information that they are asked to submit online. It would be a good initiative if lessons on the dangers of the internet could be introduced maybe as a life skills topic in all schools. This is vital considering the fact that the speed at which the digital world is moving is different in developed and developing countries and it these discrepancies that are often used to exploit citizens of countries who are still lagging behind. Christopher Dodd said: “Our nation’s children are our greatest asset and our most precious treasure.”
Journalists trained on Emergency and Disaster Reporting
Twenty seven journalists from various mainstream and community radio stations were trained on emergency and disaster reporting during a one day workshop held at the United Nations House in Windhoek on 03 February 2016. The training aimed at increasing knowledge and skills among radio staff to effectively report issues of public concern during emergencies and disasters. It was held in line with the 2016 World Radio Day theme, “Radio in Times of Emergency and Disaster”. Officially opening the workshop, Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Information and Communication Technology, Mr. Mbeuta Ua Ndjarakana said journalists play an important role during emergencies and disasters but they cannot do so effectively if they don’t have the required skills and knowledge. “In fact, journalists who do not have an adequate understanding of the subject they are covering may be very detrimental to society,” he said. “Rather than saving lives in E&D, ill-equipped journalists can cause unnecessary panic and loss of life. Instead of empowering survivors and protecting their right to privacy and access to information; unskilled journalists can disempower survivors, portray them as hopeless victims, disrespect their right to privacy and deny them the right to access accurate information,” he said. The Permanent Secretary urged the journalists to take advantage of the workshop and acquire as much information and skills as possible for the benefit of their listeners. Speaking at the same event, UNESCO Windhoek Head of Office, Dr. Dr Jean-Pierre Ilboudo said the media, in particular radio play important roles in people’s daily lives. “Radio is the mass media reaching the widest audience in the world. It is specifically suited to reach remote communities and empowers survivors and vulnerable people, whose right to privacy must be respected. Radio saves lives by advocating for people’s right to information and has a strong and specific role in emergency communication and disaster relief,” said Dr. Ilboudo. Namibian veteran journalist Mr. Robin Tyson and Media Studies lecturer at the University of Namibia facilitated the workshop. His presentations focussed mainly on the definition of emergencies and disasters and how to prepare journalists to report accurately and objectively during such occurrences. At the same event, the Director for Disaster Risk Management (DRM) in the Office of the Prime Minister, Mr Japhet Iitenge briefed participants on the current status of emergencies and disasters in Namibia. He also introduced the participants to various national and international legal frameworks regulating DRM in Namibia such as the Disaster Risk Management Act No 10 of 2012 and the Hyogo Framework of Action, 2005 – 2015. Mr Iitenge said the normative functions of the media during emergencies and disasters include providing early warning signs, public awareness and advocacy. Other presenters during the workshop included Ms. Natasha Tibinyane from the Media Institute of Southern Africa (MISA) Namibia Chapter who presented on the role of the media before and after emergencies and disasters. Ms Emily Brown, Head of Department for Communications at Namibia University of Science and Technology (NUST) presented on ethical considerations for journalists in emergency and disaster reporting. Mr Peter Watson from the Legal Assistance Centre gave a presentation on legal considerations for journalists during emergencies and disasters. The participants were satisfied with the course material delivered at the workshop. They promised the organisers to use their newly acquired skills to improve the quality of their emergency and disaster reporting. “The workshop was very informative and as a result of the training, I have learned how to report ethically, consciously and professionally,” said Sally Jason, the content manager at Fresh FM.
MODEL UN PROGRAMME EXHIBIT
On the 28th of January 2016 St Paul’s College in Windhoek held an Extramural Fair. The Extramural Fair is an annual initiative of the school to host information exhibitions on the available extra-curricular activities on offer at the school. The St. Paul’s Model UN Club in collaboration with the United Nations Information Centre (UNIC) Windhoek set up an exhibit to promote the prestigious international learning programme Model United Nations (MUN). UNIC Windhoek supported the MUN Club by providing banners, information materials and branded promotional items to be disseminated to potential candidates. Former delegates and an intern of the Centre remained on standby to answer questions to the soon-to-be Model UN Namibia (MUNNAM) delegates. The information session allowed the students to sample a wealth of information about the MUNNAM programme, annual conferences and general debating. The Extramural Fair demonstrated to be an ideal platform to ensure the sustainability of the MUN Club at the school. UNIC Windhoek is the custodian of the Model UN programme for high school learners in Namibia, since programme inception in 2012.
