By Anna Ingwafa
Ninety-five students trained by Women Action for Development (WAD) graduated in various areas of specialization at a recent WAD field day at Eenhana in Ohangwena Region.
Students were trained in Basic Computer Literacy, Office Administration and Typing, Gardening and Brick Production, Effective Project Management and Bookkeeping and Catering, Nutrition and Hygiene.
WAD Executive Director Veronica de Klerk congratulated the graduates, narrating that the achievements by these students will be a source of great inspiration to other unemployed people to come forward as well to empower themselves and prepare to take up employment in the labour market, leadership roles or engage in income-generation projects.
She assured that WAD would not leave out any single part of the country. It would run training programmes all over the country.
“It is our sincere desire to develop all our youth and in particular those who are unemployed with few marketable skills in order to make them employable for the labour market. From the outset, we however wish to establish the mindset of self-employment as a means of sustaining yourselves and creating wealth.”
She called on the youth to nurture the entrepreneurial spirit because it is a prerequisite to making the ideals of Vision 2030 a reality.
The entrepreneurial spirit will cripple the external forces like donors.
According to De Klerk, the youth should turn their focus onto themselves to determine how much they can do for themselves to alleviate their marginalization and poverty.
De Klerk cautioned the youths not to waste their resources but to emulate entrepreneurs like Dr Aupa Indongo.
“It is so easy to squander all your hard-earned resources on friends and on an expensive life-style aimed at impressing your friends. The irony is that those whom you try to impress, usually regard you as very generous, but in the end they will also regard you as a person without vision, because they know that you will not make it in the future,” she warns.
She also cautioned that although there are many challenges in the country, none of them can be realized unless the inhabitants of Namibia maintain an atmosphere of peaceful co-existence within the development goals of government, the non-governmental organisations (NGO) fraternity and the private sector.
“Disharmony among people of a country is a major distracter, and can cause the gains of our hard-won independence to be lost. It can throw a country into a tailspin with no progress and only bitterness as a result.
“The people of our country should never allow themselves to be entrapped in the type of conflict we see happening in our neighbouring countries, where scores of vulnerable women and children are traumatized and losing their lives,” said De Klerk.
She called on the Government to timeously respond to the concerns voiced by the people in the retail business sector against an increasing inflow of foreigners who are taking away business from small business people to avoid a build-up of emotions which can destructively explode if not satisfactorily
De Klerk stressed that there are a number of lessons to be learned from the detrimental spillover of emotions of the youths and xenophobic attacks on foreigners in neighbouring South Africa.
“We should never allow such serious unrest to happen here in our peaceful country. We should actively guard our peace and ensure that open communication channels exist between people at grassroots level and Government. Such should be a sensitive barometer of the true feeling of the poor at grassroots level and our decision-makers should in good time answer to their concerns with timeous decisions to avoid unnecessary tension from building up to the point of violent overflow.”
De Klerk continued: “Once the violence has erupted, it generates a momentum which is difficult to control.”
To this effect, she called on Namibians to be positive, forward-looking and ready to build the country on a foundation where peaceful co-existence prevails.
She concluded that WAD is serious about development in the country and it has actively started a process of establishing “community voice” bodies in all regions with financial assistance from donor agencies, that will work in partnership with regional councils and local authorities in order to fast-track development.
The field day was sponsored by Old Mutual Namibia and Nedbank Namibia who collectively sponsored five of the WAD field days this year across the country to the tune of N$70 000.