WINDHOEK - Outgoing executive director of Women’s Action for Development (WAD) Veronica de Klerk has received praise for her selfless work.
David Nuyoma the CEO of the Government Institutions Pension Fund (GIPF) recently sent a goodwill message to De Klerk who has called it a day as the head of WAD.
“You have undoubtedly shown a deep sense of love for your country and her people and a clear vision of addressing the plight of the poor, especially rural women. The transformation of your graduates in rural and poor communities is testimony to the tangible contribution to the empowerment of ordinary Namibians,” stated his message.
“You should look back with pride and contentment on your achievements during your tenure as the executive director of WAD,” further stated Nuyoma in the message dated 22 August.
Andre Harris, the head of the Civil Society Foundation of Namibia, also praised De Klerk: “Twenty years at the helm of WAD must seem both a long time and a very short one. You built WAD into one of Namibia’s exemplary NGOs and can be proud of both those whom WAD has worked with over the years and the example that WAD has set for others.”
De Klerk’s devotion to the upliftment of Namibians over the past two decades resulted in over 50 000 people, mostly women from the disadvantaged groups, becoming skilled in various fields.
De Klerk founded WAD a non-partisan, non-profit making organization in 1994 and within a short period of time WAD extended its activities across the entire country.
WAD’s activities have been funded by the Konrad Adenauer Stiftung (KAS), the European Union, the Spanish government, the American Ambassador’s Self-Help Programme, Old Mutual, Nedbank, Mutual and Federal Namibia and Bidvest Namibia.
She says local NGOs should realise the exciting opportunities which beckon to be exploited in close partnership with government, especially in human development and governance.
“In this regard, government ministries should embrace the exemplary potential of NGOs, which are generally fast-moving and not plagued by bureaucratic delays in implementing their programmes, in order to fast-track the reduction of the high rate of poverty and unemployment in the country,” said the outgoing executive director of WAD.
De Klerk made the remarks during a media briefing to announce her retirement.
She said that WAD now boasts three training centres, 107 trainers and ‘community voice’ members who have received various socio-economic training resulting in between 65 and 70 percent having found jobs or started own income-generating projects.
These trainees, she said, include over 50 000 young people, members of the Namibian Defence Force (NDF), the police, prison wardens and inmates, domestic workers and even the so-called sex workers.
“WAD has provided me a life-long enriching opportunity to live out that principle and at the same time to live out my convictions about the role of the NGOs in strengthening the hand of government in its efforts to alleviate poverty, unemployment and in so doing to serve the people of the country,” she added.
De Klerk also used the opportunity to introduce the incoming executive director Salatiel Shinedima, who she said she has mentored through the years.
She described him as a natural leader with a sharp intellect, and an excellent communicator who is prepared to take up the cause of women.
On Shinedima’s appointment she remarked, “We urgently want to create a pool of energetic, dynamic young men who are willing to run with the national agenda of women, given the shocking spate of violence in the country and inequality.”
She said with regard to the numerous challenges currently facing women, such as rape and their brutal killing, poverty, unemployment and inequality, Namibia needs dynamic and fearless male role models in society who have the courage to address these evils boldly and without fear.
“The time has come for women to stop talking in a vacuum during these interventions where men are not present to hear what women are saying about them,” she stated.
New Era Reporter
2014-08-28 09:17:53 | 6 years ago