Human Development Report launched in Namibia
UNDP Namibia launched the Human Development Report for 2015 on Tuesday, 16 December at the UN house in Klein Windhoek in collaboration with UNIC Windhoek. The 2015 report is the 24th Human Development Report and addresses the challenges and seizes opportunities of the new world of work. Attendees to the event included the diplomatic corp, government officials, civil society, public and private instititutions, UN Country team as well as the media. The 2015 report was officially launched by Ms. Lucia Iipumbu, Deputy Minister of Economic Planning alongside the Assistant Administrator of UNDP & Deputy Director of the Regional Bureau of Africa, Ms. Ruby Sandhu-Rojon. Speaking on behalf of UNDP Namibia, the UN Resident Coordinator and UNDP Resident Representative, Ms. Kiki Gbeho noted that the „Human Development Report is UNDP’s flagship knowledge document that provides analysis and recommendations that are both objective and independent.“ The 2015 Report explores the links between work and development, the changing notion of work including the impact of the fast changing ICT world, and how to ensure that work is green and sustainable. Gbeho concluded, „as we prepare to wage war on poverty, there is a pressing need for instititutions, civil society, private sector, think tanks and government institutions to reflect on the nature and notion of paid and unpaid work in Namibia, and the implications for the achievement of Vision 2030.“ The keynote address was delivered by the Deputy Minister of Economic Planning, Ms. Lucia Iipumbu. An in depth presentation and thorough analysis of the Namibian situation related to the report was delivered by Mr. Babatunde Omilola, Head of Development Planning & Inclusive sustainable growth, UNDP, New York A question and answer session followed, moderated by the UNIC Windhoek National Information Officer, Anthea Basson, who also served as the Director of Ceremonies at the event. This session afforded attendees the opportunity to pose specific questions on the Namibian context of the report. The Human Development Report is freely available online: http://hdr.undp.org/en/2015-report/download.
What are the benefits of family planning?
Source: http://www.namibian.com.na/index.php?page=read&id=37278 • Dennia Gayle Family planning is not a privilege, but a right. Yet, too many women and men are denied this human right and the means to decide freely and for themselves whether and when to have children. It is also one of the smartest investments a country can make in its future. Women who have access to family planning can contribute enormously to reducing poverty and fostering economic development. Family planning creates proven benefits in gender equality, women's health, child survival and HIV prevention. For example, adolescent girls' improved access to comprehensive sexuality education increases opportunities throughout their lives, including higher levels of education, fewer pregnancies, a later and healthier start to childbearing, and greater ability to engage in income-producing activity. Thus, access to contraceptives is essential if girls and women are to fully enjoy their rights to education, employment and political participation. Contraceptives prevent unintended pregnancies, reduce the number of abortions, and lower the incidence of death and disability related to complications of pregnancy and childbirth. In essence, access to contraceptives and sexual and reproductive health services and information can place less burden on the resources of the health sector. The United Nations estimates that every dollar spent on family planning saves between $2 to $6 in interventions aimed at achieving other development goals.When combined with progressive development policies, family planning reduces poverty and stimulates economic growth. We have a high number of adolescent pregnancies. What is the reason for this, and what can be done to reverse this situation? As mentioned previously, in Namibia 19% of women age 15-19 have begun childbearing; though some regions report proportions of more than 30% per cent. Teenagers in rural areas (20 %) and with only a primary level education (26%) tend to initiate childbearing earlier than their urban (16%) and better educated peers (17%). Teenage pregnancy also has a direct bearing on the maternal mortality accounting for 8%. * Dennia Gayle is the newly appointed UNFPA Country Representative in Namibia.
UNDP Namibia celebrate 50th Anniversary
UNDP Namibia celebrated its 50th anniversary on the 24 February 2015, together with its key stakeholders and partners, and with the Rt. Hon. Prime Minister Saara Kuugongelwa-Amadhila, as the guest of honour. During her speech, Kuugongelwa-Amadhila explained how the work of the UNDP and its sister institutions has contributed to major development gains in several countries around the world. “Your work is helping to achieve the eradication of poverty, and the reduction of inequalities and exclusion through helping countries to develop policies, leadership skills, partnering abilities, institutional capabilities and building resilience in order to sustain development results” the Prime Minister said.
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Climate Change & Paris Agreement Educational Outreach
On Friday, 26 February 2016 UNIC Windhoek hosted a Climate Change and the Paris Agreement Outreach Programme at Jakob Marengo Secondary School in Katutura, Windhoek. Through detailed verbal explanation, captivating videos, and interactive class discussion, the UNIC Windhoek Team sparked a dialogue among 70 students and educators about the pressing global issue of climate change. The students, who have experienced climate change on a day to day basis, emphasized on the immense impact the drought has had on agriculture and the water crisis in Namibia. Excited to learn that Namibia had participated in COP21 and in the creation of the historic Paris Agreement, the learners were eager to share their own ideas of how the Namibian government and people could help to combat climate change, which included reducing water use, planting more trees, recycling, utilizing public transportation, stopping the burning of garbage and investing in renewable energy.
