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ONE engaging youth in Centre of Excellence

2022-04-20  Paheja Siririka

ONE engaging youth in Centre of Excellence

The One Economy Foundation (ONE) has received a total of 177 CVs following a recent call for skilled and unskilled labourers to apply for jobs at its #BeFree Centre of Excellence currently under construction at the Multi-Purpose Youth Resource Centre in Katutura.

ONE will then engage the site contractor to consider individuals who meet the necessary criteria.

ONE’s programme manager Saddam Biwa, during an information session earlier this month, said community engagement is crucial in identifying individuals with a particular skill that ties into the current phase of construction. 

“This centre (Centre of Excellence) is meant to be a pilot project that will ultimately be decentralised across the country. We’re hoping the seed that we plant here can be a framework that is implemented in other regions. It starts with sessions like these, where we can engage, generate ideas and understand the actual needs of the young people in their respective communities,” he explained. 

Biwa said inclusiveness is important when it comes to such projects, adding that universal access and inclusivity were the key factors during the design, as the building has to cater to everybody and be a place where everybody has access to every space. 

The Centre of Excellence is meant to complement existing services already offered to the youth. 

The initiative was launched in April 2021, and will see the establishment of a N$30-million youth-friendly centre that will be donated to the youth and sports ministry at a later stage. 

Construction of the centre started in February this year, and completion is set for March next year.

On completion, the centre will offer various services, including edutainment, after-school, wellness, skills’ innovation, training as well as a #BreakFree Anti-Violence Centre, and a Sexual Health and Awareness Programme (SHAP).

SHAP is a youth-friendly clinic that will revolutionise health care services for adolescents and young adults by creating a safe and dynamic space that is judgment-free and maintains a high level of confidentiality.

Dibasen Bonnie Gawaseb, the senior youth officer at the Windhoek Multi-Purpose Youth Resource Centre, emphasised the need and desire to start changing the faces of youth centres, saying: “This change is meant to address the meaningful and real problems in our society”.

Gawaseb welcomed this complementary addition of the Centre of Excellence to the current Multi-Purpose Youth Resource Centre, adding that safe spaces must be provided, as it will prevent frustrated young people from falling through the cracks. 


2022-04-20  Paheja Siririka

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