Juliana Khachas – NAMIBIA
CON VALORES Network. October 19th. MatchUp©
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Lidar Community Foundation runs capacity building programs to foster youth empowerment and education activities for orphaned and vulnerable adolescent girls and Vulnerable Young Mothers in Katutura- Central. The main beneficiaries of these programmes constitute (of) Primary and High school girls, teenage mothers, and tertiary students from marginalized backgrounds where substance abuse, teenage pregnancies, and gender-based violence are quite endemic. Further, the support base of Lidar Community Foundation involves local women and professional volunteers, as well as faith based leaders and community activist who endeavour to make a positive change in the lives of young girls in the Katutura-Central Constituency. This, directly and indirectly, translated in substantial increase in the overall expenditure of the Foundation.
The idea was born when a group of young women came together and saw a need to assist fellow Namibian girl child of Katutura to be more progressive citizens of the country. Based on research and our own experience in our immediate area of Katutura central, 80% of our young girls are school dropouts at the age of 16 due to pregnancy, failing grade 10, lack of proper family support, alcohol and drug misuse and financial difficulties they face on a day to day basis.
The board of Directors of Lidar Community Foundation came up with an initiative to change this scenario and found a way to better the circumstances of our girls in Katutura, by making sure that all girls roaming on the street can be re – integrated into a proper education system to further their studies and that children have proper support systems in place at a young age to be groomed for a better future for all.
Currently the organization is officially supporting more than hundred girls to go to school, assistance with homework, encouraging a reading culture, providing food, counseling and other basic needs for families as well as running different education, empowerment and skills programs for the girl child in the community at their center.
The over-arching philosophy of the Foundation is to assist the poorest of the poor in our community to end the generational cycle of poverty, especially the girl-child in accessing educational opportunities, provide a safe and conducive after-school environment for further studies, and serve as a transformational center, including supplementary feeding for the girls and young women, tutoring and provision of educational and extra-curricular programmes, vocational training for out of school girls and school-drop-out teenagers, job-search and placement of graduates from this vocational training, to name a few of the benefits members of the center enjoy.
The community has responded enthusiastically with and since the establishment of the center, with a rolling increment enrollment of beneficiaries, visits from the parents, elders, volunteers, donations from various business entities and individuals, and other needs of the center have shown great support from community leadership in the constituency.
We have no EU experience but we look forward to participate in this even to start building our EU and calls experience. I thank you.