For more information, visit UNIC Windhoek website:
Holocaust Educational outreach at Immanuel Shifidi Secondary School
The Holocaust was the brutal extermination of the European Jewry designed by top Nazi members as the Final Solution to the Jewish Question. Each year on the 27th of January observances are held worldwide as a remembrance of the lives lost during this dark period. On 18 February 2016, the United Nations Information Centre (UNIC) Windhoek started its series of educational outreach sessions focused on the Holocaust at schools in and around Windhoek. This programme will be offered to schools and educational institutions throughout the year. The UNIC Team visited Immanuel Shifidi Secondary School, situated in the local township, Katutura, Windhoek. The team delivered a PowerPoint presentation outlining the sequence of events. It started by explaining what the Holocaust was and why commemorations take place. The presentation further outlined how the Holocaust was orchestrated by the Nazi government so as to purge the inferior races from Europe. As the presentation continued, the students nodded in compassion, while others, sat wide eyed in shock as they went through the November 9th, 1938 occurrences and the “solutions” of eradicating the Jews. The teachers also actively participated in the outreach and smiled as their students gained knowledge that would help them in their academics and also in becoming better people. When the presentation was done, the students were given an opportunity to view the exhibition material the team set up, highlighting the Holocaust, which were hung on the walls of the hall. The exhibit sparked the students’ curiosity, which was the aim of the poster timeline. As they returned to their seats, the team was bombarded with their burning questions about the Holocaust, yet it was clear that some were still in shock, as they never imagined human beings committing such heinous acts on one another. The team received overwhelmingly good feedback with all the questions from the students and teachers. The outreach brought together 60 students and is the first in a series of similar visits highlighting the past and allowing youngsters to reflect on human dignity and the future.
A fun first training for Model UN delegates at St Paul’s College
Model United Nations is a simulation of UN organs by students. Students “step into the shoes” of diplomats and engage in discussions, negotiating, lobbying for support and getting their positions across and finally crafting resolutions. UNIC Windhoek spearheads the Model United Nations Namibia programme for high school students and hosts an annual conference. UNIC Windhoek facilitates training to high schools in Windhoek, and help the schools start up MUN Clubs. Model UN season has kicked off and is in full swing, and the first training session at St Paul’s College was attended by two UNIC team members on 24th of February after school. The MUN Club was already seated and well into their introductions. The UNIC team introduced themselves last of all, and also presented a short verbal piece on what MUN is, and what the newbies to the club can expect. The young leaders of the local club did their part in presenting all the rules and regulations required at a complete MUN conference with extreme gusto and conviction. MUN veteran Nils Schuler, who has been part of the programme since inception, gave over his seat as MUN president of St Paul’s College to both Katrien Wassenaar and Jules van de Poort.
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UNRC visit Klein Karas Community
UNDP Resident Representative Ms. Anita Kiki Gbeho recently undertook an orientation mission to one of the NAMPLACE community level socio economic projects in Klein Karas, in Keetmanshoop, which is supported by UNDP. The Commissioner of the Ministry of Environment and Tourism (MET), the Programme Manager of NAMPLACE, the EIF Director, and Godwana representatives, also accompanied the mission. The Klein Karas community is made up of 91 residents resettled onto land next to the old railway station in order to better support livelihoods and therefore protect the surrounding environment. Of the 91 resident 36 are direct beneficiaries of the government resettlement programme. NAMPLACE Project is a new initiative aimed to lift conservation barriers and advocate for the establishment of a large-scale network of protected landscapes in order to address imminent threats to habitat and species loss at a landscape level. Launched in 2011 the project is hosted by the Directorate of Environmental Affairs within Namibia's Ministry of Environment and Tourism. Funding is sourced through the Global Environment Facility (GEF). For diversified economic activities and improved livelihoods, the community had identified three socio-economic projects, namely vegetable garden, Sewing and cultural tourism. NAMPLACE project provided support to these identified projects. The sewing project was supported in various ways, including but not limited to building renovations, providing sewing machines and a solar system, fabrics and sewing accessories and well as training a programme to enhance the skill set of the community members. With regards the vegetable garden the NAMPLACE Project provided assistance in acquiring shade tunnels to enable easier working conditions, an irrigation system, a boaster pump and water tanks to help the project become more self sustainable. The project was also equipped with the rehabilitation of boreholes and horticultural mentorship to ensure the success of the endeavour. Eight ladies participate in the sewing project and have received training, on two separate occasions so as to assist them to improve their products. They produce dolls, table cloths, and place mats which, they sell to nearby lodges for tourist consumption. Community spokesperson of the day Mrs Mungunda, highlighted the value of the sewing project and the income the community is able to generate from their proceeds. She also requested that the community be provided with more training for both the sewing and the community garden, so as to ensure that they produce products to the standards and expectations of the their clients.
