Namibia
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Youth campus to cost N$45 million on completion

First lady Monica Geingos says the #BeFree Youth Campus will cost an estimated N$45 million on completion, with funds raised through multiple partnerships and fundraising events.

Geingos was speaking at the official opening of the youth campus on Thursday, which also launched the #BeFree Youth Concert, which will take place on 1 September.

“It’s an incredible investment. It will cost, eventually when we’re done with both phases, N$45 million. We’ve spent the last five years fundraising,” Geingos said.

The youth centre looks to cooperate with organisations that are youth focused in the area, who will have access to the centre to do their activations.

The youth centre will also host night classes for adults, including single and struggling mothers, which will bring together psychologists and mental health experts to discuss youth issues with parents, said Geingos.

“There’s going to be a need to have a facility at the centre, where in the evening adults can come and that we can put together with child psychologists and mental health experts, where adults can come and ask the questions about their children that they don’t feel safe asking,” Geingos said.

Moreover, the #BeFree movement has engaged with the youth over the past five years to allow them the space to talk about things that challenge their development.

“We’ve been having conversations with young people across the country and outside the country as well… things that people don’t want to talk about, but we know young people are struggling with and it wasn’t just talking, it was linking young people to services,” she said.

Chief executive officer of the One Economy Foundation Uajorokisa Akwenye said the concert will highlight key issues faced by young people and facilitate uncomfortable conversations.

“What sets it apart is a concert that meets purpose. It’s bringing key messaging, social issues under the spotlight and saying we can no longer live in a society where we are hiding these things and pretending that it’s not happening,” Akwenye said.

She said in order to see a healthy society, communities need to start moving into those uncomfortable spaces, and the concert will also shed light on cause, social responsibility and aspects that affect young people.

Akwenye said the concert will create a safe space for young people, parents, and children, and will allow stakeholders to put a stamp on a cause that is youth focused.