Young Namibians should voluntarily serve their country patriotically with discipline, as they are the nation’s driving force. Youth minister Agnes Tjongarero said this while addressing a group of cadets during the 13th National Youth Service’s (NYS) parade pass out at the Rietfontein Centre in the Otjozondjupa region, which saw 385 youths completing the national service training.
“I believe that the youth, being the driving force of society, should serve the country with patriotism,” she said. Tjongarero said programmes at the NYS are aimed at moulding the youth to be of good character and reinforcing in them civic values of patriotism, discipline and volunteerism as a contribution to the cause of national development.
“This plays a significant role in contributing to the social economic development of the country and alleviation of poverty,” she said. NYS was established with the mandate to address youth-related developmental and transformational interventions.
Tjongarero said: “The selection of the youth was done voluntarily, representing all 121 constituencies in Namibia, with a 30% quota reserved for the youth from marginalised communities”. She said NYS receive support from Namibian Defence Force and the Namibian Police instructors, and that training has equipped the youth with a thorough understanding of the country’s democratic system.
The chairperson of the NYS board, Emmerentia Leonard, said this year, the service has successfully recruited and trained 418 youth from diverse backgrounds, despite an overwhelming interest of more than 6 000 youths that cannot be recruited due to financial constraints.
“We acknowledge that this number is insignificant, compared to the number of youth that needs access to this kind of opportunities, skills and resources to become self-dependent. They need to reach their full potential and thereby contribute to the social development of the country; the board has intensified the service on revenue generation initiatives to increase the number of youth and enlisted in the programmes and ensure that more youths benefit,” said Leonard.
The recruits will be deployed at various projects of national importance as part of the NYS mandate of instilling civic virtues among Namibian youth, specifically promoting volunteerism to contribute to the country’s social and economic development.
The remaining recruits will be enrolled in various skills training programmes, and others will be deployed to various NYS developmental projects. Furthermore, under the Youth Voluntary Service programme, NYS has a long collaboration with the Namibia Ports Authority to provide security and safeguarding of the national ports of entry at Walvis Bay and Luderitz.
They are also involved in repairing the Etosha National Park fence under the tourism ministry.