Some protesting struggle kids have diplomas

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Windhoek

The new group of ‘struggle kids’ that has set up camp in Katutura believes government should provide them
with jobs on the basis of their qualifications. Some in the group have diplomas in office administration, certificates in clothing production, aviation security, cooking and nutrition, as well as in joinery and carpentry.

Others have diplomas in finance and banking, certificates in plumbing and pipefitting, hospitality, cooking and stock-control. During a visit to the camp opposite the Swapo Headquarters, group leader Emilia Angula shared this information with New Era, while updating the group registration list, as new members continue coming to
the site. The list is continuously updated in anticipation that any ministry may come and ask for their qualifications.
About two weeks ago the new group of 84 arrived at the Swapo headquarters demanding government employment after failing to secure jobs following the initial registration of the so-called struggle kids in 2008. Their number had spiked to 347 by Monday morning.

Group members from different regions have put up tents, while some made structures out of thick black plastic sheets. Angula, who listed the members according to their level of education, said there are people with Grade 9, 10 and 12 certificates, as well as other qualifications, such as a driver’s license.

She said they are not demanding specific jobs, but would accept any job the government offers them, while emphasising that they hope for the government and president’s urgent intervention in their plight. While she is going through the list Helmi Stefanus Nandjamba hands her identity document in to be registered. Nandjamba
is a final-year student at the Institute of Banking. “I go to school from here,” she says.

“Although I’m studying, I might not get a job after graduating. That’s why I’m here camping,” Nandjamba said, adding that she was fortunate to obtain a study loan. Angula further said within the group there are 11 who are expectant mothers and people living with disabilities. There are also at least 11 who have tax certificates from the
Ministry of Finance.

Asked what they do on a daily basis, Angula said they wake up at 04h00 in the morning and have a roll call to note those present, absent or sick. “After that we sing and pray. We then allow students to go to school and others to go look for jobs.” They have another roll call at the end of the day before going to bed.

The group gets water from Katutura police station and recently received a food donation from a businessman in the vicinity. The group has thus far had one meeting with the Deputy Minister of Safety and Security, Daniel Kashikola, an official from the Ministry of Youth, Sport and National Service, Patrick Haingura, and Benita Nakaambo from the Namibian Exile Kids Association (Neka).

Angula said they told the officials that they do not intend to leave until they get official letters of appointment.

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