UN Youth South Africa

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.
Ashanti Kunene from UNASA during the Global Youth Consultation for the World Humanitarian Summit in Doha, Qatar
Ashanti Kunene from UNASA during the Global Youth Consultation for the World Humanitarian Summit in Doha, Qatar

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Name

UN Youth South Africa

UNA

United Nations Association of South Africa

Structure

The United Nations Association of South Africa (UNASA) is the South African member of the WFUNA. UNASA is an umbrella organisation of university based chapters in the country, namely these are: Stellenbosch University, Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University, University of Cape Town, University of Kwa-Zulu Natal, University of Pretoria, University of the Western Cape, University of the Witwatersrand, North West University, University of Zululand and the University of Johannesburg. These chapters work in partnership with other organisations to promote sustainable development, human rights and socio-economic progress in South Africa.

Objectives

  • Promotion of the goals and principles of the UN and its agencies through community engagement with civil society and government
  • South African youth engagement in the UN
  • Raise awareness of and advocate for human rights and sustainable development at a community, government and chapter level
  • To build strong civil society partnerships with NGOs and disadvantaged communities
  • To educate youth about international issues, the work of the United Nations and their rights through the Model United Nations programme

Programmes and Projects

  • Human Rights: this programme focuses on the promotion of respect for human rights in South Africa with a particular focus on bringing the voices of women and children to the UN. International human rights mechanisms such as the Universal Periodic Review are utilised to promote human rights standards and address human rights issues in South Africa. There is an annual human rights week that is held in the country, which aims to raise awareness around human rights issues among South African youth. Human rights, poetry and advocacy workshops are also held.
  • Model United Nations: the Schools MUN programme is organized in 23 high schools across the Western Cape and Gauteng, in grades 10 and 11. University students and teachers work together to facilitate the program. The University MUN is carried out through UNASA’s university based chapters. An end of year MUN takes place at the University of Pretoria, which is done in conjunction with the South Africa Foreign Ministry. During this event, select students who are involved in the MUN are chosen to carry out internships at the Foreign Ministry.
  • Sports-in-a-box (SPOX): this programme is targeted at primary school children in the Western Cape of South Africa in poor, disadvantaged township schools where organised sports is almost non-existent. SPOX uses youth coaches – from the different university based chapters – in soccer, netball, field hockey, rugby and cricket to re-introduce organised sports in township schools where this has been neglected. The Stellenbosch Chapter of UNASA runs a swimming project that teaches grade 3 children from township schools how to swim.
  • Sustainable Development: The Living Spirit Project consists of an iShack (Improved Shack) and a permaculture garden, built on the land of St. John’s Anglican Church in Kayamandi Township. The iShack is a self-sustaining and environmentally friendly home built in collaboration with the Sustainability Institute of the University of Stellenbosch. The Sustainability project run by the Stellenbosch Chapter of UNASA, encourages environmental sustainability at schools and public areas, carrying out tree planting and biology lessons in schools with the objective of raising awareness about global warming.

Would like to network on

  • Youth Delegates to the United Nations
  • Global Model United Nations and various youth engagement opportunities at international forums
  • Academic impact of UN activities
  • International collaborations for SDG campaigns

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