Africa Unite, in partnership with the University of Connecticut, held its annual Human Rights Training Weekend on the 12th of February to the 14th of February 2016 at Goedegedacht Farm in Malmesbury Cape Town, South Africa.
The training broght 58 young people from different backgrounds as follows: 30 students from the University of Connecticut in USA and 23 local youth from South Africa among them were 2 refugees from Somalia, 1 from Nigeria and 1 from Zimbabwe. The group was also joined by 4 young people who are part of Africa Unite Exchange Program coming from Botswana and Malawi. The purpose of this exchange program is to continue building a bigger movement of young people in Africa that can collaborate together in the realisation of their human rights and to build a culture of human rights communities in Africa.
The training covered the following topics:
- Human Rights Principles
- Human Rights Education: What and Why?
- Instruments protecting Human Rights locally and globally.
- The rights of vulnerable people (people with disabilities, women, children, elderly people, refugees and migrants etc).
- How to build Human Rights Communities.
- How to facilitate human rights information sessions in various communities.
One of the highlighted events of the weekend was the mock presentations to the African Union assembly by the youth who were divided in different African countries. The youths were placed into 6 countries in order to compete for $200 Billion offered by the World Bank through the African Union. Each country was asked to select a president and its cabinet. This resulted in the following six countries being selected: South Africa, Nigeria, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Malawi, and Egypt.
The above countries were instructed to deliver a presentation to the acting Chairperson of the African Union Commission, Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma. The youngest in the group Megan Handau second year student at the University of Connecticut was selected as the Chairperson of the African Union.
Each country was tasked to do a presentation based on the following topics: a brief history about the country, current political issues, socio-economic and cultural dynamics, and how each country intends to use the $200 billion donation in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
After interesting presentations from various countries, the winning country was selected by a panel that was composed of the chairperson of the African Union, IMF, and the President of the World Bank.
The criterion was based on team work, knowledge of the country, history and background and how they were going to use the money to achieve the Sustainable Developmental Goals.
Botswana was selected as the winner of the evening and received a mock cheque of $200 billion for aid to their country. The purpose of this activity is to allow our youth to research and understand the political and socio-economic background of African countries.
Following the conclusion of the workshop, the youth from different backgrounds were extremely excited about the different levels of interactions, content of the training and the skills which were gained during this weekend. They reflected on their experiences, provided constructive feedback to enhance the program, and thanked Africa Unite for this learning opportunity. Overall, the youth made a clear commitment to go back in their respective communities and countries and conduct similar information sessions.
Africa Unite would like to give a special thanks to Vincent Williams for the professional and high quality facilitation and to Marita for the continuous partnership between Africa Unite and the University of Connecticut. Our special thanks also goes to our funders DKA- Austria, CCFD and other individuals.
For more pictures click here.