The Men on the Side of the Road (MSR) organiSation has since inception filled more than 300 full time, and made 1 516 temporary and part-time job placements to date. This is according to MSR CEO Crystal Beukes, who noted that 483 members have been sent to various training programs, while over 20 members are running their own successful small businesses.
Beukes stated that MSR has about 1743 registered members in their two offices in Windhoek and Swakopmund, actively assists its members by enrolling them at training institutions and paying tuition fees.
“One person at a time; one job at a time. MSR offers support to all unemployed people in Windhoek and the coastal areas – and it supports the unemployed in their journey to become self-sustainable,” she explained.
Beukes emphasised MSR is a donor-funded organization, providing all its services for free. These services include assistance with CV writing, making copies, writing application letters, interviewing, mentoring, facilitating training at vocational training institutions and connecting potential candidates to jobs.
Beukes urged every unemployed person who wishes to be assisted by MSR to become a member of the organisation, absolutely free of charge – and membership only requires each applicant to attend two days of membership training, including life skills and financial literacy training.
“Any unemployed person in need of help to prepare them for the job market and/or needs assistance in their job-seeking process is welcome to contact MSR offices. Once they have been registered as members, they can benefit from all the job assistance services offered by the organisation,” she noted.
MSR was registered in 2007 with the Ministry of Health and Social Services as a welfare organisation. Moreover, the organisation funds training in different skills such as plumbing, painting, bricklaying, forklift driving, home management, fashion designing, automotive mechanic, welding, first aid, grade 12 upgrading, entrepreneurship, basic English as well as basic computer skills.
In a recent Inside Business article, some roadside jobseekers claimed MSR charges N$50 for membership fees. However, Beukes vehemently refuted these claims.
Last week, Inside Business interviewed 10 roadside jobseekers along David Hosea Meroro Road in Windhoek. The desperate jobseekers bemoaned the lengthy period it takes to receive assistance, complaining that family commitments do not allow them to come home empty handed.
“The time to go in for training before being considered for job assistance is time-consuming and hunger at home does not allow us to wait for such time. Crying of hunger when you enter your home is not easy – and because of this, we rarely sleep. The thought of how you will feed the kids tomorrow is draining and you end up committing crimes unwillingly,” said 37-year-old Shapwa Thomas, a distressed man on the side of the road.