The Namibian population is primarily made up of the youth who comprises over 56% of the total population. By definition a youth is any person between the ages 16 – 35. Therefore, the country’s future is in the hands of the youth who are the future leaders of this great land. As the majority of the Namibian population, the youth are exposed to many risks and every ills threatening Namibia. Societal ills such as unemployment, poverty, crime and others affect the youth the most. The rural youth is the most exposed person amongst the Namibian population.
The Ministry of Youth, National Service, Sport and Culture (MYNSSC) is mandated to empower and develop the youth, promote sport, arts and culture. Therefore, through the Directorate of Youth, the Ministry is committed to address the issues pertaining to the youth by introducing programmes that deal with the plight of the youth in Namibia.
The Vision of the Directorate of Youth is to empower the Namibian youth to become self-reliant and socially responsible by 2030. Its Mission is to provide a sustainable framework for integrated planning and collaboration among stakeholders for the development of policies and programmes that promote and enhance the development of the Namibian youth and the protection of their interests.
The Directorate is mandated to:
•Formulate, monitor, and review the National Youth Policy;
•Articulate relevant programmes of action for youth development;
•Design guidelines for youth development activities in the country;
•Create opportunities for youth to be involved in decision making processes in matters affecting them, the environment and the society;
•Inculcate in the youth human rights values, social justice, equity, fairness and gender equality; and
•Facilitate the provision of adequate funding for sustainable developmental projects in the youth sector.
The Directorate of Youth Development’s programmes
The highlights and achievements within the Directorate’s programmes performed during the 2011/12 financial year are as follows:
The programme has been fundamental in exposing the youth to not only practical experience by attaching them to various companies, but also in availing them the opportunity to acquire both short and long term employment. At present, approximately 54 youths have volunteered as computer and tailoring instructors at the ministry’s multi-purpose resource centres in all the regions. They are paid an allowance of N$2000 per month with the hope of securing permanent employment once the vacant positions become available.
During the year under review, approximately ten youths undertook Certificates in Business and Office Management at Windhoek Vocational Centre. Some youths have been attached to the Windhoek Girls Pioneers School for a period of three weeks to pick up much needed experience, while other youths were attached to the Ministry of Youth National Service Sport and Culture.
The Ministry has also availed 26 youth volunteers at Berg Aukas Rural Development Programme to help cook at the hostel as well as ploughing and cleaning chores. They are paid a minimum allowance of N$1000.
Juvenile Justice Programme
In collaboration with the United Nations National Action Programme for Children this program is assisting the youth with family life empowerment. Through this programme, the ministry has appointed four social workers for the purpose of providing much needed professional assistance to youth in family set-ups. The Directorate has collaborated with the Ministry of Justice, Gender Equality and Child Welfare and Ministry of Veteran Affairs the areas of monitoring UN conventions on children, training in life skills, and assistance in children and women in difficult situations.
The following are the achievements for the year under review;
•In collaboration with Unesco the Training Project program carried out a rehabilitative training program through the Millennium Developmental Goal among the San Youths and other Vulnerable Children. It was piloted in the regions of Caprivi, Kavango, Omaheke and Ohangwena Regions:
•The training in the Caprivi region focused on tailoring, whereby ten young San girls’ trainees were taught the art of sewing. At the end of the training seven operational sewing machines were given to Katima Multi-Purpose Youth Resource Center (MPYRC) as start-up capital in the form of equipment for the trainees.
•In the Kavango region, ten youths were trained in agricultural production, and at the end of the training the trainees were given, goats, chicken, and seeds as start-up capital to proceed with the project in order to generate income.
•The focus of the training in Ohangwena was on handicraft or carving, and at the end of the training ten youths implemented beads, pliers, wires and handicrafts. The programme will ensure continued training to enable selling of products and generating income.
•The focus in Omaheke was on Carpentry, and Brick-making. 20 youths were involved. At the end of the training the youths produced bricks and carpentry products.
Youth Health Programme
The programme focuses on making young people become aware of their health status. The program avail mechanisms through which the youths can protect themselves from unnecessary teenage pregnancies and other preventable diseases:
In 2012, the ministry’s Registered- Nurse who is in charge of this program attended a conference on HIV/Aids in Johannesburg, South Africa, where she learnt about the different types of HIV, such as HIV 1, 2 and 3 and where these are most commonly found.
All Regional Youth Health officers attended an HIV/Aids Training of Trainers workshop in Otjiwarongo. The workshop focused on methods of preventing the spread of the pandemic among the youth.
After the aforementioned workshop, the Directorate carried out a supervisory visit to the Erongo region to youth clubs in Walvis Bay, Swakopmund, Usakos and Omaruru. The aim was to monitor and evaluate youth clubs established in 2012.
In the Kavango Region, the Directorate collaborated with UNFPA to stage sexual reproductive health workshops with the youth using a slogan, ‘MY ZONE’. Educational materials and booklets for distribution as information materials were printed at the workshop.
Since teenage pregnancy is the highest in the Kavango Region, the Directorate engaged the youth in debates focusing on teenage pregnancy which resulted in producing documentaries.
In collaboration with Namibia Planned Parenthood Association (NPPA) the Directorate opened a Youth Friendly Clinic at Outapi and Eehnana Multi-Purpose Youth Resource Center in 2012
Youth Skills Training Programme
The programme consist of three skills training centres namely, Kai//Ganaxab in Mariental, Berg Aukas in Grootfontein and Okahao Skills Training Centre in Okahao. The programme provides skills that would help students enter the job market or operate as entrepreneurs. The programme offers courses such as Horticulture, Agronomy, Food and Nutrition, Fashion and Design, Tailoring, Carpentry, Plumbing and Pipe-Fitting, Electrical and Hospitality. At the Multi-Purpose Centres, the Directorate offers six months courses in computer literacy and tailoring.
