EMPOWERING more people with relevant skills to become self-employed and create employment for others should be the focus in the country.
Deputy Minister of Gender Equality, Poverty Eradication and Social Welfare Bernadette Jagger made the call during the graduation function of 15 unemployed young people under Project Hope and the Homestead Skills and Technical Education Academy at Ongula yaNetanga village of the Ohangwena Region’s Omulonga Constituency on Friday.
The 15 young people who graduated came from as far as the Oshikoto and Zambezi regions.
They completed a Project Hope-sponsored three-month training course in cloth production as well as tourism and hospitality that was facilitated by the Ongula yaNetanga village-based Homestead Skills and Technical Education Academy.
The group’s training was branded as DREAMs.
“My dear DREAMs graduates, you are fortunate and privileged to graduate from this programme. As you may know, there are many orphans and vulnerable children (OVC) and out of school youth waiting to be enrolled in programmes such as this one,” Jagger told the graduates.
She also reminded them that the journey ahead of them is critical, as they have to demonstrate and put their skills into practice by creating employment while some will obtain employment in the tourism and hospitality industry.
“However, this industry is unfortunately hard-hit by the COVID-19 pandemic,” noted Jagger.
The graduating class also learned that the Mokuti Etosha Lodge in the Oshikoto Region and Midgard Lodge in the Otjozondjupa Region sponsored employment attachment to three graduates each.
Jagger encouraged the graduates to apply for materials and equipment support through the Ministry’s Income Generating Activities (IGAs) Support Programme in order to create self-employment.
The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and Project Hope jointly provided technical and financial support to the Homestead Skills and Technical Education Academy training.