UNICEF-Wits to recruit Witsies to advocate for social justice.

International children’s rights organisation, UNICEF, (United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund), will be officially launching a Wits chapter at Solomon Mahlangu House on Wednesday, February 27.

UNICEF-Wits, a student society will be headed by Iman Damons. Damons said organisation was started to equip students with the necessary skills and knowledge for advocacy.

“We want to give resources, skills, to be agents of change and create workshops, champion advocacy and children’s rights. [UNICEF-Wits] is a good platform for advocacy and for student’s rights,” Damons told Wits Vuvuzela.   

The society has distributed their aims, organised in themes, across the academic year. “First block we will be focusing on education, the second is health and hygiene. The third is ending violence and empowerment and the fourth is sports development,” Damons added.

“[The themes] will mostly be advocacy. We’ve teamed up with Wits Citizenship and Community Outreach, and Engineers Without Borders Wits to assist with water [under the health and hygiene themes] next block.”

UNICEF Volunteer Programme manager Amir Bagherioromi, who approached Damons to start the Wits branch, said, “[There’s] barely any organisation on campuses around children, which is concerning. South Africa has some of the highest rates of violence against children. This builds a national conversation children’s rights and UNICEF-Wits volunteers will be the advocates on the ground to do so.”

Member of UNICEF-Wits, Violet Molefe, postgraduate LLB, said she was familiar with UNICEF’s activities because of her undergraduate studies in international relations.

“It’s important that we have UNICEF on campus. You hear about the organisation throughout your undergraduate but don’t have the opportunity to participate, be involved or to give back,” Molefe said.

UNICEF has launched on five campuses in South Africa including the University of Johannesburg, University of Western Cape, Afda, and Wits. Eight other universities including Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University and the University of Limpopo will be launched over the next month.

FEATURED IMAGE: UNICEF-Wits hopes to involve students in making a difference in children’s lives. Photo: Provided.