Category Archives: My Internship Experience

UNIC Accra welcomes interns from all over the world. At the end of their internship period, interns write, in their own words, about their experiences. Click on a picture to read their own stories.

UN Human Rights Council to review Ghana’s human rights record

Accra, 7 November 2017 – The United Nations is scheduled to examine Ghana’s human rights record today, 7th November 2017. The review today is by the UN Human Rights Council’s Universal Periodic Review (UPR) Working Group, which peer reviews every UN Member State every four years.  Today is the third round of review for Ghana, following 2008 and 2012.  The purpose of the peer reviews is to track progress on Ghana’s human rights obligations and commitments.

Ghana’s delegation is led by the Attorney-General and Minister of Justice, Ms. Gloria Afua Akuffo.

The documents on which the reviews are based are: 1) national report – information provided by the State under review; 2) information contained in the reports of independent human rights experts and groups, known as the Special Procedures, human rights treaty bodies, and other UN entities; 3) information provided by other stakeholders including national human rights institutions, regional organizations and civil society groups.

Read further in the press release issued today by the UN Resident Coordinator’s office in Ghana.

UN discusses the role of youth in the SDGs with students in the Eastern Region

Eastern Region, Ghana, 25 – 27 October 2017 – As part of UN Day observation in Ghana, the UN Communications Group, led by UNIC Accra, and a team of UN Volunteers, representing UNICEF, FAO, UNFPA, UNDP and the Resident Coordinator’s office and representatives from the Ghana United Nations Students Association (GUNSA) and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration (MoFARI) have embarked on a 3-day outreach event on the Sustainable Development Goals and on volunteerism.

A student explains Goal 1

The team first stopped at the St, Martins Senior High School (SHS) in Adoagiri, Nsawam in the Eastern region of Ghana where some 500 students from St. Martins SHS and the Islamic Girls SHS were taken through the 17 SDGs. Following the presentations, 17 students volunteered to give a recap of their selected Goals.  They aptly summarised the goals in their own words to the admiration of the team, citing lack of descent jobs, youth unemployment, poverty and unsanitary conditions as major issues requiring urgent actions.

The next stop was at Aburi Girls SHS where over 300 students from two SHSs got the opportunity to learn more about the SDGs, the various UN

A cross section of students

offices in the country and the concept of volunteerism. Welcoming the team, the Headmistress of Aburi Girls SHS, Mrs. Alice Prempeh-Fordjour expressed her appreciation to the UN team for choosing their school for the outreach to impart knowledge on the theme “SDGs and our Developmental Needs: The role of the youth”. Following the nearly 3-hour engagement with the students, 18-year old Emefa Adjaho told UNIC Accra: “the session has made me realise how essential the role of the United Nations is in addressing the challenges we are facing”.  “I now understand the work of the United Nations more and I hope one day I will work with the UN” she added.

The final leg of the outreach event was held at Pope John Senior High and Junior Seminary, where the UN team were joined by staff from the MoFARI. Over 500 enthusiastic students came from the host school, Koforidua Technical Institute (KTI), Oti Boateng SHS, Ghana SHS and Seven Days Adventist SHS. In an interview, 19-year-old Ms Love Narh of KTI said “the perennial

A cross section of the audience

development problems of the world are being compounded by our own behavior” and was hopeful that the SDGs will reduce them or eliminate them completely. For Michael Coffie, having 108 students in one classroom, impedes effective teaching and learning. He therefore hopes the government will consider SDG4 a priority to ensure quality education is provided to all Ghanaians.

These outreach events are held annually by the UNCG under the leadership of the UN Information Centre and they seek to offer the youth the opportunity to learn more about the global development agenda, the role of the UN and of their country to make the world a better place, and what they can do in their own ways to make change. It further creates the platform for UN staff to interact with students in attempt to inspire their career choices.

SDGs student ambassadors

The students were encouraged to form SDGs clubs in their schools and to serve as SDGs ambassadors in their various communities.

