Youth programme to prevent GBV

• By Staff Reporter

THE Ministry of Sports, Youth and National Services (MSYNS) together with the U.S. government last week launched a new programme to provide better services to adolescent girls and young women and their male partners to prevent gender-based violence and HIV.

The project agreement, worth N$5.4 million, was signed by the director-general of the National Planning Commission, Obeth Kandjoze, the Minister of Sports Agnes Tjongarero, and Andrew Karas, United States Agency of International Development (USAID) regional mission director for Southern Africa.

“USAID’s first government-to-government agreement in Namibia will strengthen the youth ministry’s capacity to prevent gender-based violence and HIV infection among young Namibians through social behaviour change and economic empowerment programmes,” said Karas.

The project is aligned with the Determined, Resilient, Empowered, AIDS-Free, Mentored and Safe (DREAMS) programme and is funded by the U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR).

In this partnership, the ministry will focus on out-of-school youths between the ages of 16 and 24, with specific focus on adolescent girls and their male partners.

The project will provide training in financial literacy and life skills, and information on sexual reproductive health, and GBV prevention.

“These services will empower young Namibians to make informed decisions based on their rights and also reduce incidents of sexual exploitation due to poverty,” highlighted USAID Namibia representative, McDonald Homer.

Key to the project’s sustainability is strengthening youth officer capacity at regional multi-purpose youth resource centres and MSYNS offices who will implement the activities and provide training on the ground.