Tsumeb- The exchange programme between Falun in Sweden and Tsumeb to share and exchange ideas on how to deal with social ills, such as unemployment, school dropouts and the abuse of alcohol and drugs, is said to be yielding positive results, according to visiting Swedish youths.
A delegation of four Swedish youth advocates from the copper-mining town of Falan’s Youth Centre Ungdomsslussen, were in Tsumeb recently as part of the exchange programme to help local youth to start a business and plan for the future.
Tsumeb and Falan in Sweden have a five-year agreement through which they hope to address the challenges and improve in areas where they are lacking.
“Our aim is to listen to their problems and see how we can assist and provide solutions, considering we are all from copper towns, therefore we are experiencing similar problems. That’s why we need each other,” said Kalle Strand, who noted that this was his third visit to Tsumeb as part the exchange programme between the two towns.
The programme does not only cater for young people, but includes councillors and municipal officials.
“In the beginning people were not understanding and were unwilling to share their problems and learn,” Strand added.
“We’re working on two levels, which is youth counseling and officers. Youth counseling basically deals with the youth, while officers refers to a higher level, where chief executive officers visit each other to share ideas on how they can improve governance,” Strand explained.
One of the youth advocates in Tsumeb, Chantel Kamehozu, who has also benefited from the programme, described it as a success, as the youth have realised that they face similar challenges and terrain and thus concerted efforts are needed to create real solutions.
“I hope by the end of the five-year twinning agreement solutions will have been found and tangile results will have been attained,” said a hopeful Kamehozu, who visited Sweden two months ago.
A group of youth from Tsumeb, who are yet to be chosen, will travel to Sweden later this month as part of the exchange programme.