MARIENTAL - Youth in Mariental, who received training in basic business management under the Namibia Youth Credit Scheme, are unhappy over the programme, which they claim does not live up to its mandate.
The programme, which falls under the ministry of youth and national service, targets unemployed youth between the ages of 18 and 35 years and offers basic business management training, providing small loans to youth who are willing and able to start or expand their businesses.
The loans are given to individuals in groups of 5 to 10 who are from the same community. Loans are offered from a minimum of N$5 000 to N$10 000 and are repaid over a period of 36 months.
According to Thusnelda /Uiras, who supplies meat in Mariental, she and a few unemployed youth attended training in 2016. However, they did not receive any loans during that year and were later informed in 2019 about another training scheduled to take place in October.
“We had this training in 2016 and by last year, when they called us for a refresher training, we had already forgotten about it because they lied to us for three years. They gave us hope that they will give us the money but the money is still not yet here,” said an aggrieved /Uiras.
She said most of the youth who attended the first training in 2016 did not turn up for the second training – only 18 of them attended.
“They gave us hope and said by end of October we will receive the money. We filled in contracts and after two months, there was still no money. I am very unhappy because we took pictures of the application forms to businesses as proof to help us with some money while we wait for the loans, so now we have to pay back this money from our own pockets. I applied for N$5 000 but now I have to pay back N$6 000. I want answers. If they knew there was no money, then why did they train us and give us false hope?”
Another aspiring entrepreneur, who also attended the same training Rebekka Boois, said she is happy to receive the training through the credit scheme programme but is unhappy about the empty promises they were given. “They made us fill in application forms and promised to give us the loans by end of December 2019; I am very unhappy about this programme,” said Boois, who sells donkey meat.
Although the disgruntled youth collectively said they are dissatisfied with the way the programme is run, they admit they learned few skills from the basic business management training they received, such as how to generate profit for their businesses. They are, however, still seeking answers from the programme coordinators.
The ministry of youth and national service did not respond to questions sent to their chief public relations officer regarding the alleged nonpayment of loans.
2020-02-05 09:13:17 | 18 days ago