Youth unemployment, teenage pregnancy, lack of intellectual property rights, poverty, and the absence of San languages in the school curriculum are some of the challenges the San youth face on a daily basis.
In particular, the language barrier at lower primary level contributes to the decline of San languages in Namibia, says Disco Kokie, one of the San youth from Omega 1 in Kavango East Region who was present during the launch of a new booklet, called ‘Inspirational Stories for San Youth by Role Models from San Communities’ at the Centre for Global Education in Windhoek.
The production of the booklet was an initiative of the //Ana-Djeh San Trust. It features seven short inspirational stories by San youth and a community leader from various San communities in Namibia and Botswana.
“This booklet aims to motivate San youths to complete their education and aspire to professional careers,” says Kileni Fernando, co-founder of //Ana-Djeh San Trust. She adds that the //Ana-Djeh San Trust was established in 2014 to promote access by San youth to all levels of education and to motivate San learners to complete their formal education.
The launch was attended by nine San youth from across Namibia, who had participated in a workshop facilitated by the Alternatives to Violence Project, which teaches skills in communication and peaceful conflict resolution.
Walters encouraged the San youth present to have self-confidence and to “never stop dreaming” saying it is the only thing that can take one far.
//Ana-Djeh San Trust chairperson Tertu Fernandu said: “Yes, it is true we have all these negative things happening around us, but let me educate you about San people. We are known as hunters and gathers. We are entrepreneurs, good leaders, master trackers and much more!”
She adds: “Some of us here today are wondering how our lives are going to turn out. It is OK to wonder, but I also think it is important to realise that our future is not just something that happens to us. It is up to us to create.”