United States Supports Youth Ministry to Boost Services for Adolescents and Young Women

Proudly presenting the signed agreement (from L to R): Hon. Agnes Tjongarero, Min of Sports, Youth & National Service, Hon. Obeth Kandjoze, Director General of the NPC, & Mr. Andrew Karas, Regional USAID Mission Director for Southern Africa. Photo Credit: Ralph Hofelein

Windhoek – The U.S. government and Namibia’s Ministry of Sports, Youth and National Services (MSYNS) launched today a new program 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, Hon. Obeth Kandjoze, the Minister of Sports, Youth and National Services, Hon. Agnes Tjongarero, and Mr. 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 behavior change and economic empowerment programs,” said Andrew Karas, USAID Mission Director.

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

In this Government-To-Government partnership, the Ministry will focus on out-of-school youth 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 Centers and MSYNS Offices who will implement the activities and provide training on the ground.