The Inaugural Namibia Youth Awards, aims at valuing young people for their contribution to their own development and to recognise and celebrate young progressive leaders in Namibia who are driving change towards a more socially, economically and environmentally just society.
The awards is one of the highlights at this year’s Youth Week. The awards will be given in fifteen categories with considerations to increase or decrease the categories after this year’s lessons. Another highlight includes the Launch of Act of Random Kindness and Flash Mobs to inspire a kindness epidemic in the society. The goal is to reach 10,000 people with acts of random kindness. ARK cards will be designed printed and distributed. Those who commit ARKs will take pictures with their beneficiaries and upload those tagging NYC social pages. “We are equally delighted to be launching the Acts of Random Kindness initiative, the mission is to inspire an epidemic of kindness in our society. This is based on the belief that one act of kindness, no matter how small, has the potential to change the world. After performing an Act of Random Kindness, we encourage ‘ARKers’ to leave behind an ARK card, which urges the recipient to pay it forward. This sets off a chain reaction and creates a cycle of kindness that impacts people we may even never meet again,” says Thaddeus Shigwedha of the National Youth Council (NYC) of Namibia.
The week-long event in celebration of young people takes place on April 25- 30 April. To be hosted under the theme Celebrating cultural diversity as a foundation for noble leadership and humankind cohesion, the event is a joint initiative of the line ministries, youth development entities and the private sector. Each year, events are planned and organised to celebrate and recognise the contribution of young people and to give them the opportunity to express their ideas and views and to act on issues affecting their lives. Shigwedha says given the culturally diverse nature of the country, there is a need to foster a spirit of national identity, a sense of patriotism, unity, self-respect, and in depth awareness of social and cultural prospects among the Namibian youth. Shigwedha adds that the theme also promotes humankind cohesion which is the sense of being human.
“Our random acts of kindness will resemble the famous saying of Umuntu ngumuntu ngabantu, which expresses a profound truth embedded deep within the core of traditional Namibian values. A person is a person because of people,” says Shigwedha. He adds that due to budgetary constraints, the annual event will not be decentralized. “We treasure capacity building and we see it’s important to gather all regions together to learn from each other on how to best host the Youth Week going forward.”
There will also be a parade including regional delegates and the public in general dressed in different cultural attires. The parade will be done prior to the official opening of Youth Week on April 27 with military bands, police, and all uniformed services part of it. There will also be youth dialogues on youth development matters, cultural awareness raising through screening cultural documentaries as well as storytelling. These are aimed at gathering young people together to show them a documentary relevant to the country and its cultures. The dialogues will be held in form of Technology, Entertainment, Design (TED) talks, around fire sessions and panel discussions on the theme and promoting the culture of giving and cultural tolerance among Namibians.
Nominations for the Inaugural Namibia Youth Awards are still open and the NYC must receive entries on Monday, Aril 18 by 17H00 PM. Soft copy nomination forms are also available on request through firstname.lastname@example.org . Any Namibian may nominate any one they deem qualifies for the awards.
The official opening will take place at the Zoo Park and the parade will take place Independence Avenue, and the Youth award will take place at the Windhoek Country Club and the sports activities at the Katutura Complex.