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Changes come with relentless sacrifices

2022-10-19  Paheja Siririka

Changes come with relentless sacrifices

Deputy youth minister Emma Kantema-Gaomas says being a changemaker comes with relentless sacrifices and consistent effort and such individuals deserve appreciation and recognition.

Kantema-Gaomas was speaking at the fourth anniversary and website launch of the African Pathfinder Leaders’ Initiative (APLI) in the capital recently. 

“As a ministry, we are pleased that the APLI initiative epitomises the principles and aspirations of NDP5, our National Youth Policy and more broadly, the (UNs) Sustainable Development Goals in creating opportunities for young people.”

She then challenged the APLI board and executive team to focus on empowering the boy-child, saying it is a problem that keeps her awake at night.

“The ratio of females to males graduating from tertiary institutions is very skewed and calls for action. Let us interrogate it and come up with strategies to address the concern. The ministry recognises that for youth to be change agents, they must be supported and capacitated,” stated Kantema-Gaomas.

APLI aims at developing and mobilising changemakers, innovators and young leaders in diverse fields across Namibia. This stems from the need to address the shortage of skills, resources and networks that young people need to fully realise their goals and create sustainable change in their communities and for them to become active contributors to societal change.

APLI co-founder and director of programmes Hilja Eelu said the association has evolved over the past four years with increasing success.

“The team has been able to cater for two fellowship programme cohorts designed for youth who are, or have the desire to contribute to positive change in their communities. The organisation also offers a foundation programme that equips young people with fundamental leadership training that enables them to serve their peers effectively and prepare them to lead on larger platforms,” said Eelu.

She added that the principle applied in this programme is to identify, invest and groom talent and leadership from an early age.

Since APLI’s establishment in 2018, the organisation has trained over 300 youth nationwide. True to its mandate of connecting, engaging and empowering its beneficiaries, APLI continues to support its alumni even after graduating from the fellowship programme to ensure that they continue on their path of being changemakers in their communities. 

Meanwhile, applications for the 2023 fellowship programme close on 31 October 2022. Interested applicants may apply using the link on APLI social media platforms or website: or by downloading, completing and scanning the form and emailing this to


2022-10-19  Paheja Siririka

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