WINDHOEK – The founder and director of Aili Catering and Training Services, Aili Venonya, at the Ombili Community Centre, believes Namibians will only be able to escape poverty by acquiring relevant skills to make them independent and self-sustaining.
Venonya said the main objective of the training programmes is to reduce unemployment; to provide trainees with relevant skills and to enable them to become self-employed.
The centre offers 12-month diploma and 6-month certificate qualifications in general customer service and also trains waiters and waitresses, who are taught skills in meat processing and housekeeping, as well as hospitality in general.
Venonya said last week that 80 students are currently registered with the centre and each one of them pays N$400 per month, which is not enough to cater to all their needs.
“Due to limited resources and funds we are unable to reach all corners of the country to expand our training centres,” she said. Venonya says they have been receiving calls by prospective students from as far as the Kavango and Zambezi regions, but due to the lack of finances they are unable to accommodate them all. She wants the government to render some assistance and to work closely with the centre in all aspects of the training programmes it offers and to identify larger training venues in the various regions of the country.
She plans to register all the training programmes offered at the centre with the Namibian Qualifications Authority (NQA) for accreditation as soon as funds become available. “At the moment I can’t because we lack the machinery that will enable us to qualify for NQA accreditation,” she added. She further called on Namibians with skills in different fields to come up with initiatives to train fellow Namibians, as it will assist the government in combatting unemployment and ultimately to contribute to the growth of the economy. “This will also help government achieve the much anticipated Vision 2030,” she said. Aili Catering and Training Services was founded in 2010. It started with 45 trainees and to date they have graduated close to 600 trainees, who are employed in various retail shops around the country, including the Okonguari Rehabilitation Centre in the Otjozondjupa Region.
Venonya suggests requests retailers where most of her trainees go for job attachments to provide them with transportation, since most cannot afford public transport fares. “Most of the student we train here are based in informal settlements were the masses of our people are living in poverty. It is always difficult to send these people for job attachments, because they cannot afford daily transport costs to and from work which is an important source of practical skills for our students,” she explained.
By Kuzeeko Tjitemisa