4th UN Global Road Safety Week events in Accra

Accra, 12 May 2017 – In support of the 4th United Nations Global Road Safety Week, the United Nations Information Centre, UNIC Accra, joined the World Health Organisation country office and its partners to raise the much needed awareness on the dangers of speed on our roads.

UNIC Accra rallied Heads of UN Agencies in the country to join the global #slowdown social media campaign championed in Ghana by the Accra Metropolitan Assembly Bloomberg Initiative Global Road Safety (AMA-BIGRS). Among the participants were heads of ILO, UNDP, UNOPS, UNHCR, UNICEF and the Resident Coordinator, Christine Evans-Klock.

UN RC [1st left], Dr. Kaluwa [m] & Mr. Kufour [R]

A press briefing was later organized by UNIC Accra on behalf of WHO to climax the week-long road safety observance. In Attendance were the WHO Country Director, Dr. Owen Kaluwa, the Programme Coordinator of AMA-BIGRS, Mr. Osei Kufour and the UN Resident Coordinator.

Addressing the media, Ms Evans-Klock said public education is key to reduce speeding on our roads and called for action by the Ghana Police Service to be vigilant in enforcing road safety laws on our streets.

A cross section of the media

For his part, Dr. Kaluwa said “real, sustained successes at reducing road traffic deaths will only happen when road design takes into consideration the need of all road users – motorists, motorcyclists, cyclists and pedestrians. He further called on the international community, national governments and civil societies to act on existing evidence on what works to save lives on the roads.

Responding to questions from journalists Mr. Osei Kufuor stated that measures are being put in place to intensify advocacy toward road safety.

Two Ghanaian peacekeepers to be awarded posthumously at a ceremony at UN Headquarters

Accra, 23 May 2017 – The United Nation Headquarters will observe the International Day of United Nations Peacekeepers on Wednesday, 24 May.  Secretary-General Antonio Guterres will lay a wreath to honour all fallen peacekeepers and will preside over a ceremony at which the Dag Hammarskjöld Medal will be awarded posthumously to 117 military, police and civilian personnel who lost their lives while serving in peacekeeping operations during 2016.

Two fallen peacekeepers from Ghana are among the 117 who will posthumously receive the Dag Hammarskjold medal.  They are Lance Corporal Emmanuel Sakyi, who served with the United Nations Organization Stabilization Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUSCO); and Staff Sergeant Boniface Atanyik, who lost his life while deployed with the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL).

In a video message to mark the Day, the Secretary-General said:  “Every day, peacekeepers help bring peace and stability to war-torn societies around the world.  On the International Day of United Nations Peacekeepers, we pay tribute to the more than 3,500 peacekeepers who have given their lives in the service of peace since 1948.”

For his part, the Under-Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations, Jean-Pierre Lacroix, said: “We pay our greatest respects to the committed and courageous peacekeepers who are no longer with us today. I offer my deepest and most sincere condolences to the families of those we honour and to the bereaved. It’s critical that we continue to invest in peace and make every effort to carry forward their noble work, and that we continue to pursue reform efforts to make United Nations peacekeeping more efficient and effective. That is the best way we can honour the memories and sacrifices of our fallen peacekeepers.”

Today, more than 96,000 uniformed personnel from 124 troop-and-police-contributing countries serve under the blue flag, alongside more than 15,000 international and national civilian staff and nearly 1,600 United Nations Volunteers.

Ghanaian officers carrying wreathes to be laid in honour of fallen peacekeepers

Ghana is the 10th largest contributor of uniformed personnel to UN peacekeeping.  It currently deploys more than 2,700 military and police personnel to UN peace operations in the Central African Republic, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Haiti, Lebanon, Liberia, Mali, South Sudan, Sudan and the Western Sahara.

