‘4H Namibia’ Cleaning the Country

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By Surihe Gaomas WINDHOEK Instilling a culture of keeping your environment clean from a young age will in turn create responsible adults who will be keen to keep the status quo of having a cleaner and safer environment in future. This is the spirit with which hundreds of children from as young as six years could be seen with black plastic bags collecting all kinds of litter around Beukes Spar Supermarket in Khomasdal on Saturday morning. The Clean-Up Campaign is spearheaded by a child and youth entrepreneurial skills training project called ‘4H Namibia’ that caters for young people between the ages of six and 25. Currently there are between 3 000 and 4 000 children in this youth project. Ever since its inception in 2001, 4H Namibia has been geared towards encouraging young people to start their own small-scale income generating activities with the main emphasis on capacity-building workshops and bookkeeping. These activities are also part of their vision statement to instil a strong entrepreneurial spirit of self-reliance and improving their quality of life. Currently, it only caters for youth in the Khomas, Omaheke and Otjozondjupa regions, but plans are underway to spread their activities to other parts of the country. National director of the project, Gerold Witbooi, said that with motto “Learning By Doing – 4H is Fun” the school learners are advised to engage in productive activities, plant at least one tree a year and take part in 4H events. To put it simply. ‘4H’ means: Head for thinking, Hands for doing, Heart for feelings and Health for living. The essence of the day is for young people to keep their environment clean, which falls well in line with the City of Windhoek’s agenda of keeping Windhoek as the cleanest city in Africa. During an interview with New Era, Councillor Linnea Shaetonhodi said that the initiative by 4H Namibia is commendable, especially in terms of getting all young people involved in a noble venture like the clean-up campaign. “They say catch them young because it is very difficult to teach an elderly person if he or she is already acquainted with bad habits,” said Shaetonhodi, who had earlier delivered the keynote address at this event. She stressed that such an activity needs everyone’s helping hand to find solutions in solving problems of waste management, especially that of illegal dumping. “As Windhoek residents, we need to realise that we have a role to play by volunteering our participation in initiatives like this one, which will educate the residents at large about keeping a cleaner and safer environment for the City’s children to play in,” she said, urging the private sector as well as organisations and individuals alike to follow suit. The clean-up campaign by 4H Namibia is seen as a crucial awareness-raising exercise, while at the same time instilling a sense of pride in one’s own environment. This is the second clean-up campaign by the youth project, while the first one was held recently in Katutura Central. The next one is expected in the residential area of Okuryangava on October 23, followed by Havana Settlement in late November. The latest event was made possible with sponsorships from Namibia Breweries, Collect-A-Can and the City of Windhoek.

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