Mariental Youth Benefit From Credit Scheme

A total of 25 youths in Mariental were the recipients of small business loans from the Namibia Youth Credit Scheme.

Established in 2005 by the Ministry of Youth, National Service, Sport and Culture, the Namibia Youth Credit Scheme (NYCS) is a youth empowerment programme which caters for youth between the ages of 18 to 35.

The programme aims to promote the livelihoods of youth through employment creation and generation of income through enterprise development.

Although the programme was piloted in the four regions of central northern parts of the country, the NYCS was later replicated in the Hardap region in 2011 and now operates in all 14 regions country wide.

According to the Employment and Training Youth Officer in the NYCS secretariat, Maria Ekongo, the programme provides a five-day training in basic business management where the youth have to develop their business plans which are then appraised to determine whether their businesses are viable and require loans.

“The programme operates through a lending methodology where by beneficiaries are required to be in groups of three to five people. After starting up their businesses, follow up training, counselling and monitoring is offered. The beneficiaries also have access to other products after graduating from the initial phase,” Ekongo said.

Since the establishment of the programme in Hardap, 347 youths were trained and 243 beneficiaries received loans. A total of N$901 000 was allocated to the youth of Hardap region since 2011, resulting in 166 enterprises being established and 150 jobs created.

During 2014, a total of N$157 000 was distributed among youth in Mariental, Hoachanas, Maltahohe and Aranos. In Mariental alone, 25 beneficiaries received loans worth N$55 000 ranging from N$ 2 000 to N$4 000. The loans will be used as start-up capital for small businesses and will also be used as a supplement for existing small business.

The beneficiaries of 2014 formed part of the training that took place at the Mariental Youth Resource Centre in 2013 and their business appraisals were conducted in June 2014. The implementing agency in Mariental is Namibia Rural Development Project.

* Hilmah Hashange works for the Ministry of Information and Communication Technology, Hardap Regional office.

Source : The Namibian