Namibia is a country with diversity not only in its resources but also in its people. There are 13 regions in the country. This creates disparity as well. Amongst not only the people but the youth led projects as well. The country’s focal point seems to be in the northern regions, mainly due to its population density, with lot of disregard to the other areas in the country. As a result I have decided to move away from the northern regions and its youth led activism and focus on the eastern parts of the country.
There has been several youth led projects country wide, mostly in the forms of NGO, Volunteering and mentorship programs. This paper’s focus will be mainly on the eastern Regions, namely Omaheke region in Namibia, due to time constraints and the authors familiarity with the area already.
There are currently several youth led, youth targeted project running in the Omaheke regions, these are in various forms as indicated below.
- SUCCESSES OF YOUTH LED ACTIVISM
2.1 Examples of youth led activism in the Omaheke Region:
The omaheke radio: Caters for the needs of the youth in the area by disseminating information regarding the development of youth opportunities, projects to benefit of the development of the youth, the radio station is also youth led.
Ounongo Technologies: Helps with the involvement of the youth in technological developments. They assist the youth with computer literacy and business literacy in the town of Gobabis and surrounding areas.
Otjifarmers corporatives: A farming corporative that assist the youthful farmer, in most areas, whether it is soliciting loans for the benefit of farmers, advice on farming and organize livestock auctions and negotiate rates and so forth.
Vkav Life coaching and Holistic Wellness: These are coaching services that deals with young people and address specific personal needs of the youthful client, depending on the phase that the client is going through and the specific needs of the client.
The examples are all you led activism to the benefit of the exposed youth, but what about the youth, that don’t receive the necessary exposure, that are herding flocks of sheep of the farmer, and that are on drugs since the age of 10. These are amongst the challenges we face especially in our country.
- CHALLENGES FACED BY YOUTH ACTIVISM
I have worked now in 5 major towns in Namibia, Including the northern parts of the country and am of the opinion that the challenges faced are as a result of social ills in the country, these include, drug and alcohol abuse, teenage pregnancies, lack of education, domestic violence and HIV/Aids. These are but a few, as the issues are tangled.
The need for ongoing youth led activism is increasing due to the levels of challenges to the youth of today. HIV/AIDS seems to be the amongst social ills in Namibia that decreases the participation of youth in the development of the country. The need for HIV/AIDS awareness cannot be over emphasized in Namibia, as the country is ranked amongst the highest in HIV infection rates. However there seems to be a need to move away from creating awareness mainly targeted at HIV/AIDs and rather moving to a holistic approach of an individual and taking care of their specific needs. Although this cannot be done in campaigns and outreach programs, this can be encouraged through mentorship programs in the various districts targeting an individual’s needs. In doing so Hiv/aid, drug and alcohol abuse, teenage pregnancies and peer pressure and the likes are dealt with looking at an individual’s needs.