Sierra Leone’s first lady, Fatima Maada Bio has praised the #BeFree Youth Campus in Katutura, reassuring attendees that she will replicate the initiative in her home country for the benefit of the youth.
Maada Bio, who was the guest speaker at the inauguration of the campus, said Sierra Leoneans hold Namibia in high regard and Africans should treat one another with respect and dignity.
“We are here to celebrate the youth of Namibia, hence the youth are the leaders of the present and the future. Young people in Namibia should see themselves as leaders of today and not tomorrow so they must take advantage of the opportunities they have now to enhance their leadership skills,” said Maada Bio.
She further encouraged the young people to prepare themselves to break free from constraints that hold them back and urged them to embrace a commitment to excel in all areas of life.
She said: “No matter what happens, you must not involve in alcohol or substance abuse. You need to free yourselves from all forms of abuses in order for you to have a better life”.
Angola’s first lady Ana Dias Lourenço added that the centre is a great initiative that will be a ray of hope to the Namibian youths.
First Lady Monica Geingos said the centre will address many social ills, hopefully from grassroots level to avoid unwanted damage being witnessed in communities, especially those exacerbated by the high youth unemployment rate in the country.
She said: “At the time that young people are unemployed, a lot happens in terms of coping mechanisms and by the time an economic opportunity presents itself, some of them have been damaged by waiting for a job, they are not in a position to take the job.”
Geingos further noted that high youth unemployment gradually erodes young people in a way that cannot be imagined, exposing them to further vulnerability.
“Broken children become broken adults, broken adults break communities and broken societies. This is where we pass on our brokenness and trauma to our children,” she stated.
President Hage Geingob also equally realised the importance of the centre and the mark it will imprint in Namibia youths.
“It is my pleasure to officially inaugurate the #BeFree Youth Campus. This is the centre of excellence,” said Geingob as he was ushered and given a thorough tour of the centre with the first ladies.