• Dennia Gayle WE have a high number of adolescent pregnancies. What is the cause of this and what can be done to reverse this situation? In Namibia, 19% of women aged 15-19 have begun childbearing; though some regions report proportions of more than 30%. Teenagers in rural areas (20 %) and with only a primary level education (26%) tend to start childbearing earlier than their urban (16%) and better educated peers (17%). Teenage pregnancies also have a direct bearing on maternal mortality accounting for 8%. Adolescence marks the onset of sexual maturity, and most young people start exploring their sexuality at this stage. However, sexual activity can be compounded by poverty, peer pressure or lack of education. Risky sexual behaviour among teenagers is more likely to occur in poor families and those with single parents. The lack of resources, might force girls to become involved in sexual activities in an effort to get materials and food.
UNIC Windhoek celebrates World Wildlife Day
On 3 March 2016, UNIC Windhoek celebrated World Wildlife Day by sharing information with the public via its social media channels as well as by reaching out to a Namibian NGO and sharing the importance of the day with Model United Nations students. UNIC Windhoek had an engaging correspondence with Elephant Human Relations Aid (EHRA), a Namibian NGO that reduces the amount of conflict between people and elephants through education as well as implementing practical solutions. Citing the importance elephants have to Namibia’s ecosystems and tourism, EHRA stressed that it is important to establish peaceful relationships between humans and elephants to lessen the amount of human-wildlife conflicts. From the insight gained through this conversation, UNIC Windhoek wrote an in-depth article about the importance of desert elephants in Namibia and why the future of this species is in our hands. The UNIC Windhoek team also discussed World Wildlife Day with Deutsche Höhere Privatschule Windhoek students at a Model United Nations training session. After hearing about the importance of this international holiday, the students will simulate a UN General Assembly deliberating wildlife trafficking on 10 March 2016. The students were especially interested in the topic because poaching poses a serious threat to Namibia's wildlife and because the future of rhinos and elephants is in our hands. The Namibian media also voiced the threat poaching poses to Namibia’s wildlife and economy. Radio stations, highlighting World Wildlife Day broadcasted on statistics that 90 rhino were killed in 2015, and 35 have already been killed this year for their horns. With the unfortunate prevalence of wildlife trafficking in Namibia, UNIC Windhoek recognizes the importance of World Wildlife Day and the importance of continuing to spread the idea that “the future of wildlife is in our hands” throughout the year.
The UN System in Namibia marches for ‘Zero Tolerance for GBV’ on
International Women’s Day
The UN System took part in a peaceful march against Gender Based Violence (GBV) to commemorate International Women’s Day, organized by the Ministry of Gender Equality and Child Welfare in collaboration with the Ministry of Regional, Local Government, Housing and Rural Development. In line with Namibia’s International Women’s Day theme, “Zero Tolerance for GBV: Towards Gender Equality”, the march set out to condemn GBV, to provide solidarity and support for gender equality and to motivate men and women to be agents of change in addressing GBV. GBV is an issue that impacts many people across Namibia. According to 2016 local news reports, an estimate of 10 000 cases of Gender Based Violence (GBV) were registered with the Namibian Police over the past three years which include common assault, rape and assault with grievous bodily harm. The highest estimate data of GBV cases was recorded in 2014, with 4 714 cases reported compared to 3 847 in 2013 and 2 581 cases in 2015. Altogether 10 142 GBV cases were reported for the period 2013-2015. GBV is a global issue that extends beyond Namibia’s borders. This year, the world celebrated International Women’s Day under the theme “Planet 50-50 by 2030: Step it Up for Gender Equality” with a focus on spreading awareness of UN Women’s Step it Up initiative as well as the UN’s 2030 Agenda. “On this International Women’s Day, I remain outraged by the denial of rights to women and girls – but I take heart from the people everywhere who act on the secure knowledge that women’s empowerment leads to society’s advancement” Ban Ki Moon, the UN Secretary-General said. He continued, “Let us devote solid funding, courageous advocacy and unbending political will to achieving gender equality around the world. There is no greater investment in our common future.” In line with Ban Kin Moon’s call for advocacy, the UN System marched with the Ministry of Gender Equality and Social Welfare, activists, NGO’s and other individuals from Kwasa Kwasa Bar in Eveline Street, Goreangab Dam and proceeded to the open space between Claudius Kandovazu Street and Eveline Street in Samora Machel Constituency to promote gender equality. The peaceful march was followed by prayer from Rev. Maria Kapere, Council Churches in Namibia (CCN) and statements from UN Resident Coordinator, Ms. Kiki Gbeho, Hon David Martin, Councilor for Moses Garoëb Constituency. “The evidence of the benefits that equality can bring is overwhelming. Economies grow, poverty is alleviated, health status improves, and communities are more stable and resilient to environmental or humanitarian crises” Ms. Kiki Anita Gbeho, the UN Resident Coordinator emphasized. The programme and peaceful march celebrated the ways in which Namibia has flourished in achieving gender equality. According to Ms. Gbeho, this includes the development of responsive policies and legal frameworks for addressing GBV and the promotion of gender quality, the achievement of gender parity in education with more than 90% of boys and girls enrolled staying in school till grade 5, the increased involvement of women in decision making positions, and the high level political commitment for the promotion of gender equality particularly in eradicating violence against women and girls.
