The second edition of the youth-led initiative ‘Bring a buddy to parly’ took place last week, and brought together 60 young Namibians from all regions to accord them an opportunity to contribute their voices to the people’s house. The two-day event was aimed at training the young participants on the work of parliament, and to discuss their aspirations towards strengthening democracy in the country.
Youth Corner caught up with a few participants of the event to hear their views on what they have learnt and how they plan to integrate the lessons back into their communities.
Annatolia Shinyemba (33)
The experience I got from ‘Bring a buddy to parly’ is overwhelming. I am honoured to be one of the vibrant young people chosen to represent my region. What inspired me most was the fact that this initiative is promoting democracy among the youth. We are the pillar of the nation and key agent for social change, economic growth and human resources for development. Most young people do not know that we can only grow our nation if we meet the government halfway, so I plan to mobilise young people in my region to feel free, to get out of their shells and do better for their communities. Our youth should adopt the basic fundamentals of life and choose to serve their nation, rather than choose fame through negative lifestyles.
Laina Jacob (20)
We were taught about community development and what we should do to develop our regions as young people. I plan to use the knowledge and see what I can do with it in my region. I am thankful for this great opportunity.
Olivia Iyambo (20)
I have learnt so much from this programme and also from other participants. I now have a better understanding on how to uplift my community and invest in myself as a young Namibian. As someone living with a disability, I hope to create a platform for other young people like me to empower ourselves.
Josefine Ankonga (19)
What this initiative has done for us is so priceless. We have been given hope and inspiration to actively participate in politics. I have learned that "teamwork makes
dream work" and if we can work together, we can help build the Namibia we want. I will take the seed I have gotten from here and plant it into my community.
Hidipo Ueitele (19)
What I have learnt is the power of networking and how important it is to bring young people together. I will use the skills and experience I have gotten from this initiative to encourage other people from my region to conserve our nature.
Ricky Jacobs (24)
I have gotten to learn more about media literacy. I plan to educate young people in my region on the significance of the media and also how to develop both critical understanding and active participation that enhances critical and creative abilities in young people.
Laela Haiyambo (25)
Being brought closer to parliament meant a lot for me as a young citizen of Namibia. It means that we are not shut out and our voices are equally important. I will advocate for youth people’s political participation, encourage young people in my region to get closer to parliament and get involved in decision making.
Josephina Iyaloo (26)
I have always been interested in issues pertaining to the youth and I was happy to engage with other young people from across Namibia. I have learnt about media literacy and how we can use that tool to voice out. I hope to engage the youth back in Otjozondjupa and see how best we can use the media to tackle issues, and help grow our region.
Stella da Costa (24)
I was hoping to see more people from Kunene region and other marginalised communities, because most of us are not exposed to opportunities such as this and tend to be ignorant a bit. I learnt more about what happens in parliament and got to understand what goes behind every decision they make in parliament. I have just started a company and I plan to use the knowledge and skills to grow my business and employ young people in my region.
Aina Shekeya (25)
I have learnt about the role of youth in democracy and how we can enhance youth participation in community life, become engaged in the policy-making process and foster a democratic dialogue.