Twenty-three young women recently graduated as ‘No Means No’ instructors to train adolescent girls in techniques to protect themselves against gender-based violence (GBV).
The training provided through the United States of America government-funded DREAMS programme strengthens self-esteem in young women and includes exercises in self-defence.
Jessica Long, charge d’affaires at the American embassy, said at the graduation ceremony earlier this month the instructors will play a pivotal role in addressing violence against children and GBV by demonstrating what it looks like to be empowered and confident and have skills to prevent or escape violent situations.
“This is even more important given the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on children and gender-based violence,” she added.
GBV cases are expanding at a disturbing rate, and more so during the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic.
The DREAMS programme supports adolescent girls and young women between 10 and 24 years of age as well as their parents or guardians and sexual partners to prevent new HIV infections through education in reproductive health, prevention of gender-based violence, and business support.
DREAMS stands for Determined, Resilient, Empowered, AIDS-free, Mentored and Safe.
The new instructors will provide No Means No training in the Khomas, Oshikoto and Zambezi regions, where the DREAMS programme is implemented by Project Hope Namibia and partners.