Training Targets Helping Orphans and Vulnerable

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William J. Mbangula Oshakati The World Food Programme (WFP) and the Food and Agricultural Orga-nisation (FAO) are training agricultural extension officers here who will impart their knowledge and skills to orphans as a way to address food insecurity. The main focus of the training will be on the victims of HIVAIDS, more especially orphans and vulnerable children as a result of the effects of the dreaded pandemic. The training started on Monday, February 27. The 11-day Junior Farmer Field Life Schools Expansion Training of Trainers (JFFLS), funded by the Finnish Embassy and attended by participants from Oshana, Oshikoto, Ka-vango, Ohangwena, Kunene and Caprivi regions, is being held under the auspices of the Institute for Development and Empowerment in Africa (IDEA), under Imms Namaseb. Opening the training session, the Governor for Oshana region Clemens Kashuupulwa lauded the stakeholders for making an investment aimed at improving the living standards of orphans and vulnerable people. ” Investment in human development such as training of trainers in HIVAIDS awareness and prevention, agricultural production, gender sensitivity, child protection, sex education, nutritional education, business and life skills, are of strategic importance and self-sustaining. It will help reduce ignorance, poverty and hunger thereby empowering people to acquire the necessary knowledge and skills.” The Governor commended the sponsors and organisers of the training course because they are imparting knowledge and skills to disadvantaged communities, thus making them potential fighters against poverty, hunger, ignorance and disease. “People need skills and knowledge to improve their living standards. It is wrong to provide people with finished goods such as food, shelter, security and clothes. Give them knowledge and skills to get their own basic human needs,” the governor noted. In his view, the provision of food, clothing, housing and security to vulnerable groups is a short-term solution. He hailed the training of extension officers as an “ideal initiative” taken by the FAO and the WFP under the sponsorship of the Finnish Embassy. Such a noble idea, he added, should be emulated by the private sector and the public sector in particular. “This partnership of creating a friendly environment for AIDS orphaned children and other vulnerable people is the right way towards economic progress and social harmony in communities that are seriously affected by poverty, hunger, disease and ignorance.” According to Kashuupulwa, the partnership between the Government, the communities (civil society) and the international community is the only way out to empower AIDS orphaned and other vulnerable children to feel accepted. The course is being conduct-ed by IDEA Project Manager Kiwan Cato and also attended by FAO Programme Officer in Zambia Saskia Husken and the Gender and Sustainable Development Consultant at the FAO headquarters in Rome, Patricia Colbert.