• March 24th, 2019
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Life Skills key subject in mitigating GBV - De Klerk

WINDHOEK - The founder of the Women’s Action for Development (WAD) Veronica de Klerk says Life Skills is an important school subject and can potentially impart skills on gender-based violence (GBV). 

“I just hope the Ministry of Education (Arts and Culture) is engaging Life Skills teachers that are trained because issues of GBV should be brought up there. Life Skills is a wonderful opportunity to train our learners on GBV,” said De Klerk in an interview with New Era yesterday. 

Through Life Skills as a subject learners would be able to recognise abuse as well as to be taught how to respect themselves and others, explained the former executive director of WAD. 
Alcoholism, lobola (bride price) are some of the factors that result in GBV, said De Klerk, who referenced research carried out by WAD in collaboration with stakeholders, a few years back.

In South Africa, where De Klerk now resides, Life Skills is an examinable subject, she stated. 
Asked to comment on views by religious leaders that Bible Studies would be a factor in mitigating GBV, De Klerk said: “To rear your child in a Christian home is the way to go.” 
Growing up in a Christian home where her father was a pastor, De Klerk said positive norms and values were embedded in her. 

She believes that Bible Studies should be re-introduced in schools, even if it means accommodating other religious beliefs.  
“It seems that everything that’s good is being dropped,” said De Klerk adding that there is a difference between a child brought up in a house where strict morals and values are upheld. 

Further, she said the church must go back to the drawing board and examine the roles that they play in society. 
“Maybe they’re not that sensitised to go into the communities and reach out to people. Gone are the days when pastors just preached about spirituality. Many churches just preach about spirituality and forget about addressing societal evils (in their messages),” observed De Klerk.  

Many homes are dysfunctional and the church is “extremely” important remarked the former WAD executive director. “The church is an extension of the parental. Many parental homes are dysfunctional and the church is extremely important,” stressed De Klerk. 

Based in Cape Town, De Klerk said: “I was forced to resign due to my husband’s heart condition.”
And, because family values are important to her, she had to relocate with her husband. De Klerk had been at the helm of WAD for 20 years, since it was founded in 1994. Four years ago, she went into retirement. 

In South Africa, De Klerk said she is mentoring pastors’ wives and does motivational talks at various platforms. 
“The media in Namibia is so friendly towards the work of NGOs and I have fond memories of the media,” said De Klerk, adding that the organisation’s visibility in the media has contributed to sponsors wanting to associate with WAD. 

Alvine Kapitako
2018-09-12 09:20:09 6 months ago

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