UNIC Windhoek launches #WednesdayCelebrateWomen social media
With gender inequality continuing to impact the globe and specifically Namibia, UNIC Windhoek is launching a social media campaign to reflect on progress made, to call for change and to celebrate acts of courage and determination by ordinary women who have played an extraordinary role in Namibia throughout the year. In line with the UN’s 2030 Agenda to “achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls”, UNIC Windhoek will use social media to reflect on the achievements of women by posting on social media using the hashtags #WednesdayCelebrateWomen and #WCW. This social media campaign will encourage the broader Namibian public to celebrate women throughout the year, as well as to promote frequent conversation about gender inequality and the importance of empowering women. UNIC Windhoek is excited about continuing to promote the themes of International Women’s Day throughout the year and sharing stories of Namibian women.
UNICEF Namibia in action - outreach to Early Childhood Development
UNICEF Namibia in action - outreach to Early Childhood Development (ECD) centres UNICEF staff visited the DRC School Project & Ubuntu Day Care Centre as part of an outreach initiative and handed over ECD kits. The ECD kits provides a variety of activities to encourage the play, social interaction and full development of children and consists of learning materials, play items, sanitation items and also provides materials for caregivers.
UNICEF Namibia in action - NFA Galz & Goals
UNICEF Namibia staff paid a site visit to the NFA Galz & Goals team in Swakopmund. #TeamUNICEF played a friendly soccer match against the Galz & Goals team. The Governor of Erongo Region, Hon. Cleophas Mutjavikua & UNICEF Representative, Ms. Micaela Marques de Sousa handed over medals to the NFA Galz & Goals winners.
Taking stock of ASRHR in Namibia - First Lady of Namibia wins award
Namibia’s First Lady received the Dream Up, Speak up, Stand Up (DUSUSU) Award after hosting a panel discussion on Adolescent Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights (ASRHR), led by Dennia Gayle, Representative for UNFPA Namibia, on 23 February. The award was presented to First Lady, Monica Geingos, by inspirational girl child advocate Zuriel Oduwole. The DUSUSU project makes annual awards in recognition of strong, measurable or successful support of education in Africa.
Automatic Weather Station installed at Okangwati, Kunene Region
Through the OFDA Project, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) assisted in building capacity of the Namibia Meteorological Services (NMS) with the installation of an automatic weather station (AWS) in Okangwati, Kunene Region. The AWS was unveiled on Friday, March 04th 2016, by Honourable James Sankwasa, Deputy Minister – Ministry of Works and Transport, on behalf of his Minister Alpheus !Naruseb. Sankwasa showed his appreciation towards the FAO for assisting with installing the AWS and for being so generous and committed to help the government in realizing its development targets. In his speech, he used the phrase “State-of-the-art” equipment referring to the AWS as it is designed to feed NMS Head Office with weather data and general weather conditions in that area every five minutes. The Hon. Deputy Minister highlighted that: “A number of weather parameters are crucial to agriculture in that various management decisions and techniques on animal and crop production depend upon weather information. In the case of livestock production and agro-pastoral systems, various weather parameters such as rainfall and temperature have direct and indirect bearing on livestock productivity. For example, rainfall information is crucial to grazing management decisions owing to the high positive correlation between rainfall and rangeland condition”. At the same occasion, in a speech read on behalf of the Governor for Kunene Region by his advisor, Honourable Katuutire Kaura, the Governor said Kunene Region struggle to cope with the prolonged drought spanning from 2012 up until this very moment. “Despite our weakened ability to absorb such natural shocks, we believe that this was in part, due to the fact that our people had limited access to reliable weather related information. As a result, they could not prepare well in advance for these recurrent droughts”. Furthermore, the Governor pointed out that: “It is very painful indeed to have seen record livestock losses over the past 4-5 years, and for us, being “cattle people” our support system has been eroded to such an extent that some households have basically nothing… (and I mean nothing) to rely on”. The speech went on and said: “I, therefore, believe that with the inauguration of this AWS (and hopefully with more to be installed in other remote areas of our region), our early warning systems would be improved while the generation and dissemination of weather related information (translated in local languages) in form of monthly or quarterly weather bulletins will become possible.
