Justina Ashiyana has been appointed to serve as WorldSkills Champions Trust Representative for Africa, Empowering Africa’s Youth through Skills Development.

She will serve in this role for a period starting from 2023 to 2024, representing the African continent together with South Africa’s Mihle Mvelakubi.

The WorldSkills Champions Trust is a volunteer group of past Competitors who are the voice of young people in the WorldSkills movement who work to raise levels of engagement among WorldSkills Champions (past competitors) and promote active involvement in WorldSkills projects, initiatives, and activities.

Champions Trust representatives speak at multiple high-level international events and take a leading role at WorldSkills Competitions. Eight new members from Africa, the Americas, Asia, Europe, and Oceania joined three returning representatives in the Trust.

To hone her skills, Justina recently attended her first training in Lyon, France, where she met the rest of the WSCT representatives and participated in leadership and media training sessions and forums.

From her humble beginnings at Omatando in Ongwediva, Justina’s skills journey has taken her to local and international platforms, where she has made a significant impact and emerged as a role model for African youth.

Along a journey fuelled by passion and inspiration while growing up, Justina developed a deep-rooted love for joinery through her father’s influence, who was involved in construction work.

Her early exposure to the trade nurtured her skills and ignited a desire to become an Artisan.

In 2016, Justina took part in the National Skills Competition, in the Joinery trade where she proceeded to represent Namibia at the WorldSkills Competition in Abu Dhabi 2017.

At her age she has achieved some notable milestones already, having been an ambassador for skills and has participated in various platforms, representing the Namibian and African youth, including the Pan African Youth Forum in Addis Ababa in 2019.

Being one of the Team Leaders at the WorldSkills Africa Swakopmund Competition, top 5 runner up of the 2020 WorldSkills BeChangeMaker Africa Competition, employed as a temporary Assistant joinery trainer at Valombola Vocational Training centre in 2019 and is currently enrolled for a National Diploma instructor course in TVET at the Namibia University of Science and Technology (NUST), Justina’s star is shining as an example for others to follow.

These experiences have solidified her position as a catalyst for change, actively contributing to skills development in her community and advocating for equal access to skill-building opportunities.

Shattering stereotypes on an international stage as the sole female competitor among a number of male participants, Justina’s journey at the WorldSkills competition was filled with challenges and triumphs which is an inspiring testament to the power of passion, determination, and breaking of gender barriers.

The international platform allowed her to connect with talented individuals worldwide, fostering a global network of joiners and exchanging innovative ideas.

Notably, Justina’s resilience and talent drew admiration from fellow women, who became instant fans, cheering her on and capturing moments with her. This unforgettable experience continues to inspire young individuals to pursue their passions fearlessly.

Driving Change and Empowering African Youth

Justina’s commitment to empowering African youth extends beyond her achievements in her pivotal role in 2019 of launching the ‘1 Million by 2021’ African Union (AU) initiative, which aims to provide one million young Africans with opportunities in Education, Employment, Entrepreneurship, and Engagement (4E’s).

Furthermore, her participation in the WorldSkills BeChangeMaker Africa Competition showcased her leadership skills and propelled her to become a temporary trainer at Valombola VTC and WorldSkills Namibia Expert in Joinery.

A Living Testimony and using skills as a Gateway to Transformation Justina’s journey is a living testimony to the transformative power of skills. Recognizing the potential of skills to improve lives sustainably.

Her unwavering dedication to creating equal access to skills development opportunities emphasizes the importance of collaboration and the African proverb, “If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.”

Justina has become an influential force in driving change and empowering Africa’s youth through her accomplishments and commitment.

During her two-year term as a Champions Trust Representative for Africa, Justina will develop her connections to local, continental, and global communities to inspire and support young people to pursue a skill.

The role will broaden her network and deepen her communications skills. Justina will play a pivotal role in the promotion of the National Skills Competition Ongwediva 2023. She is the second Namibian youth to represent Namibia on the WorldSkills Champions Trust.

Her remarkable journey, determination, passion for skills, and advocacy for equal access to skills development opportunities have made her a role model for African youth, a role which she has embraced.

Her transformative impact serves as a reminder that skills can change lives, uplift communities, and pave the way for a brighter future. Encouraging fellow young people to follow their dreams and believe in themselves.

In the main photo: The talented Justina Ashiyana, in Lyon, France.

In this photo: Justina Ashiyana, with other WorldSkills Champions Trust members.