So, You Want to Be the Next High Commissioner? 2014 - Results and Follow up

The World Federation of United Nations Associations (WFUNA) is a global nonprofit organization representing and coordinating a membership of over 100 national United Nations Associations.
Saturday, July 18, 2015

WFUNA Human Rights Youth Training

From 20 to 24 July 2014, WFUNA held its fourth annual human rights training for young UNA members at the Palais des Nations in Geneva.  Twenty-nine participants from all over the world attended four days of sessions, which included presentations from various diplomats, UN and NGO staff as well as two days of training in projectmanagement.  The main objective of the training was to empower youth and equip them with the necessary skills to design and plan their own human rights project, to be implemented in coordination with their UNA and in line with national priorities. 

After the training, participants went back to their countries and started developing and implementing a Human Rights project.  Three months after the end of the training, participants submitted their mid-term report with their project ideas and implemented activities.  A final report was submitted by mid-January.

WFUNA is assessing their projects against a list of criteria - feasibility; sustainability; coordination with UNAs; relevance; impact; and application of tools acquired during the training.  

Here are some snapshots from their projects

Andrea Ivarsson, Ellen van Damme and Cecilie Morville – UNA-Sweden, UNA-Belgium/Flanders and UNA-Denmark 

Andrea, Ellen and Cecile organised a "United Nations Youth Association joint conference" in The Hague and Brussels from March 5 to 8. Twenty participants fron UNA-Belgium, UNA-Sweden and UNA-Denmark took part in the conference, which included workshops at ICC, UNRIC and UNESCO. Participants also had the opportunity to develop their project management skills thanks to an intensive course dedicated to Project Cycle Management. By the end of the training, participants had the chance to develop their own human rights projects to implement in their communities. 

Alba Brojka – Albania "Integrating Roma youth in Albania through Education"

The objective of Alba's project is to raise awareness on the importance of primary education among Roma children, their communities and families. In her 6-month-long project, Alba worked with more than 120 children in a primary school in Tirana, implementing workshop and activities on the right to education. She worked in close cooperation with the director of the school, the teachers and other organizations worked on minorities in Tirana. By the end of the project, the school registered a 20% decrease in Roma children dropout. Alba will continue working with Roma children in Albania, promoting their integration in the education system. 

Daria Klimova and Nikolay Sazhenov – UNA Russia

Daria and Nikolay implemented a project to promote tolerance amongst Russian school children and to introduce them to the mission and activities of the UN. Through their project, they reached out to more than ninety children between 10 and 13 years old, in three schools in Moscow. Their workshops included presentations and interactive activities such panel games, quizzes and role plays. Moreover, they developed didactic materials on the United Nations and Human Rights that participating schools will use for other classes. For the future, Daria and Nikolay are planning to scale up the project and work with other schools in the region. 

Hillary Seguya – UNA-Uganda

Ibrahim's project aims to reach out for the youth of Uganda in order to equip them with knowledge and information on Human Rights. The project reached out to more than 600 children and youth in the country, including schools in rural areas. Throughout a series of seminars and workshops, Hillary wants to build their knowledge on what Human Rights are and how they can improve the Human Rights situation in their countries. Moreover, in cooperation with UNA-Uganda, Hillary has also organized a Model United Nation on the topic "Youth engagement in setting goals for the 2015 development agenda". He is now planning to extend his project to other rural schools and to youth that dropped out from the education system. 

Naazish  – UNA-Sweden
Albert is planning a series of three seminars on Human Rights issues which will take place throughout the spring semester in close partnership with the local University.  Around 150 students will directly benefit from these seminars, which will try to respond to the need of a more in-depth Human Rights education in Sweden.  The project will consider both the legal and moral aspect of Human Rights.

Gyda Nullmeyer – UNA-Norway

Gyda Nullmeyer, from UNA-Norway, is organizing a series of seminars for students and employees of the University of Oslo.  Seminars will be organized on the occasion of international UN observances, such as the World Health Day (7th April) and the International Day of Remembrance for all Victims or Chemical Warfare.  The overall goal of the project is to raise awareness about Human Rights issues among students in Norway and engage them in a fruitful debate on Human Rights and the UN.

Seka Iraguha – UNA-Norway

Seka will be working with 8-12 year-old children to raise their awareness on key human rights issues, especially focusing on thechallenges that child girls in some regions of the world face when it comes to the Right to Education.  She is going to use an interactive learning-by-doing approach to stimulate the childen and engage them in the discussions. 

Tamara Naidoo - UNA-South Africa "My Rights and I - The Children of South Africa"

Tamara, in cooperation with the Pretoria Chapter of UNA-South Africa and UNICEF, is working with around 30 children aged between 6 and 12. The children come from the neediest families of the township and are currently hosted in a Safety Home in the township of Attridgeville. The goal of the project is to empower these young individuals to take a leading role in upholding human rights in their communities. Children will participate in a 2-day workshop and will discover what children rights are as well as how they can identify and report abuses. The children will become ambassadors of their own rights and will be involved in a campaign to increase the awareness of their local community on the issue. 

Madiot Ofori Kyei and James Kitcher - UNA Ghana “Upholding Human Rights amongst youth in Ghana

Madiot and James, in close collaboration with UNA-Ghana, are going to implement a project aiming at raising awareness amongst the youth on human rights, to enable them to see the need to uphold their rights and making it an integral part of everyday life in the society. Their projects involves a number of different activities, including a project-launch seminar hosting representatives from local government, a day with victims of Human Rights violations, debate sessions on Human Rights and a Model UN. The project will targetSenior High School Students in Ghana.

Lisa Ageman – UNA-Sweden

Lisa has been working with people with disabilities over the past 3 years.  She recognized the importance of increasing disabled people’s and social workers’ awareness of the specific rights of people with disabilities.  Her project targets young people with mental disability and aims at providing them with information on the different tools and institutions they could turn to when feeling discriminated.  In order to achieve her objective, she is going to use creative instruments like visual arts, theatre and movies.

Katerina Ioannou – UNA-Greece

Katerina Ioannou, supported by the United Nations Association of Greece, is implementing a project aiming at enhancing the knowledge of UNA-Greece members of the international Human Rights system, with a particular focus on International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and on the International Covenant of Economic, Social and Cultural Rights.  The first conference, which hosted two Human Rights experts as panelists, was held on 16th/17thOctober 2013. The second conference is going to take place early next year.

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