A delegation of students and professors from the Volda University College on Monday this week paid a visit to UN-HABITAT headquarters in Nairobi, Kenya.
© Jon-Andreas Solberg/ UN-HABITAT
The purpose of the visit was to learn and understand more about the UN and the programmes that UN-HABITAT is doing so as to better understand youth in urban settlements in developing countries, and how these youth can take an active part in community mobilisation and development. As part of the visit the students were introduced to the Basic Infrastructure Programme in UN-HABITAT and were engaged in discussions on the issues related to urban environmental challenges in the global society.
Led by Professor Odd Ragnar Hunnes the visitors were given a detailed presentation of the Youth Empowerment Programme, and the Urban Youth Fund and its purpose from inception to its current 4th call for applications for the 2012 funding period. They were also introduced to the challenges of infrastructure in future cities and focused on challenges around water quality as well as a talk on the environmental agenda from a staff member of the sister agency, UNEP.
As part of the programme the students also visited Mathare slums in Nairobi. Here they toured the Mathare Environmental Conservation Youth Group. This group has built a community centre which houses both a waste management and plastic recycling, as well as a community centre which hosts football nights and other social activities.
Afterwards the group visited the MapMathare project. This project maps the Mathare slum using GPS technology. The youth map all services located in the area and also health risks and other important information. All the information is put online so people can access and download the maps.
"We are very thankful to UN-HABITAT for organizing this tour,' stated Professor Hunnes, "It was a very successful journey and learning experience for the Norwegian students."