19 June 2017

Namibia: 243 Struggle Kids Graduate

Secretary to Cabinet George Simataa called on the "struggle kids" to join hands with government to find an amicable solution to their problems.

Simataa said this in a speech read on his behalf by poverty eradication permanent secretary I-Ben Nashandi at the graduation of the second intake of the 'struggle kids' at the Simon Mutumba training centre in the Zambezi region last week.

About 243 "struggle kids" completed the seven-months civic and vocational training course, and were immediately provided with jobs at various government institutions with effect from 1 July.

The Social Security Commission contributed N$11 million which has so far benefited 753 students.

"I call upon those children of the liberation struggle at the Ndilimani camp outside Windhoek to demobilise and join hands with government to assist them. Government has announced on several occasions that it is not going to deal with them while they are camped at various places in the country," he stated, adding that they should follow the right procedures and go to their regional governors' offices for verification and consideration.

Simataa said the "struggle kids" should consider themselves lucky that government has honoured its promise and continues to fund this training, in spite of the current financial crisis.

"While congratulating the graduates for their successful completion, I would like to inform you that you are doing so at a time when our country and the world at large are undergoing an economic downturn.

"Despite this situation, your caring government has made the necessary arrangements so that you can participate meaningfully in the socio-economic development of our country, and take our country to the next level of economic development," Simataa said.

He further noted that government had also honoured its promise that the "struggle kids" would be provided with jobs after completing their training.

"You may recall that government gave an understanding to assist you in finding jobs upon the completion of your training here at Simon Mutumba, which is the commencement of your academic life. The government has honoured that promise, and all of you will receive your appointment letters today."

Deputy youth minister Agnes Tjongarero said the "struggle kids" commitment is not only commendable, but will also help to decrease the unemployment rate.

Tjongarero added that the ministry has been dealing with issues pertaining to the "children of the liberation struggle" for the past 10 years to find the best solutions.

The ministry has created a database to identify individuals for employment and other opportunities. That database has 10 500 names, and helps government to create programmes and projects that address the challenges the youth face, she said.

Tjongarero said government is also mindful of the plight of all youth and vulnerable groups in Namibia, and had therefore decided to take a bold decision to create a special programme to minimise the challenges faced by the struggle kids,

"It was deemed necessary to impart skills to equip the young people for the job market, and to expose them to life's norms and work ethics.

"In this context, a training programme was conceived covering two components, namely civic training and skills training. Civic training is a premeditated process deliberately intended to position you to face challenges head-on throughout your lives," she noted.

She thus requested all "struggle kids" born in exile and those who were already in exile and were less than 18 years at Namibia's independence on 21 March 1990 to go to regional youth offices for verification processes.

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