UNAMID joins call by Nelson Mandela Foundation to devote 67 minutes to helping others
18 July is globally marked as Nelson Mandela International Day, in recognition of the former South African President’s contribution to the culture of peace and freedom.
This year’s Mandela Day theme, ‘Action Against Poverty,’ resulted in a unique event at the ZamZam camp for internally displaced persons (IDPs), North Darfur, where community members attended a free medical camp run by UNAMID’s military and police peacekeepers from Rwanda, Egypt, Indonesia and Nepal.
The event, organized by the Mission’s Community Outreach Unit, included awareness-raising sessions on basic hygiene, such as washing hands before mealtimes, and drama performances; renowned Darfuri musician, Halima Sasa, performed traditional peace songs. Information and educational materials on the ongoing peace process were also distributed among the audience.
Speaking to the diverse audience comprised of community leaders, students, women’s groups and youth associations, Carlos Araujo, Head, Communications & Public Information Section, UNAMID, read out the UN Secretary-General’s message on the occasion which highlighted how Mr. Mandela continues to inspire the world through his example of courage and compassion, and his commitment to social justice and a culture of freedom and peace.
On his part, Emad Badawi, representative, Ministry of Health, North Darfur, emphasized the importance a healthy environment and urged the IDP community to organize clean-up campaigns to prevent the spread of diseases. Mr. Badawi commended UNAMID for organizing the medical camp and its efforts to ensure that the camp’s residents become conversant with good hygiene practices.
Additionally, Abdalla Adam, Director of Student Activities in the camp, requested the Mission to help expand the ZamZam Secondary School for Boys in the interest of providing increased education services to the camp’s youth.
“I think this event had a great impact on all of us,” said Adam Ahmed, a resident of ZamZam camp. “Young students who attended the event responded really well to the drama performances; furthermore, UNAMID peacekeepers at the medical camp gave us hand sanitizers which are very useful, especially when there is lack of water in the camp,” added Mr. Adam.
Similar activities commemorating Mandela Day were organized across all five Darfur states.