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#BeFree addresses social ills in northern regions

The #BeFree movement recently held a train-the-trainer session with young people from Kavango, Zambezi and O regions on critical thinking to improve overall educational outcomes and encourage informed and responsible decision-making.

The team, which organized the sessions from June 19 to 20, also aimed to encourage them to analyze and evaluate the information critically.

One of the participants, Rauna Mungeli (24), said youth corner yesterday that the training came at the right time, highlighting vital elements of society that are missing from young Namibians.

“10 modules were covered, which ranged from design philosophy and how we see the world. We also discussed different types of ideologies and how to approach different life situations,” he stated.

Mungeli, a student at the Nkurenkuru International Management University campus, added that the discussions on discrimination and tribalism were educational and enlightening, something that should not be taken lightly in a diverse country like Namibia.

“I was very interested in the topics of sexual health, reproductive rights and mental health because one thing I have noticed is that teenagers here are going through many unplanned and unwanted pregnancies,” said the third-year Secondary Education student.

He said organizations like #BeFree should commit to continually engaging young people across the country and ensuring they have access to life-altering information.

She indicated that this type of training will also address social ills, such as the visible alcohol abuse by young people and the depression that she has noticed.

“I have acquired a lot of knowledge and now I am well able to transfer what I have learned to other young people in my region and beyond,” she said confidently.

Kaarina Iita, Head of Programs – One Economy Foundation – said youth corner that over two days, #BeFree conducted a comprehensive training session for 34 young leaders and educators from Kavango East, West and six other regions, aged between 20 and 29 years.

“The #BeFree curriculum training of trainers is a fundamental step to improve the capacity of educators in Namibia to advocate and implement comprehensive education on mental health, reproductive health and rights,” he detailed.

Iita indicated that the initiative contributed to the development of healthier and more empowered young people, capable of making informed decisions and defending their rights within their communities.

The content of the training was based on the #BeFree Curriculum and the Comprehensive Sexual Education (ESI) manual.

She said: “The #BeFree life skills curriculum is a comprehensive and practical resource, aimed at providing educators in Namibia with extensive content on reproductive health and rights, mental health, goal setting and economic empowerment.”

Iita said the curriculum is developed with contributions from young people from diverse backgrounds. It ensures relevance and inclusivity, and is designed to complement existing life skills-based HIV and health education in Namibia, aligning with strategies and priorities of global health and education agencies.

“The 10 modules of the curriculum focus on fostering critical thinking and improving educational outcomes,” he said.

He added that the reason for selecting Rundu as the host is because the #BeFree team plans to have a nationwide boys and girls club and decided to start in the northern regions.

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