03 November 2021
UN Namibia Celebrates UN Day at Friendly Haven
On the 76th anniversary of the United Nations (UN), the UN in Namibia rendered support to Friendly Haven, a Gender Based Violence (GBV) Shelter in Windhoek, by setting up sustainable gardens to support food security and sustainable food production in planting fruit and vegetable seedlings. In addition to this community support project, the UN Country Team donated gardening tools, sports equipment, children’s book, educational games, and rendered support with minor improvements to areas at the centre. Friendly Haven is part of the Ecumenical Social Diaconate Action (ESDA) and it provides shelter for women –survivors of gender based and domestic violence–, and their children. The organization aims to educate them about abuse, and help them through their healing process. With the self-help programmes implemented by the safe house ensured that when these women and children leave the shelter, they will be self-sustainable and empowered. “What we have realized this morning is that we can’t do anything on our own. We need each other. We are so grateful that the UN Namibia is celebrating the UN Day with our shelter.”, said the manager of Friendly Haven, Ms. Betsy Basson, as a gesture of gratitude. Gender Based Violence has been increasing at an alarming rate in Namibia and worldwide during the COVID-19 pandemic. The global community is fighting back with their awareness campaigns to see a change in these numbers, to equip, and support the women and children who find themselves in these unfortunate circumstances. The UN in Namibia was divided in two groups for this year’s celebrations, visiting this GBV shelter and an After-School Centre. The latter is a Government initiative, which specifically focuses on disadvantaged children, such as street children and children from economically challenged families and communities in Windhoek. The group who visited the Friendly Haven safe house was led by Ms. Sheila Roseau, UNFPA’s representative in Namibia. Chelsi Shikongo, Miss Namibia Universe 2021, also attended the event. Ms. Shikongo is incredibly passionate about the well-being of women, children and sex education. In the run up to COP26, the UN in Namibia focused on three thematic areas, as outlined in its UN Partnership Framework (UNPAF) 2019-2023: to bring forward concerns on GBV, raising awareness on climate change issues and how it impacts today’s youth and, more importantly, how we can tackle great challenges and advance the Sustainable Development Goals. Building resilient communities calls each of us to build a prosperous future.