School Meals Fight Hunger And Promote Learning In Namibia
Namibia, like most countries in Southern Africa, is fighting its worst drought in more than 35 years. A quarter of the population already relies on government food assistance with yet another poor harvest looming. The government's school feeding programme, run with technical support from the World Food Programme, is an essential food safety net for children from the most vulnerable communities like Mariental, in the heart of one of the driest parts of the country. We are at Diederik Dirk Guibeb Primary School in Mariental, a small town in the south of Namibia, sub-Saharan Africa's most arid country. The school buildings are clearly in need of maintenance - the paint has faded and is peeling in places, the windows of several classrooms are broken and the bare cement floors are cracked. Despite the absence of a kitchen, 317 children students are served a daily hot meal of fortified porridge and whatever supplementary food – meat, fish or vegetables - the school has received from the government, the private sector and local community. Meals are cooked in cast iron pots on an open fire by dedicated volunteers from the local community. “The school feeding programme has helped to ease the hunger that plagued many children in this area,” says teacher Jason Willibaldt. His colleagues agree, saying that the school meals have helped to improve learners’ school attendance as well as their concentration and participation in class. Another teacher, Willem Aochamub, adds that the school feeding programme provides food to learners who would otherwise not have anything to eat throughout the school day - some parents simply cannot afford to provide lunch for their children. “Everyone in the class is energetic because they eat a nutritious meal of porridge and fish every day,” says Henry Ndiwela, a grade seven pupil at the school, adding that before school meals were introduced, some learners were inattentive in class as they were hungry and unable to concentrate. Ndiwela wants the government to provide gardening tools so that the school can grow more vegetables to complement the porridge they have at breakfast. Thanks to donations, the school has installed a rain water collection system to irrigate the school garden. The school has started growing vegetables to enrich and diversify the type of food given to the pupils but it needs further support. Environmental conditions are tough and the school is unable to afford essentials like fertiliser and a skilled gardener. The Namibian School Feeding Programme is funded and run entirely by the Namibian government with technical assistance from the World Food Programme (WFP) and provides a daily hot meal to more than 330,000 learners in some 1,400 primary schools throughout the country. The partnership between the government and WFP has seen various planning, monitoring and evaluation systems being developed which contribute to the efficiency and sustainability of the Namibian School Feeding programme. Today it is one of the cornerstones of the drought-prone country’s food safety nets.
Namibia explores Cash and Vouchers System as Social Safety Net option
Government Officials from various Ministries tasked with the administration of Namibia’s social safety nets met in Windhoek recently to learn and share information on Cash-Based Transfers as an alternative food assistance system. The event was organised by the Office of the Prime Minister (OPM) with support from with the World Food Programme as a follow-up to the recommendations made in the recently completed Zero Hunger Strategic Review process. Opening the meeting, Director of Disaster Risk Management in the Office of the Prime Minister, Mr Japhet Iitenge, said the Office of the Prime Minister wanted to see whether cash-based transfer systems could help to strengthen the efficiency of the Government’s Food Assistance Programme that supports the vulnerable population. Mr Iitenge invited other ministries to explore the potential benefits of cash-based transfers as a means of enhancing their contributions to the zero hunger objectives set in the Harambee Prosperity Plan and improving service delivery. WFP Country Director Ms Jennifer Bitonde added that the event was an opportunity for WFP to share its knowledge and global experience in using Cash and Voucher-based Transfers (CBT) to jointly explore how cash and vouchers and their associated tools and systems could be used in the Namibian context to achieve zero hunger, but also to learn from the Namibian government’s social protection schemes and safety net programmes. In his presentation on cash transfers and food vouchers, Charles Inwani, WFP’s Regional Programme Policy Advisor, said the systems had grown exponentially worldwide over the last two decades and had become well-established as a tool supporting other forms of humanitarian assistance and social safety nets. The Cash and Voucher system today is commonly used by the World Programme in emergency settings globally as a rapid food assistance modality, provided local markets are functioning effectively. Inwani said that no food distribution logistics were involved where cash transfers or vouchers were used. This significantly reduced the complexity and often the time it took for emergency assistance to reach affected people. The Cash and Voucher system was also a response to the growing trend in humanitarian assistance to adopt more people-centric approaches. Cash transfers and vouchers were regarded as a more dignified and empowering form of assistance as they allow people to determine their own needs and how to meet those needs, Inwani explained. While cash transfers allow people to spend the money on needs of their choice, vouchers are typically restricted to food items and/or to selected shops. WFP Business Transformation Officer Mr Kennedy Owuor then presented the benefits of maintaining a single registry in government social safety nets and how it could work for cash transfers and vouchers, particularly in strengthening beneficiary registration and information management. Mr Owuor explained that SCOPE, WFP’s digital beneficiary and transfer management platform, was a cloud-based data repository already adopted by many countries to manage all food security interventions electronically and simultaneously. Scope allows the use of electronic fingerprinting to register beneficiaries and subsequently track and control distributions of food or cash and vouchers to them in near real time. SCOPE could easily be adapted to serve as a common data and beneficiary management platform for multiple social protection systems in Namibia, including cash and voucher transfers should the country wish to introduce this support option. The World Food Programme has made SCOPE and its various tools available as open-source software and it could therefore be adopted free of charge by Namibia and other countries. Owuor concluded by stating that WFP was also prepared to provide technical assistance on utilising cash-based transfers and associated tools under its partnership agreement with the Namibian government.
