The Namibia National Students Organisation (Nanso) is developing a virtual magazine that aims at raising awareness on Gender-Based Violence (GBV).
Ashley Schwarz, the initiator for the magazine and chairperson of the Nanso Unam main campus’ branch, told Youth Corner that after the brutal murder of a student from Unam main campus, Rejoice Shovaleka (20) in July this year, there was a tremendous outcry from the students against this crime. A petition was created for justice for Rejoice, which in their personal capacities they signed the petition, however, Schwarz believes there is a need for Nanso as a student organisation to take a stance that they are against the evil murder of women. She also expressed that human trafficking rates were increasing sharply in Namibia and the most victims are women. Nanso wanted to go beyond writing a press statement on the matter, but rather allow students to contribute to the initiative and express their opposition to GBV. Student activists will write the articles on their stance on GBV and how it can be curbed in Namibia. The pictures contained in the magazine will be of students in greyscale holding posters written “stop GBV” or writing on their bodies. The idea behind the greyscale pictures serves as a symbolic way of showing the lives of the youth that have been lost due to GBV.
The magazine is aimed at informing and educating the people, especially the younger generation. “Particularly the youth, if we take a stance together, we can make a difference and to the adults as well, that as the youth we do acknowledge serious issues that occur in our society and that we aren’t scared to take a stance. Lastly, it’s also to the children in Namibia, for us being an example for them as the current youth and sort of being mentors on who they can look up to,” said the chairperson.
Jennifer Da Silva, ICT officer of Nanso at Unam branch believes social media and mainstream media have been an effective tool in informing people on what GBV is and the different forms of GBV people have experienced. “Having a virtual magazine that many students can get a hold of, I think that would be contributing to raising awareness to gender-based violence. Just educating us on what’s going on and just hearing people’s views and opinions on the matter.”
The magazine is not funded by any organisation; Nanso is making use of the skills they have to design a magazine that is cost-free. It will be available online on 12 September 2020.