The following are the achievements under this program during the year under review:
•A total number of 120 students graduated at Kai//Ganaxab in various trades offered at the centre.
•A total number of 227 students obtained certificates for one year courses in various trades at Berg Aukas.
•35 students completed their skills training in various trades at Okahao centre.
Youth Employment Programme (Namibia Youth Credit Scheme)
The Namibia Youth Credit Scheme (NYCS) programme has succeeded in helping youth with start-up capital to establish their businesses. The scheme is for the youth and was modelled along the Commonwealth Secretariat micro-financing principle where the youth through Implementing Agencies are given small loans which they use in order to start up their businesses.
The programme with the help of Commonwealth started in the year 2005 and piloted for two years until the year 2007 when it matured and then was rolled out to all the regions. Before the youth are given loans they undergo business management training. The program resort under the MYNSSC as the main sponsor and lead agency and is overseen by a Management Advisory Board assisted by the Secretariat which is supervised by the Directorate of Youth Development.
The highlights and achievements are as follows:
•In 2012, 4690 loans were given to beneficiaries.
•5 917 youth from all the regions received training in Business Management
•Through training, 5 629 jobs were created in all the regions.
•3 886 youth enterprises were created in the country.
•The total loan fund disbursed amounted to N$9 536 360.
Youth Infrastructure Development
During the year under review, the Directorate constructed and renovated the following centres:
•In Caprivi Region, phase two of Katima Multi-Purpose Youth Resource Centre which consists of computer laboratory, library, tailoring room and youth friendly clinic was completed.
•Rundu Multi-Purpose Youth Resource Center, composed of administration block offices was completed and is operational.
•In Otjozondjupa Region Berg Aukas Skills Training Centre was opened with courses in Horticulture, Agronomy, Fashion and Design, Food and Nutrition, Carpentry, Animal Husbandry, and Computer courses.
•In Hardap Region, construction of four hostel blocks, plumbing and pipe fitting workshop and a kitchen is nearing completion at Kai//Ganaxab Skills Training Center.
•The Ministry has established 41 Multi-Purpose Youth Resource Centres and District offices across the 13 regions.
Integrated Rural Youth Development and Environmental Education Programs
The two aforementioned programmes have each rendered significant services to the youth in Khomas and Hardap regions.
The highlights and achievements in the process of youth empowerment
•In Dordabis, Khomas Region, and in collaboration with the Constituency Councillor and Ministry of Environment, the Directorate initiated a Culture Village. The project will make all tourists who visit the area understand the traditional outlook of the people in the area. The project has created a garden to help the youth generate income.
•The Directorate has established Small Scale Aqua-culture and mushroom farms in Uis and Usakos respectively.
•In Hardap region, the Directorate ran an Environmental Education Training Programme for regional youth officers. The training focused on the usage of environmental friendly methods when using solar-cookers. The solar-cookers were distributed to all the regions.
The Directorate intends to review most of its programmes in order to align them with the aims and objectives of the newly drawn five years Ministerial Strategic Plan for the period 2013/14 to 2017/18. It is also the Ministry’s desire to ensure that the programmes are not only aligned to the National Development Plans 4 (NDP4) but that they indeed highlight and enhance the latter and spirit of Vision 2030.
Juvenile Justice Programme
•To expand collaboration with O/M/As if possible in most regions.
•To establish a Counselling Unit which will be staffed by three social workers this year at head office, in order to provide counselling services to traumatised youth.
Youth Health Programme
•The Directorate intends to open in collaboration with NAPPA youth friendly clinics at Keetmanshoop, Walvis Bay, Rundu and if possible in Kunene and Berg Aukas this year.
•Youth clubs to be established in collaboration with UNFPA in Rundu, Ohangwena, Katima Mulilo, Walvis Bay and Karas Region.
•To promote HIV/Aids campaigns and Sexual Reproductive Health documentaries.
Skills Training and Agricultural Production
•Kai//Ganaxab in Mariental, Berg Aukas in Grootfontein and Okahao Skills Training Centre in Okahao will be relocated to National Youth Service (NYS) to increase the number of youth receiving relevant skills.
•To expand literacy computer program, tailoring and hospitality at all multi-purpose youth resource centres.
•Introduce and establish a Youth in Agriculture Programme at all Resource Centres in order to enable the youth to produce agricultural products that will result in sustainable economic growth and youth empowerment.
•Introduce short courses in watch and shoe repair as well as basket weaving at all youth skills training centres.
Namibia Youth Credit Scheme
•To increase the loan amount; and
•To align NYCS and the Credit Scheme for Youth in Business under the National Youth Council (NYC) in order to maximise financial resources.
Youth Infrastructure Development
•Construction of a multi-purpose youth resource centres in Gobabis will be completed this year.
•The construction of Opuwo Resource Centre will start this year.
•The feasibility study at Otjiwarongo Resources Centre will start this year.
•The renovations at Kahenge District office, Khorixas Multi-Purpose Youth Centre, Gobabis old Center, Opuwo old Centre and Berg Aukas Housing will be completed this financial year.
• Introduction of electronic bookings.
• Procurement of beds and beddings.
• Inside rooms renovations
• Depending on the availability of funds, purchasing of washing machines. PF