The International Day of United Nations Peacekeepers was established by the General Assembly in 2002, to pay tribute to all men and women serving in peacekeeping, and to honour the memory of those who have lost their lives in the cause of peace.  The Assembly designated 29 May as the Day because it was the date in 1948 when the United Nations Truce Supervision Organization (UNTSO), the world body’s first peacekeeping mission, began operations in Palestine.

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World Water Day marked with students in Accra

Accra, March 23, 2017 –  World Water Day; the essence of water; why we must use water wisely and; accessibility of water were some of the topics discussed with about 100 Grade 7 (Junior High School 1) students of Independence Avenue 1 and 2 Junior High School at a World Water Day outreach event.

15-yr old Alhassan Malik

When asked how many students could relate to the practice of fetching water before school, several of the students raised their hands. According to one of the pupils, it is a household chore and as a matter of fact, they “…cannot sit for [their] parents to fetch water for [them]”.

The discussion on access to water went on and on until 15-year old Alhassan Malik stood up and said “It is wrong for students to travel miles for water before they go to school”.  Intrigued by Malik’s response, I asked him to explain why it is wrong for children to wake up early and carry water on their heads before they prepare for school.  This is what he had to say: “It is wrong because we will be late for school, we will be tired by the time we get to school and even sleep in class or we may miss important lessons in school”. And the class applauded Malik, perhaps for being bold enough to say what they each go through as a result of fetching water before school.

A student showcases her work

For many of the students, fetching water before school is a routine. Though they are not comfortable doing it, they have no other choice. For the others who were not engaged in this practice, they saw the need to use water wisely so that the little available will be enough for several households.

Following the discussions, the students were offered pencils, erasers and papers to sketch their thought on the essence of water and therefore World Water Day, after which some students presented their work to the entire class. The need to preserve and use water wisely run through their messages.

At the end of the event, the Head Mistress of Independence Avenue 1 JHS, Mrs. Lydia Bamfo expressed appreciation to UNIC Accra for choosing their school for such an insightful programme and asked the students to take what they have learnt seriously and apply them to their daily lives.

My Internship Experience by Delali Adiamah

“Working with UNIC Accra has been one invaluable experience for me. Talk about inspiration,

Delali interviewing a beneficiary of a health outreach in the Central region of Ghana by UNIC Accra and partners

Delali interviewing a beneficiary of a health outreach in the Central region of Ghana by UNIC Accra and partners

motivation, determination, education and adventure—I personally ensured I benefited from these…  I also enjoyed the opportunity to interact with other UN agency staff members and learned a great deal about the UN System and the various ways agencies cooperated with each other…To gain a prestigious opportunity for personal and professional development as one with United Nations Information Center is second to none. “

My Intership Experience by Ms Linda Phiri

“My time here was most definitely well spent and allowed for my personal and professional growth. There are various milestones I was able to reach at UNIC Accra, such as having an article published, drafting a feature, and representing a media team alongside my supervisor

Linda Phiri

Linda Phiri

where we administered crucial interviews at a UNESCO capacity building workshop. In addition, I was able to enhance my team work skills in a professional environment. All interns had both the opportunities to lead and also to follow during the planning of events and programs within UNIC Accra and in partnership with other UN agencies, local government and Non-Governmental Organizations.”

My Internship Experience by Grace Folley

Ms Grace Folley

Ms Grace Folley

“At UNIC Accra, tasks came in several forms and were not routine. They included media monitoring, drafting news stories, preparing concept notes, drafting of press releases among others. All these made it interesting and challenging….Aside the prestige that came with working with the United Nations, UNIC Accra presented a platform for everyone to be creative and independent… and you were treated as a colleague and not an “apprentice.”

UNIC Accra past intern Magnus Berg

“I will deeply miss both Ghana and UNIC. Once again, this has been an experience I would not want to trade for anything. I know that I will come back, and I know that I will meet my colleagues again. That is the reason why I am still smiling, even on my last day.” Click on Magnus to read more about his internship experience at UNIC Accra.
Magnus Berg