The youth at the small settlement of Kosis in the Berseba Constituency want government to empower them with knowledge and skills to enable them to generate income for themselves.
Many of the youth at the settlement are Grade 10 and 12 dropouts, who mainly end up sitting at home waiting on their parents or grandparents to provide them with food and other basic needs. In some cases the elderly, who depend on government grants of N$1 100 a month, have to take care of the unemployed youth’s children too, using the grants meant for pensioners.
Kosis resident and community activist Anna Josef says the situation is worrisome and has become a huge burden for many pensioners, who must not only provide for the youth, but also live in fear, as some youth take away the little the elders get from the government and spend it on liquor.
Some of the youth New Era spoke to indicated that many of them have no choice but stay at home with their parents after failing their respective grades, saying they won’t be accepted anywhere with their low points, while jobs are hard to come by with the few points many obtained.
They thus feel the only way out for them is to be empowered with the necessary skills, so that they can do something with their hands, which will enable them to generate an income and become independent.
One of those optimistic youth is Beauty Swartbooi, 18, who first failed her Grade 10 in 2015 while schooling at Suiderlig High School. Subsequent attempts to improve on her subjects at Namcol last year were unsuccessful, as she again failed with a miserable 14 points, but she says if her love for needlework is nurtured, it can secure her an income.
She says she has a gift for dressmaking and her wish is to get further training, so that she can acquire a certificate or diploma that people can trust that she knows the work. “I’m really good with needlework and if government can help give me with further training then I can be able to stand on my own and make a living out of my talent,” she said.
Many youth also said they feel left out, as many of the training opportunities aimed for the youth are only offered in towns and rural youth are not catered for. Josef narrated to New Era that the youth are ready to do something with their lives and it is up to the necessary stakeholders to help.
She said during a meeting with Grade 10 and 12 school leavers yesterday, many of them indicated their willingness to start income-generating projects but complained that they lack the skills and equipment to do so. “They want government to provide them with the necessary skills and equipment to do projects, such as brick making,” she said.
She further said providing such opportunities will not only enable the youth at the settlement to make a living, but will also bring relief to their parents, whom they depend on. Josef added that empowering the youth will also reduce the scourge of alcohol and drug abuse in the area, which tend to proliferate as many young people at the settlement have nothing constructive do.