Namibia Celebrates World Press Freedom Day & 25th Anniversary of the
The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) in partnership with the Media Institute of Southern Africa (MISA) Namibia Chapter commemorated the 2016 World Press Freedom Day (WPFD) at Zoo Park, Windhoek on Tuesday, 10 May 2016. The theme for this year is “Access to information and fundamental freedoms. This is your right!” The celebration also marked the 25th Anniversary of the Windhoek Declaration which gave birth to WPFD on 3 May 1993. The ceremony brought together a collective body of representatives from relevant government offices, diplomatic corps, humanitarian organisations, non-governmental organizations and the media. The overall objective of the celebration was to raise public and institutional awareness on access to information as a fundamental human right. The Ministry of Information and Communication Technology (MICT) keynote speaker and Deputy Director of Print Media Affairs at the MICT, Mr Frans Nghitila, who spoke on behalf of Deputy Minister Stanley Simataa said that an access to information law will soon be available in Namibia. He also urged all the journalists to acknowledge the Government’s efforts in creating an enabling environment for their operation and reciprocate that through ethical journalism. “We (Government) are working hard at ensuring access to information by all especially journalists. We expect the media to be more responsible and contribute meaningfully to sustainable development,” he said. Mr Nghitila also mentioned new initiatives in the pipeline by the ministry such as the whistle blowers protection act, e-governance plan and broadband access by citizens which the Government is currently working on to ensure that the infrastructure for an access to information law is in place. The United Nations (UN) Resident Coordinator, Ms. Kiki Gbeho delivered the UN Secretary General Mr. Ban Ki Moon and UNESCO Director General, Ms. Irina Bokova’s Messages on WPFD. She emphasised on the important role the media plays in achieving developmental goals, especially those launched under the new Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty. “The media plays a pivotal role in raising awareness and providing a better understanding of the SDGs. In order for us to achieve sustainable development, we must come together and pull in one direction, just as the preamble to the SDGs encourages us to leave no one behind,” said Ms Gbeho. She also congratulated Namibia for being ranked number one in Africa and 17 in the world in terms of press freedom according to the World Press Freedom Index compiled by Reporters Without Borders (https://rsf.org/en/namibia). As a result of rapid technological advancements in the media and the increase of online journalism, UNESCO strongly supports that Press Freedom and Freedom of expression should be protected online. During his speech, Dr Jean-Pierre Ilboudo, the UNESCO representative to Namibia, mentioned that bloggers and social media activists who generate information that is of public interest are increasingly gaining recognition by the international community in recent resolutions across the UN. “UNESCO believes that bloggers should be protected just like journalists. However, they must abide with the journalism ethics. This means they too must verify their sources,” he said. Ms Jana Hybaskova, European Union (EU) Ambassador to Namibia commended the country’s free press and the variety and diversity of opinion displayed amongst the numerous media platforms. She said that while journalists globally face many challenges, including harassment, threats, imprisonment and death, it is important to highlight how media and information continues to thrive in the Southern African region. According to the EU Ambassador this development shows that the best and good practice in media freedom is doing well on the African continent. After an entertaining performance by local poets and traditional dancers, MISA Regional Director, Ms Zoe Titus gave the vote of thanks at the ceremony and reflected on the efforts made by UNESCO in 1991 to free imprisoned journalists so they could join the historic seminar known as the Windhoek Declaration. She also extended her prayers and solidarity to all those journalists imprisoned and who lost their lives in the line of duty. The roots of World Press Freedom Day began in Namibia's capital 25 years ago, when the Windhoek Declaration on global press freedom was crafted at a seminar for African journalists organized by UNESCO. In December 1993, the UN General Assembly declared 3 May, the date of the Windhoek Declaration, as World Press Freedom Day.
National Launch of the Domestication of Sustainable Development Goals
(SDGs) and Africa Agenda 2063.
