Tag Archives: education

Football Pitch Make-over through Design Thinking

A lot was happening in Mlango Kubwa’s football pitch last week. Mlango Kubwa is a ward in the Mathare informal settlement in Kenya. Mathare has approximately 500,000 residence; Mango Kubwa itself has approximately 50,000 residents of which 70% of the population is 24 and under.

After its inauguration by the UN Secretary-General, Mr. Antonio Guterres, it became the centerpiece of Design Thinking workshop organized to give it a sustainable make-over.

IMG_2126

The football pitch is the cornerstone of the community, strategically placed and accessible for all Mlango Kubwa’s residents. Used primary for football, sport and play, at times it’s also a place for talent shows, celebrations and other community events. But time, weather conditions and lack of resources have left a toll on its appearance and condition. What was once an astonishing sport facility in the midst of a slum is now rapidly deteriorating public space.

IMG_1674

To try to help out and bring new ideas and perspectives on the issue, UN-HABITAT teamed up with GIZ Sport for Development Africa programme and Prof. Dr. Falk Uebernickel from University of St. Gallen, an expert in Design Thinking methodology, to run a 2-day workshop with the community. Ran as a pilot in a difficult context of poor urban community, the hope and expectation was to come up with new strategies to revitalize and sustainably maintain the field.

IMG_2113

Despite slow start, the community members attending the workshop came up with some amazing ideas of how to improve the current state of the pitch.  Through rather complex and at times quite challenging steps of the Design Thinking methodology, the community looked at the most pressing issues, including safety and security, drainage, waste management and communication. Here are just few examples of simple interventions that were born that day:

  • Adequate fence around the pitch perimeter, with some kind of roofing to protect from rains
  • Paid caretaker(s)
  • Build-in drainage
  • Regular clean-ups, with competitions between school
  • WhatsApp group to inform the community of events and happenings at/around the pitch

IMG_2121

Funding remains a challenge and will determine the successful implementation of all the ideas that the community envisioned for the football pitch but everyone remains hopeful that over time, they will achieve everything what they set themselves for. UN-HABITAT will continue to support the Mlango Kubwa community and hope that together we can make it happen.

1st Global Urban Youth Exchange Program with Duksung Women’s University

The 1st Global Urban Youth Exchange Program run from January 27 to February 10, 2015 under the theme “ideal urbanization and Youth role’s in this era of globalization” at the Duksung Women’s University that is based in Korea. 28 participants from Duksung Women’s University presented policy proposal, pre-investigation and field research on ideal urbanization in developing countries especially Cambodia and Thailand and made a presentation on the same at the United Nations Office in Bangkok.

Participants were separated into five groups and challenged to come up with creative solutions related to sustainable urbanization. Innovative ideas emerged such as, establishing night classes for improving the Cambodian Women’s education, improvement of environment-friendly landfills, reducing school dropout rates through economic and entreprenureship education. The students went further to test their proposed hypothesis and policies in the local situation through local surveys.

At the launch of the programme, Mr. Jung, the Cooperation Director at Duksung women’s University emphasised that, “We expect this program can be a big help to cultivate students’ global citizenship and enhance global leadership”.

UN-Habitat and Duksung Women’s University signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on August 6th 2014. The university also works closely with UN-Women and has signed an MOU with the agency as well to promote ‘the next generation’, especially women through the Global Partnership Training Program.

Urban Youth Fund

Every year, over 8,000 youth-led organizations apply to the UN-Habitat Urban Youth Fund. The fund offers grants of between 5,000USD and 25,000 USD to winning submissions in a very competitive selection and only about 30-40 entries are eligible for the grant annually.

These organizations span various sectors, from technology and agriculture to education and poverty reduction. Every year, the Fund supports new and innovative ideas and solutions for job creation, good governance, adequate shelter and secure tenure planned and implemented by youth-led groups globally.

By undertaking research on best practices in youth-led development the fund also creates greater awareness of youth-led development and the urgency to ensure that youth perspectives are integrated into local, national and international development policies and strategies.

To qualify, applicants organizations must be led by young people aged 15-32 years and be based in cities or towns in developing countries. to qualify. Support in terms of training, mentorship and an e-Learning programs are provided primarily for project leaders to ensure success of the selected projects. To support the projects further, an Urban Youth Fund Mentorship Programme has been created. The programme uses alumni from the fund and youth leaders to provide guidance to current projects. Projects encouraging gender equality or involving partnerships with the government or the private sector are particularly encouraged.

Urban Youth Fund E-Learning Program

UN-Habitat has partnered with Canadian University of Fraser Valley to provide custom courses in the area of sustainable development, social enterprise and community planning. The e‐Learning programme is the newest addition to the Training and Capacity Building Program of the Urban Youth Fund. The programme seeks to integrate the mobile technology, internet‐based curriculum and applied empirical learning to provide a dynamic learning opportunity for youth in the developing world.