Rundu — The Namibia Development Foundation (NAMDEF), a non-profit organisation focusing on social upliftment of the disadvantaged communities, recently handed over a fully equipped office facility to the Khwe community in the Bwabwata area at Mutjiku village after a five-year successful project.
Mutjiku is a small settlement located in the Bwabwata National Park in Kavango East.
NAMDEF brought the upliftment project to Bwabwata where the Khwe people live, with the aim to provide training in forklifting, driving, basic computer skills, basic bookkeeping and public relations.
Sixty-four youths received a driving licence course, 36 acquired their driving licences while 28 received their learner's licence. Another 38 participants received training in computers, customer care, organisational behaviour, CV and job application writing skills.
The Governor for Kavango East region, Dr Samuel Mbambo, commended NAMDEF and Hunt-Africa for their dedicated attempts to assist others, especially the needy and vulnerable persons in the country.
"I say don't tire; continue to reach out even in other worthy projects to come," stressed Mbambo.
Capacity building is a critical issue in Namibia, the Chairperson for NAMDEF Jerry Muadinohamba stated the Bwabwata Upliftment Project focussed on providing career counselling and exploration, mentoring, pre-employment skills training and job placement to the Khwe in Bwabwata West National Park.
"NAMDEF managed to secure employment for most of its beneficiaries in different institutions such as Namport, Namibia Police [Force] (Nampol), IRDC (Integrated Rural Development Nature Conservancy), Kyaramacan, NDF, Hunt-Africa, Social Security [Commission], community nursing and some became self-employed," Muadinohamba added.
Mbambo thanked the Social Security Commission (SSC) for its contribution and encouraged the institution to continue providing funding to empower unemployed Namibians throughout the country.
The Social Security Commission, through its development fund, availed N$1.5 million towards the project activities, which were to be administered by NAMDEF.
The SSC Development Fund was established in terms of Section 37 of the Social Security Act No. 34 of 1994, with one of the aims being to conduct training and employment schemes.
SSC General Manager for Business Development, Nambata Angula, said: "The main objective of the development agency under this agreement was to increase 50 San youths to employment through placement with potential employers. NAMDEF has successfully and diligently implemented the funded project activities," added Angula.
One of the beneficiaries commended NAMDEF for the support and encouraged other institutions to come on board to support the San communities.
The Khwe-San rely heavily on hunting and gathering, however, due to the proclamation of the Bwabwata conservancy in 2007, they were restricted from entering the veld to collect wild fruits and to hunt wild animals. This has forced Khwe-San to depend heavily on government for food. In the Kavango East region, the majority of the San are found in the Mukwe constituency, in villages such as Mushangala 1, Mushangala 2, Mushashani, Mwitjiku and Omega One.
*Tangeni Nahweka is an intern information officer at the Ministry of Information and Technology based in Rundu in Kavango East.