Western region, Ghana, November 19, 2015 – About 1,500 students from two Senior High Schools (SHS) in the Ellembelle district of the Western Region have participated in a UN4U outreach event. The schools are Nkroful Agricultural SHS (NASS), and Esiama Senior High Technical School (ESTS). The two-day event was organised by UNIC Accra in partnership with UNESCO Country Office in Accra.
This year’s focus on the UN@70 and the Sustainable Development Goals, was aimed at equipping students with knowledge on the history and work of the United Nations, and the recently adopted seventeen SDGs.
Introducing guests at the event, the headmistress of NASS, Ms. Esther Armah-Viddah expressed gratitude to UN officials for reaching out to their school.
“We are happy to meet officials from the United Nations coming all the way from Accra to Nkroful Agric. Senior High School in the Western Region,” she said.
“The programme has been very helpful. Most students have heard about the United Nations but they do not know much about it. Today teachers and students have had the opportunity to get a deep insight into the actual work of the United Nations and the Sustainable Development Goals,” she quickly added after the end of the event.
Presenting on the SDGs, The National Information Officer of UNIC Accra, Ms. Cynthia Prah stressed the importance of their attainment and encouraged students’ involvement in promoting awareness and “helping in [their] own small way”.
She said “as youth, you could contribute to ongoing discussions around the SDGs by taking interest in the issues and learning about them; as citizens of Ghana, you have a responsibility to contribute to the global UN agenda”.
She encouraged students to use the educational resources provided by the internet to learn more about the UN’s mission and engage their peers in discourse over global issues.
Mr. Abdul Hamid Yakubu, the National Programme Officer (Communications and Information) of UNESCO, took participants through the work of UNESCO and its relation to the SDGs. He highlighted that, UNESCO is seen as the “intellectual wing” in the UN system, “help[ing] to instigate peace and protecting our cultural heritage”.
He also urged students to engage in afforestation practices as it is one of the effective ways of combating climate change.
The students showed great interest in the programme which they found very interactive and engaging as they asked and answered questions on the topics. They also made useful suggestions in the post-event interviews. Please read more about the students’ views about the UN and the UN4U programme here.
Both schools were presented with UN publications and materials on the SDGs.