The hostel and administration block of the Multi-Purpose Youth Resource Centre at Oshakati are being renovated, and the work is expected to be completed by 31 July 2024.

The renovations are being done by the Ministry of Works and Transport in partnership with the Association for Unemployed Artisans in Namibia (AUAN), at a cost of N$2,5 million.

“Despite the claim that the centre has not been active in the past few years, officials have continued to run various programmes such as Youth Health, Rural Youth Development, and Youth Gender programmes,” says Mr Mbumba Erastus Haitengela, the Executive Director in the Ministry of Sport, Youth and National Youth Service.

“Furthermore, officials were involved with the Namibia Youth Credit Scheme programme aimed at providing financial support to youth who do not have access to loans from the mainstream banking system, including the establishment of Rural Youth Constituency Enterprises, of which two in Oshana are funded through the Development Bank of Namibia.”

Haitengela also adds that as part of the implementation of the Ministry’s programmes, the “officials at the centre continue to implement programmes aimed at capacitating adolescent girls and Young Women in constituencies as well as adolescent boys and Young Men, young people on social and economic empowerment, of which some have received business start-up tool kits in the last financial year.

“It is also important to note that various youth and community groups continue to use the centre facilities, such as the hostel and the main hall, for different youth and sport activities, and several youth continue to visit the centre to access Wi-Fi services.”

On the way forward when the centre re-opens in August, Haitengela says that the centre will continue to implement the programmes mentioned above in line with its mandate.

“Still, once the renovation is completed, it will enable the centre to diversify and reintroduce some of the youth empowerment programmes, such as short courses training to support the out-of-school youth, which aligns with the goals of our third national youth policy.

“Furthermore, the centre will prioritise the implementation of a recreation programme by acquiring equipment to enable other youth to engage in outdoor and indoor activities.

“Generally, the centre will be open to all youth and community members who would like to use the facilities for activities that aim to advance the social-economic well-being of citizens.”

In the photo: The Multi-Purpose Youth Resource Centre’s entrance, closed for renovation purposes.