On October 18th, the United Nations Volunteers (UNV) programme and the United Nations Communications Group (UNCG) organized and conducted a learning session at the One UN I-Space. Located in the UNICEF offices in Kacyiru, the One UN I-Space is an interactive academic area with a quiet and focused environment for research and study. 12 students from various higher learning institutions attended the learning session, including the University of Kigali, Akilah Institute for Women, Université Libre de Kigali, and Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology.
Students were welcomed by the One UN I-Space Officer, Inara Elithe, who gave a synopsis of the functioning of the space, followed by a presentation by the UNV Programme Officer, Victor Che-Ngutih. Mr. Che-Ngutih’s presentation focused on fundamental research skills in the social sciences using a problem-based learning methodology. Special attention was given to the use of citation and referencing tools in Microsoft Word, including tables of contents, footnotes, and endnotes. The presentation also addressed academic integrity, citing plagiarism as significant cause of inadequacies in students’ narratives.
The session was much more participatory than a normal university class, as the instructors assigned multiple practical group exercises and encouraged students to ask constructive questions. UNV was privileged to host Tomoko Ushiro at the learning session, a second-year university student from Japan. Tomoko is currently completing an internship at UNV/UNDP Rwanda and was pleased to share her own university experience with session attendees.
This learning session closed with participants affirming an improved understanding of research methodology in the social sciences, the use of the One UN I-Space, and knowledge of the UNV programme in Rwanda and worldwide.