Wednesday, May 25, 2016

UNIC Accra embarks on UN4U outreach activities in Northern & Ashanti regions

Kumasi, May 23, 2016 – UNIC Accra has undertaken a series of community and youth outreach activities in the Northern and Ashanti regions of Ghana. The key message during this exercise was on the Sustainable Development Goals and what it means for us as a people and for our planet.

The first community was Boakurugu, in the Sagnarogo District of the Northern region. The team later on visited the Tamale Senior High School, where over 2000 students gathered to hear about the SDGs. In the Ashanti region, four activities were held at the Ejisu-Adadientem Church of Christ Senior High School, the Ejisu Central market, Edwenase community and the Kumasi Senior High Technical School for over a thousand students. The audiences at all the events were very enthused about the information on the SDGs and expressed appreciation to the team for including them in the outreach plans.

These events were organized by UNIC Accra in collaboration with its local partners, Abibimman Foundation, Young People we Care and Global Shapers Community, Tamale.

Despite much global efforts at raising the needed awareness on the subject, only a handful of students we reached and the people in local communities we visited were aware of the SDGs.  The local partners were therefore encouraged to set up SDGs Clubs, especially in schools, to enable students learn about the SDGs, its relationship to national development efforts and what they can do to create awareness about the 2030 development agenda.

Market women and farmers in Ghana learn about SDGs

Kumasi, May 23, 2016 – Sharing the message of the global development agenda has never been this interesting as it was during UNIC Accra’s interactions with three communities in the Northern and Ashanti regions.

Located some 20 minutes from Tamale, the Northern regional capital, is Boakurugu, a relatively small community in the Sagnarogo District of the Northern region. Inhabitants of this community are mainly small holder farmers. They plant maise, pepper and groundnut. UNIC Accra and its local partner, Global Shapers Community, Tamale, first paid a brief courtesy call on the Chief of the area, Alhassan Naporo to announce its mission.

About 50 residents later gathered to be briefed when suddenly a rain storm hit the community. Not deterred by the sudden storm, the residents rushed to the Chief’s palace where the briefing took place. The Sustainable Development Goals and its contribution to development was the topic for presentations and discussions.  Much to our delight, Madam Fati, a 45-year old farmer in the community, stood up at the end of the event to voluntarily express her appreciation to the team for thinking of their community to share information about the SDGs with them. She also expressed her delight to know that the world has not forgotten about their plight and that of the future generation.

Perhaps the climax of the outreach activities was at the Ejisu Central market.  It was on Thursday and indeed a market day when farmers and and traders
bring their goods and wares to sell on the streets.  Market days are usually busy and hectic for traders and farmers. This was the moment UNIC Accra and its partners, Abibimman Foundation and Young People we Care (YPWC), decided to present the SDGs to the traders and the general public of the area. Some market traders and shoppers stopped to listen to us as others went by their own business. For this group of audience, the five Ps – People, Planet, Progress, Peace and Partnership was the focus of the presentation.

At the end of the day, the translated SDGs post cards were distributed to the traders who were very keen on understanding what the SDGs meant to their wellbeing. They also had the opportunity to ask questions which were addressed by the UNIC Accra National Information Officer, Ms. Cynthia Prah and translated in Akan by the Executive Director of YPWC, Mr. Harrison Obeng Debrah.Earlier, the people of Edwenase, an outskirt of Kumasi, the capital of Kumasi, had their share of information on the SDGs. Here the Chief of the town, Nana Antwi Bosiako warmly welcomed UNIC Accra and the team. He also encouraged the people of the community to do what they could to help promote the SDGs.

Ghanaian students enthusiastic about the SDGs

Kumasi, May 23, 2016 – Nearly the entire school population of about 2000 students at the Tamale Senior High School turned out to participate in UNIC Accra’s UN4U outreach event in the school. UNIC Accra’s National Information Officer, Ms. Cynthia Prah presented the 17 SDGs to the students. She told the students that the SDGs are about people, planet and prosperity to ensure peace through partnership. She emphasized the need for students to know what the SDGs are and what they mean since it would inform development direction for the next 15 years.

The Head of Sub/Area Office of the World Food Programme, Mr. Abebe Hankore provided further explanation on the SDGs that are directly linked to food, nutrition and good health.

At the Ejisu-Adadientem Church of Christ Senior High School (CHRISEC), the students, mostly in their first and second year, wanted to learn more about the role of the UN to support countries to attain the SDGs and about theactions to be taken against countries that will fail to attain the SDGs. For many of these students, including about 50 students from Mancell College, a nearby school, UNIC Accra’s presence was actually their first encounter with UN officials. They were very pleased for the opportunity to enable them learn about such a global subject matter. “I have learnt from the presentation today how the youth can also contribute to the development of Ghana. I am very delighted that I would be able to share this information with my peers”, says Samuel Boateng of CHRISEC.

The authorities of both schools expressed the hope that such presentations would be held regularly for their students.

UNIC Accra team visited the Kumasi Senior High Technical School at the final leg of the outreach journey. Here, over 1500 students also heard about the SDGs for the first time. The students were very interactive during the