Accra – Three Senior High Schools comprising about 1,200 students have participated in UNIC Accra-organised UN4U outreach event held in Tema, outside Accra. The schools are Our Lady of Mercy (OLAM) Senior High School, Tema Senior High School and Chemu Senior High School.
This year’s topic, The Millennium Development Goals and the Post-2015 Agenda, was aimed at equipping students with knowledge of the eight MDGs. The students showed great interest in the topic as they asked questions and made useful suggestions on how the message and information about the MDGs can be widely disseminated. “I will suggest we make the information widely available on Facebook since it is the most popular social media we use” says Salomey Afua Addy, a final year student of Chemu SHS. The students were also eager to learn about ways they could contribute to make Ghana attain the MDGs by 2015. When asked what they have learnt from the UN4U event, one student noted “we have learnt a lot from this program alone”.
Presenting the MDGs to the students, the Reference Assistant of UNIC Accra, Ms. Evelyn Sarpong stressed the importance of their attainment and encouraged the students’ involvement in promoting awareness.
The National Information Officer of UNIC ACCRA, Ms. Cynthia Prah said the youth could contribute to ongoing discussions around the MDGs by taking interest in the issues and learning about them. She also advised the students to do a lot of writing about their concerns and have them published in the local media and act in their small ways by for example refraining from littering the streets with papers and plastic containers. Ms Prah said as citizens of Ghana, they 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.
The Public Information Officer of the World Food Programme, Ms. Vera Boohene took the students through the work of the WFP and its relationship to the MDGs. She discussed the history of WFP and highlighted the progress and challenges faced globally in the fight against hunger. She indicated the tools put in place by the WFP to individually address each MDG in Ghana.
The students were later quizzed on facts and statistics with regard to poverty, hunger, and gender disparities in education both at the global and local levels. The event was supported by the Tema Metropolitan Assembly as part of its effort to engage and inspire students to engage in issues of national concern and global significance.