Takoradi – The United Nations Information Centre (UNIC), Accra has engaged about 500 students and faculty of Takoradi Polytechnic and NGOs in a 2-day UN4U outreach event held in Takoradi in the Western Region of Ghana.
The outreach event organized by UNIC-Accra, in collaboration with the UN Association, Ghana (UNA-Ghana), provided a unique opportunity for students, faculty and heads of NGOs to learn and seek more information about the activities of the UN in Ghana and how they can contribute to its work.
Speaking on the topic, The UN, UNIC Accra & the UN system in Ghana during a symposium for students at the Takoradi Polytechnic, the National Information Officer of UNIC Accra, Ms Cynthia Prah provided an overview of the history, structure and work of the United Nations and UNIC Accra. She also shared a brief presentation on the Millennium Development Goals, the Post-2015 Agenda and other issues to be addressed by the UN General Assembly at the 68th session which opens on September 17, 2013.
Ms. Prah urged students to regularly visit the UN website to learn more about global issues and initiatives being undertaken by the United Nations. She also encouraged students to tap into the vast opportunities provided by the various UN Agencies in Ghana in order to contribute to the cause of the international organization.
The event was supported by UNHCR and IOM. In his presentation on the role of UNHCR, the Assistant Field Protection Officer, Samuel Dzikunu elaborated on the key functions of UNHCR as far as refugee protection is concerned. For his part, Francis Dagbah of IOM dwelt on the TB REACH Project which seeks to eliminate TB in targeted communities and ensure the health of migrants and host communities. The project is being implemented by IOM in partnership with the Ghana Health Service and the National TB Control Programme. The Secretary General of UNA-Ghana, Mrs. Jane Edna Nyame-Philips also addressed the students on its activities. The students also had an opportunity to interact with the officials through a Q&A session. They later shared their views on the event with our team.
Other dignitaries in attendance included the Registrar of Takoradi Polytechnic, Sylvia Oppong Mensah (Mrs) and the Metro Director of Education for the Sekondi-Takoradi Metropolitan Assembly (STMA), Nana Kofi Mbeah who also represented the Metropolitan Chief Executive.
As part of the UN4U outreach event in Takoradi, UNIC Accra held a forum to meet and interact with member NGOs of the Western Region Network of NGOs (WERENGO) on how they could engage the UN in their activities and also focus more on the development needs of the community (ies) they serve. Using DPI-NGO’s Working Together: Making a difference information booklet, Ms. Prah took participants through a step-by-step approach and benefits of obtaining a UN-DPI and ECOSOC status.
The UN4U is one of the key outreach events held all over the world by UNICs to bring UN officials, staff and partners in contact with students from schools and universities as part of its mandate to provide information and reach out to the general public especially students with the work of the United Nations.