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Okongo academy launches digital and dignity project

The Homestead Skills and Technical Education Academy at Okongo in the Ohangwena region on Friday launched a digital and dignity project.

Along with the launch, about 10 pupils from the San community graduated with a fashion designing qualification.

Officiating the event, the deputy minister of information and communications technology, Emma Theofelus, commended the Homestead programme which offers marginalised communities learning opportunities.

“Everyone of us has the responsibility to ensure that we deliver the necessary skills to our young people, and to bring Namibia’s aspirations of development much closer.

“I am aware that today 10 San adolescents and young mothers from the Kavango East and West regions, as well as the Otjozondjupa region, are graduates of this very important project, which has trained these young girls and women on manufacturing washable sanitary pads, from which 83 girls will benefit.

“Menstrual health is of concern for all of us, and I am aware of the reality that girls have no pads at all and experience indignity. This training is necessary in dignifying those who have no other option,” she said.

Homestead Group manager Hilya Nghiwete said the aim of the launched project is to restore the dignity and promote the digital transformation of marginalised communities by empowering them with basic sewing skills and establishing rural enterprises for sustainable livelihoods, while solving societal challenges such as a lack of sanitary pads among marginalised communities.

“On digital transformation we are establishing a computer lab at the centre so our trainees are not left behind when it comes to the digital economy.

“This lab will offer free lessons to school pupils to prepare them as they progress to the tertiary sector,” she said.

The dignity project was piloted with the support of Debmarine Namibia, and 500 washable sanitary pads and school uniforms were manufactured.