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#BeFree addresses social ills in northern regions

2024-06-26  Paheja Siririka

#BeFree addresses social ills in northern regions

The #BeFree movement recently held a training of trainers’ session with youths from Kavango, Zambezi and the O regions on critical thinking to enhance overall educational outcomes to foster informed and responsible decision-making.

The team, which hosted the sessions from 19 to 20 June, was also geared at encouraging them to analyse and evaluate information critically.

One of the participants, Rauna Mungeli (24), told Youth Corner yesterday that the training came at the right time, highlighting vital elements of society that are lacking in young Namibians.

“There were 10 modules covered, ranging from designing philosophy and how we see the world. We also discussed different types of ideologies, and how to address different situations in life,” she stated.

Mungeli, a Nkurenkuru International University of Management campus student, added that discussions around discrimination and tribalism were educational and enlightening, something that should not be taken lightly in a diverse country like Namibia.

“I was very interested in topics around sexual health reproductive rights and mental health because one thing that I have noticed is that teenagers here are going through a lot of unplanned and unwanted pregnancies,” said the Secondary Education third-year student. 

She said organisations like #BeFree should commit to continuously engaging the youth across the country, and ensure they have access to information that can alter their lives.

She indicated that these types of training will also address social ills, like the visible abuse of alcohol by the youth and the depression that she has noticed.

“I have gained so much knowledge, and I am now well capacitated to transfer what I have learned to fellow young people from my region and beyond,” she confidently stated.

Kaarina Iita, head of programmes – One Economy Foundation – told Youth Corner that over the two days, #BeFree conducted a comprehensive training session for 34 young leaders and educators from Kavango East, West and six other regions, ranging from 20-29 year- old. 

“The #BeFree Curriculum Training of Trainers is a critical step towards enhancing the capacity of educators in Namibia to advocate for and implement comprehensive education on mental health, reproductive health and rights,” she detailed.

Iita indicated that the initiative contributed to the development of healthier, more empowered youth, capable of making informed decisions and advocating for their rights within their communities. 

The content of the training was based on the #BeFree Curriculum and the Comprehensive Sexual Education (CSE) manual.

She said: “The #BeFree Life Skills Curriculum is a comprehensive and practical resource, aimed at providing educators in Namibia with extensive content on reproductive health and rights, mental health, goal-setting, and economic empowerment”.

Iita said the curriculum is developed with contributions from young people of diverse backgrounds. It ensures relevance and inclusivity, and is designed to complement existing Life Skills-based HIV and Health Education in Namibia, aligning with strategies and priorities from global health and education agencies. 

“The curriculum’s 10 modules focus on fostering critical thinking and enhancing educational outcomes,” she stated.

She added that the reason for selecting Rundu as the host is because the #BeFree team is planning on having a Boys and Girls Club nationally – and decided to start in the northern regions.

2024-06-26  Paheja Siririka

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