From 22 to 25 July 2013, WFUNA held its third annual human rights training for young UNA members at the Palais des Nations in Geneva. Seventeen participants representing 12 different United Nations Associations around 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 project management. The main objective of the training was to empower UNA 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 has assessed their projects against a list of criteria - feasibility; sustainability; coordination with UNAs; relevance; impact; and application of tools acquired during the training.
According to the criteria, Linda Asaba Awebwa, from the United Nations Association of Uganda, has been awarded an iPad as price for best project implemented.
Linda Asaba Awebwa – UNA-Uganda “Creating avenues for youth involvement in human rights”
Linda implemented a project aiming to contribute in creating avenues for youth involvement in human rights. Together with UNA-Uganda staff and volunteers, Linda carried out workshops in different UNA-Uganda partner universities and high schools in order to present and discuss with students how they can contribute advancing the human rights agenda. Activities included quizzes and artistic workshops. By the end of 2013, 511 participants were reached by the project.
Even though the project has come to an end, Linda and the UNA-Uganda team will continue working with the project beneficiaries to ensure that both High School clubs and University chapetrs carry out at least a human rights activity or interactive dialogue every semester. Moreover they will organize a Model UN focusing on the work of the Human Rights Council.
Here are the projects implemented by the other participants!
Claris Tabeth– UNA-Zimbabwe “Student introspection in Human Rights, for the youth, by the youth"
The objective of Claris’s project is to enhance students’ knowledge on the new Zimbabwean constitution and on the UN Human Rights System. Thanks to the support and cooperation of the staff of UNA Zimbabwe, the project will reach around 8,000 children from schools in Harare. Students are involved in presentations about the UN Human Rights mechanisms, discussion on different articles of Zimbabwean Constitution, a simulation exercise of parliamentary discussions and quizzes. Claris, together with UNA Zimbabwe is now working to scale up the project and reach out more schools in the upcoming months.
Francesca Chiaudani – UNA-UK “Human Rights Boot-Camp”
Francesca has been working both with UNA-Italy, her native country, and with the youth chapter of UNA-UK at Durham University, where she carried out her studies. Now back to Italy, Francesca ihas implemented a project targeting 30 students from her home-town high school. Activities include a four-hour seminar where students will be involved in a presentation of UN Human Rights mechanisms.
The seminar included an introduction to WFUNA and UNAs activities, an overview of the UN Human Rights system, an introduction to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, group activities and a role play simulating the Universal Periodic Review. After the training, 100% of participants either agreed or strongly agreed that the seminar was helpful to increase their knowledge on Human Rights and that activities related to Human Rights should be included in regular school curriculum.
Moreover, in the longer run, she is going to develop an online platform where people can access materials and other information related to human rights.
Ibrahim Bakari Mwneda – UNA-Tanzania
Ibrahim's project aims to reach out for the youth of Tanzania in order to equip them with knowledge and information on peace, security and Human Rights. The project also targets people from the Barbaigs nomad communities, which are currently facing big challanges in the country due to landgrabbing and expropriation. Throughout a series of seminars and workshops, Ibrahim wants to stir them to engage and participate in the formulation, planning and implementation of the programs and activities related to these topics at local and National levels. Five local radio stations have also transmitted special programs dedicated to Human Rights. About 600 young people have directly benefited from the project, while the number of inderect beneficiaries is of about 6000 people.
Albert Askeljung – 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 the challenges 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 target Senior 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.