13 February 2018

Namibia: Ministry Unable to Sustain Youth Projects

Ongwediva — The Ministry of Youth, National Service, Sport and Culture is unable to fund youth projects in nine regions despite equipping young people with project management skills at the start of last year.

Youths who attained vocational qualifications at the National Youth Service (NYS) and other vocational training centres were trained by the ministry to enable them to set up projects in their constituencies.

They were expected to set up gardening projects, orchards, bakeries, poultry farming and welding and fabrication, with the prime purpose of creating employment for those who received training and fellow youths in their respective communities.

Although the money was already supposed to have been disbursed by last April, nothing has been received to date.

"Every time we enquire we are told the money will be sent through the next week and that has been the trend until today," related one of the youths who received vocational training.

Apart from that another one blamed the ministry for not opening up accounts for youth funding on time.

"But once the accounts were in place in all the regions, the money was still not coming forth," he related.

Youths were in unison saying they were mandated to set up accounts with the bank as well as locate places for their businesses.

However, what frustrates them the most is that they were also told not to leave their respective towns since last year as the projects could start at any time.

"Until when are we going to keep waiting and losing out on other opportunities?" questioned another youth who like the others also requested anonymity.

"It's going to be a year now that we are not employed. If there are no funds, the ministry should come out and tell us to go and look for jobs instead of sitting at home," said one of the trainees.

Efforts to get comment from the ministry proved futile.

The Windhoek Observer this week reported that over 600 trainees at the NYS Rietfontein training centre were asked to stay home for an extended period because there is no money to cater for their food, books, uniform and other necessities.


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