Namibia: Gender Ministry Empowers Women in Oshana

TEN community-based projects, from ten of the Oshana region's eleven constituencies, received materials to boost the operations of their projects yesterday. The materials were handed over by the gender ministry at Ongwediva.

The materials were bought through a grant which empowers community members to create jobs and fight poverty.

Laina Iileka, a chief liaison officer in the gender ministry, said the aim of the grant is to help small businesses grow.

"We look at those which are trying for themselves; then we empower them through the grant," she stated.

Iileka said this is done in all regions where by the ministry invites small business owners to submit applications. Those who have viable businesses can be assisted financially.

However, the money is not paid directly to the projects, but to suppliers.

She also said this is done when the businesses have submitted quotations to the ministry.

This time, the lucky beneficiaries are Ondjeva Tailoring from Ongwediva, Deenda Trading Fish and Restaurant from Okaku, Martha Tailoring from Uukwiyu, Tuyakula Tailoring from Oshakati West, Ndinelago Poultry and Pig farming from Okatyali, Ndamona tailoring from Ondangwa urban and Lufaty Catering and Trading from Ondangwa rural constituency.

They received items such as sewing machines, fridges, microwave ovens, building materials, poultry and pig feed, zinc sheets, wire mash, spades,chairs, tables, chips cutters and many other items depending on the project.

The grants given to the beneficiaries range between N$15 000 and N$35 000.

The beneficiaries received training over four days on how to run their businesses focusing on business management, administration, bookkeeping, customer care and pricing and costing. Handing over the items to the beneficiaries, Oshana governor Clemens Kashuupulwa commended the gender ministry for the giant leap it has taken to help Namibians from disadvantaged backgrounds fight poverty by creating self employment.

He also urged the beneficiaries to work hard in order to provide for themselves,their families and their communities.

"I want your businesses to grow. I want to see you running your businesses effectively so that next time when you will require assistance, we even at the regional council will not hesitate to help you," he stated.

Kashuupulwa urged the beneficiaries to accept what they have been given because one always start small and grow in the process.

He gave the example of prominent businessman Frans Indongo whom he said, started only selling sweets but is now a multimillionaire.

One of the beneficiaries Secilia Shigwedha from Tuyakula restaurant from Oshakati West expressed gratitude at the gender ministry's gesture.

"I am very happy about what the ministry has done to me and other beneficiaries. We can now see that government is serious with helping people to support themselves. We can now see government is working," she said.

She encouraged others who did not receive the grant to not give up, but to apply again.

Source: The Namibian