Windhoek – The streets of Katutura from Independence Avenue near Pick n Pay up to the Red Flag Commando Hall nearly came to a standstill on Saturday morning for about an hour.
Not because of any disturbance but both pedestrians and motorists slowed down to watch the spectre that was unfolding and to provide it with the passage of right and freedom. The HANO Youth Foundation led a march from Pick n Pay in Independence Avenue to the Red Flag Commando Hall to sensitise the community in the surroundings on the evil of gender-based violence (GBV), which has seen little signs of subsiding.
Joining the march, among others, were the Deputy Minister of Gender Equality and Child Welfare, Lucia Witbooi; presidential advisor on youth matters, Daisry Mathias; HANO board member, Isaack Kaulinge; HANO patron, Dr Hoze Riruako. The march that was preceded by an evening of choiring the previous night at the commando hall, culminated on Saturday morning in a strategic planning meeting which brought together representatives from the 14 branches of HANO countrywide.
Ten years old now, HANO’s tale may not as yet be one of rags to riches but surely one from humble beginnings to where it is today a household name, with branches even in Canada, where it has just made history as the first Canadian registered foreign non-profit organisation.
Other countries where the foundation boasts a presence are Botswana, Kenya and the United Kingdom (UK). “Exporting indigenous knowledge and raising the HANO profile so that it starts to feature in worldwide television news networks like the BBC,” one of the founders of HANO, Nokii Kaapehi, envisions the journey ahead for the youth organisation.
Joining him in retracing its achievements hitherto, Riruako, says definitely HANO is 85 percent away from where it was ten years ago when it was established when facing major challenges like lack of necessary equipment and infrastructure; lack of office space; lack of finances; lack of requisite skills; lack of a trust account; and lack of bookkeeping skills. Riruako is confident that HANO has overcome 85 percent of all these deficits. But points out one area that it needs to work on, but in which a start has already been made, is the right demographic balance so that in the words of President Hage Geingob of a Namibian House, no one is left out.
Mathias says she is encouraged by HANO’s steadfastness and drive towards the development of the youth, confirming the government’s resolve that none in the Namibian House should be left out. She adds that the government’s determination is for the youth to prosper and develop and this should not happen without the active participation of the youths themselves. The vehicle for this is none other than the Harambee Prosperity Plan (HPP) which she characterises as the road map for the eradication of poverty. Although initially it has been given a four-year time frame, HPP has been anchored on five pillars and these five pillars are here to stay.