Oshakati — At least 122 young men and women graduated in various courses offered by the Women's Action for Development (WAD), an organization that imparts skills mainly to women.
The graduation ceremony, which took place at the Omahenene Training Centre, saw a number of young people receiving certificates in short courses such as computer literacy, hospitality, tailoring, aspects of the Namibian constitution and the contents of gender-related laws.
According to the Executive Director of WAD, Veronica de Klerk, the centre has served as a "catchment" for school-leavers and school dropouts.
Since its establishment in 1994, WAD has trained over 5 000 unemployed young people in various subjects to become self-employed and 68 percent of the youths have already found jobs, while others run their own income-generating ventures, according to De Klerk.
"I am particularly proud of what the Omahenene Training Centre has achieved since it opened its doors during 1994. It is WAD's pride that this human development centre has, since its establishment, succeeded in giving hope and opening windows of opportunity to thousands of young people," she said.
The Deputy Minister of Gender Equality and Child Welfare, Angelika Muharukua, who was the guest speaker at the graduation, applauded WAD for complementing government efforts towards the socio-economic development and social upliftment of the Namibian people, especially the most disadvantaged citizens who live in the far remote areas of the country.
"I am glad to see that WAD is working towards addressing the challenges facing women, especially in the rural areas by empowering them with knowledge in order for them to embark upon income-generating projects, to reduce their dependency on their male counterparts," said Muharukua.
"WAD alone cannot address this challenge, so my request is for other NGO's, private sector actors and parastatals to complement the government's efforts to alleviate poverty and unemployment," said Muharukua.
According to Muharukua, the WAD initiative should be viewed as a mechanism to reduce poverty through employment creation, as well as investing in knowledge and skills development. She said although WAD focuses primarily on women, the project is also male-friendly, judging by the fact that many males have benefited from various projects of the organization over the years.