Oshakati – The United States Government together with the Ministry of Sport, Youth and National Service (MSYNS) handed over business startup kits to 55 out-of-school adolescent girls and young women (AGYW) in Oshakati, Oshana Region. The recipients took part in Economic Strengthening training with funding from the U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) through the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and are now planning to start their own businesses ranging from poultry farming and bakery to horticulture and hair salons.
“The equipment in these startup kits will assist you to get your businesses up and running,” said USAID Country Representative McDonald Homer to the graduates at the handover ceremony. “Education and economic self-reliance are key to a better life as they help reduce vulnerability to HIV and empower Adolescent Girls and Young Women to be resilient and be in a position to sustain themselves.” This Government-to-Government (G2G) project with a budget of US$375,000 (N$7 million) implements programs to prevent HIV/AIDS among adolescent girls and young women in Namibia. Speaking at the same occasion, Hon. Agnes Tjongarero, Minister of the Ministry of Sport, Youth and National Service indicated that: “PEPFAR, USAID and other U.S. agencies in Namibia are representatives of the American people, therefore, let us applaud the people of America that enabled this donation of equipment to Namibian youth through their generosity”. The initiative also strengthens the capacity of MSYNS to provide tailor-made services to out-of-school girls and their male partners, specifically in comprehensive life skills training, health education, and economic empowerment. Youth Officers have been trained to provide training in Sexual and Gender Based Violence (SGBV) and Economic Strengthening in all the 14 regions of the country.
Vulnerable adolescent girls and young women who are motivated to be entrepreneurs and have a strong viable business idea are selected for additional financial and entrepreneurship training to start their own businesses.
The United States Government through USAID has been supporting Namibia since independence, specifically in the health, education, economic, energy, and environment sectors and since 2005 through PEPFAR for HIV/TB Prevention and Treatment.