Lobatse — Youth Alive Foundation (YAF) and Expose Group Works Trust have embarked on a project aimed at finding solution to the challenges facing young people in Botswana.
The project titled Botswana Youth Tour was kick-started on Friday in Lobatse with a workshop for young people to share their experiences and challenges, using the tag line; My roots, my story'.
YAF programmes director, Mr Bakang Keitumetse explained that the tour would cover all the 10 districts in Botswana.
Mr Keitumetse said they would use the tour to undertake a needs assessment drive to collect data from young people on challenges they were faced with in business and professional development.
"This national consultative project shall collect data on challenges young people are faced with and use them to help in modelling of programmes and policies specifically tailored for their locations. In the long run this data shall inform the development of the village development fund master plan," Mr Keitumetse said.
He said they aimed to educate young people on personal understanding, self-development and also help to equip them with life skills.
Furthermore, he pointed that they wanted to involve communities and their leaders to build a society which was socially well and raise a generation which would have a positive impact.
Mr Keitumetse said the reason why they would be touring every district was because challenges faced by youth differed. He therefore said they wanted to have clear understanding of challenges before developing policies to address those challenges.
"Through our tour with Expose Group Works we want to understand the challenges facing the youth. This include mental health which continues to be the challenge for youth in our communities. We have many suicide cases happening. There is also the challenge of high rate of unemployment," he said.
Mr Keitumetse said they would conduct further tours in Kanye and Palapye this year, before continuing to other districts next year.
Speaking during the workshop, Ms Goitsemang Morekisi from Office of the President said the tour should be supported by all government agencies because it was in line with some policies being pursued by government on youth empowerment.
"They have told us what their objectives are and what they are going to do. And we are happy because we realize that this is in line with a lot of policies and programmes that we are coordinating. Therefore we realized that a lot of our programmes need a bit of catalyst and this might be the catalyst that we are looking for," said Ms Morekisi.
She said for young people to come out and say they wanted to help build the society was something worth supporting.
During the workshop, young people in Lobatse were sensitised through a panel discussion about various business opportunities available to them in town in different sectors of the economy.
One of the panelists Mr Lucky Koama, who is member of the Lobatse Business Advisory Committee, advised Lobatse youth to position themselves to participate in business value chain for major projects that would take place in the town such as Milk Africa and the Leather Industry Park.
Source : BOPA