Under the theme: Sustainable Development for Namibia’s Prosperity, the Ministry of Economic Planning, with the support of the United Nations (UN) in Namibia launched the Domestication of Sustainable Development Goals and Africa Agenda 2063 on 8 June 2016. The Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Economic Planning and the UN Resident Coordinator to Namibia, led a panel discussion, followed by an interactive session with the audience. The private sector, civil society, academia, representatives from the EU and many other development partners came out in numbers, and participated actively throughout the discourse. The launch was broadcast live on National Radio, and eight community radio stations from different regions around the country reported live in their respective vernaculars. The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) were designed to address root causes of poverty and the universal need for development that works for all. Each of the 17 goals has 169 targets, of which those targets have 230 indicators. The implementation of Agenda 2063 will be carried out through five Ten-Year Implementation Plans, which are to be integrated into National Development Plans alongside the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
Namibia Stakeholders Consultation Meeting, Wednesday, March 16, 2016
UNAIDS in Collaboration with the Ministry of Health and Social Services hosted a National Stakeholders Consultation to be held on Wednesday, March 16, 2016 at Safari Hotel, Windhoek. The consultation meeting provided an opportunity for Namibian stakeholders to discuss and obtain consensus on the key issues that Namibia will raise and advocate for at the HLM in June. The 2016 High-Level Meeting on Ending AIDS will focus the world’s attention on the importance of a Fast-Track approach to the AIDS response over the next five years. The UNAIDS Fast-Track approach aims to achieve ambitious targets by 2020 The meeting was presided over by the Deputy Minister of Health and Social Services and UN Resident Co-ordinator. UNAIDS provided guidance on key aspects related to the effective and meaningful participation of PLHIV, civil society and all relevant stakeholders.
UN System in Namibia launches 'Prosperous Paths'
On Wednesday, 29 July 2016, the United Nations (UN) System in Namibia launched “Prosperous Paths,” at Jacob Marengo Tutorial College in Windhoek Namibia. The programme aims at educating 5,000 secondary level female students on gender equality and women’s empowerment as well as to offer mentorship to the students through an accompanying social media campaign. 600 young girls from Jacob Marengo Tutorial College were addressed by the UN Resident Coordinator to Namibia, Ms. Kiki Gbeho at the launch. She shared her journey as a women through her career and called upon the female Namibian youth to make their voices heard and have faith in themselves to bring about change because no one is too small to step up and make a difference. The UNRC to Namibia further encouraged the girls to, “take space, be prepared and dare to be different.”
Government and UNICEF Mid-term Review Meeting
©UNICEFNamibia/2016/R van Wyk
The Government of Namibia and UNICEF mid-term review meeting took place, 18 August 2016 to give partners the opportunity to review and assess progress made on the implementation of the 2014-2018 country programme of cooperation, identify lessons learned and propose recommendations for action for 2017-2018. The Government of Namibia and UNICEF presented the country programme context and process of the Mid-term Review while sharing a situation update, results achieved during 2014-2016, lessons learned, and priorities 2016-2018.
Omaheke Active Case Search (EPI and Surveillance)
WHO Namibia Country Office undertook a joint mission with the Ministry of Health to Omaheke Region to support the EPI Service delivery, Data quality and Monitoring. A checklist containing 56 elements was used to provide an overview at district and facility level. For the Omaheke Region the cold chain/vaccine management and EPI Service delivery performance is good at both district and health facility levels (>80%). However, performance regarding data monitoring, training and feedback, supervision, are sub-optimal at both district and health facility levels (40-60%). Mr. Mhata, WHO Surveillance Officer says that there is great need to harmonize surveillance between state health facilities and private clinicians. In addition, training in surveillance and data management cannot be overemphasized. Collaboration with CDC is being explored.
Channel 7’s Mouton to participate in RAF Memorial Journalists Fellowship
Windhoek, 2 June 2016: Marlise Mouton, who will be attending the 2016 Reham Al-Farra (RAF) Memorial Journalists Fellowship Programme this month, is the first person from the Land of the Brave to attend the Programme in 18 years. Mouton is excited about her acceptance to the Programme and says, “It will be an excellent opportunity to network with other journalists from other parts of the world and to shadow UN journalists while I am there. It’s also a great opportunity to attend some of the meetings at the United Nations General Assembly and visit some leading media organisations in New York City.” A dedicated journalist, Mouton began her broadcast career in 2005 at Channel 7 Media Network for Christ, with her main duties being news reporting and writing, mostly in Afrikaans. She received a special award for news reporting and writing from the Afrikaans Language and Cultural Association (ATKV) for her work. Today she coordinates the station’s news office, which reports most of its local and international news in Afrikaans. The Programme Mouton will attend, which was mandated in December 1980 by UN General Assembly Resolution 35/201 (paragraph III-9) and renamed in September 2003 “Reham Al-Farra Memorial Journalists Fellowship Programme” to honour Ms. Reham Al-Farra, a young UN staff member killed in the bombing of the UN Headquarters in Baghdad, is designed for young, full time journalists working in print, web-based, radio and television media from developing countries and countries with economies in transition.
Role of the Resident Coordinator
UN Country Team (UNCT)
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