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YouthWyze empowering peers through education

2023-09-20  Max Heinrich

YouthWyze empowering peers through education

ONGWEDIVA - YouthWyze Namibia is on a mission to educate and empower young people by addressing crucial aspects of their daily lives. Established in 2019, this online organisation is dedicated to providing information on topics ranging from the effectiveness of birth control and menstrual disorders to communication skills, counselling, teenage fatherhood, mental health, and various other matters that impact the well-being of the youth. Ashwell Forbes, the national coordinator of YouthWyze, emphasised that their decision to operate online was driven by the fact that today’s youth are deeply engaged with social media and tend to read physical documents less frequently.  “The programme was considered as the new kid on the block because of how it was established since we realised the only way to pass on this information is on platforms the youth use, especially social media,” he explained.

Forbes highlighted that their discussions on sexual reproduction and rights, as well as the well-being of young people, are sometimes misconstrued as promoting masculinity or encouraging early sexual activity.  Their target audience spans from 10 to 30 years old, with a focus on providing information regarding the economic, physical, and psychological well-being of young individuals.

Recognising that many young people face exploitation due to economic circumstances, Forbes emphasised the need for a safe space where they can discuss such issues openly. 

“We realised that a lot of young people are being exploited because of economic circumstances that force them into sexual relations for money or material benefits. These are issues young people cannot speak about, especially psychological ones, due to criticism. With our programme, we have created a safe space.”

YouthWyze ensures the confidentiality of young individuals who reach out for help. If they require the assistance of a social worker, the organisation connects them with the health ministry to access the necessary support.

In addition to their online presence, YouthWyze also conducts outreach activities in various communities. These outreach efforts include providing pregnancy tests, contraceptives, and other services essential for young people. 

Forbes emphasised, “We try our level best to send services with information”. As of now, the organisation operates in Khomas, Erongo, Otjozondjupa, and Omaheke, with plans to expand to other regions. The programme’s success in these regions has laid the groundwork for its growth and its continued mission to empower Namibia’s youth through education.

2023-09-20  Max Heinrich

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