German embassy supports deaf youth

By Confidente Reporter

THE German Embassy has supported the Namibian National Association of the Deaf (NNAD) in Windhoek, to offer workshops in developing responsive strategies to address Gender Based Violence (GBV) among the deaf community during Covid-19.

A total of EUR2 268 (about N$44 646) from the macro project fund of the embassy was made available to implement three workshops for members of the deaf community. The workshops are aimed at educating the deaf youth on GBV and to empower them by improving their knowledge on their rights and providing them with useful information on where to seek help in regards to GBV related incidents.

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By offering these workshops to deaf youth they in turn can act as multipliers and provide help and support in their own environment whenever the need arises.

Amongst participants were also educators who will use the knowledge gained in their teaching.

During a visit to one of the workshops, Graziella Titus from the German Embassy had the opportunity to interact with some of the participants as well as with the director of NNAD Linekela Paul Nanyeni through the assistance of a sign-language interpreter as a way of communicating.

Speaking during the visit by Titus, Nanyeni said, “The participants feel empowered and this will help them gain valuable skills, which in return will be shared among those who could not attend the workshops. This will spread and raise awareness about GBV among the deaf community. Our hope is that more funds will be availed for these types of workshops to empower the deaf and make Namibia a safer place, especially for the deaf young girls and women.

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Solomon Nambandja, a 31-year-old male sign language instructor with NNAD expressed his gratitude.

“This is the first time that the deaf youth are being addressed or educated about this topic (GBV). The deaf youth needs to be more educated on gender equality in order to prevent men from turning to violence, so that we achieve gender equality that will ultimately eliminate GBV. My aim is to lead by example through good behaviour and being more loving towards other people,” he said.

Aina Mwalya, a 29-year-old student at the International University of Management (IUM) studying Financial Management was equally happy to be one of the participants.

“I am here to learn more about basic human rights, and especially about the convention of the rights of persons with disabilities adopted by the United Nations in 2006,” she said.

NNAD was established in 1991 and is registered with the Ministry of Health and Social Services as a welfare organisation and it is therefore committed to advocating for equal rights and opportunities for all deaf children and adults in the country.