UNMISS celebrates UN Day in schools
24 October 2011 – South Sudan marked the 66th anniversary of United Nations Day with a series of interactive and learning activities over the past few days in Central Equatoria, Western Bahr el Ghazal, Unity and Warrap states.
In Juba, UNMISS celebrated the day with two events targeting children and youth from ages 5-19. The first was held on 21 October at Shining Star Basic Education School, and the second on 24 October at Atlabara West Basic Primary School.
At both schools, students participated in simulation exercises on pedestrian crossing safety, hygiene education and HIVAIDS awareness conducted by UN Police (UNPOL).
UNMISS Bangladesh Military Police painted a classroom at Atlabara School and repaired its walls and floor. In addition, UN civilian and military components contributed chairs, exercise books, footballs, exterior waste receptacles, maps and writing materials to both schools. The day's activities ended with a screening of the animation movie "Madagascar" for primary students.
Speaking at the Atlabara West Basic Primary School in Juba, UNMISS Spokesperson Aleem Siddique said the UN was in South Sudan to bring people and communities together. UN Day was celebrated every year to mark the anniversary of the entry into force in 1945 of the UN Charter.
UNPOL and UN Military Police collaborated with South Sudan Police to paint a zebra crossing on the road just before Atlabara main school entrance.
"The materials given today will help the pupils ... The zebra crossing made by the UN Military Police will help protect our children in crossing the road nearby and elsewhere in the town where zebra crossings exist," said Atlabara School head teacher Benaih Soma Loborong.
In Warrap State, celebrations were held at Mayen Gumel School in Kuajok, where UNMISS Chinese engineers have just completed construction of a basketball court for pupils.
Dr. Madhel Malek Agei, of the State Ministry of Education, welcomed UN efforts in Warrap. "We are proud also that you celebrated this important event in this particular site, where young daughters and sons of our country (who) returned from the North are studying."
UN representatives from UNICEF, the World Health Organization, the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs and UN High Commissioner for Refugees interacted with students and explained the UN's role in South Sudan.
"We chose to celebrate this important event in that particular school because it has particular needs and it is not very known even here in the local community," said UNMISS Warrap State Coordinator Fergus Boyle. Children from returnee families make up the bulk of students in the school. The UN is working to integrate them into the local community.
Celebrations in Wau, Western Bahr el Ghazal State, were held at Loyola Secondary School, where UNMISS, the World Food Programme and UN Development Programme (UNDP) made presentations to students. "We are grateful to (the) UN for its continuous support to the citizens of Wau," said State Minister of Education Adil Athanasio.
Mr. Athanasio praised UN agencies operating in Wau for their technical and material assistance to the government in the past, including UNDP's donation of bicycles to the ministry to help them monitor the school feeding programme. The students presented a play on Aid Dependency and urged South Sudanese people to work hard and achieve self-reliance.
The UNMISS office in Bentiu, Unity State, organised an indoor educational programme for over 1,300 secondary school students. UNMISS Civil Affairs Officer Roy Maheshe shared information about the UN, its organs, members states, specialized agencies, peacekeeping missions and the UNMISS mandate with students.