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Namibia: Indigenous-led land rights advocacy

Focused on youth

Through “Pathways to Equality,” youth gain skills in promoting land rights, improving livelihoods, community-led resource management, culturally conscious development, and microenterprise growth. focused on youth. The goal is to lay the foundation for lasting economic resilience.

In April, the church held entrepreneurship and life skills training sessions involving five youth groups. Each group received 10,000 Namibian dollars (around 500 euros) to engage in crafts, small livestock raising and horticulture.

The project has been truly transformative, not only for the beneficiaries but also for us as a Lutheran church. We have learned and continue to gather daily insights that we believe should benefit everyone.

Ms. Linda Chikerema, ELCIN Project Advisor

“The project has been truly transformative, not only for the beneficiaries but also for us as a Lutheran church. We have learned and continue to gather daily knowledge that we believe should benefit everyone,” Chikerema said.

Address trauma

One of the objectives is to recognize the importance of addressing trauma and its link to the development of new initiatives in a community. The labeling aspect has been highlighted, “and many participants said that the term marginalized group did not empower them and unconsciously forced them to operate under that label,” Chikerema noted.

The ELCIN project advisor cited the story of Rauna Kamati, a young woman who recently participated in a workshop on identity and labeling theory using the introspection and dialogue approach. This helped Kamati “reclaim her narrative and resist the stereotypes imposed on her community” and embark “on a journey to embrace her cultural heritage” with a new determination to “rewrite the history of her people.” on their own terms.”

The rights of indigenous peoples

Ashenafi Haile, LWF Diakonia and Development Program Executive, said “it is encouraging to see how the Nambian church is supporting the country’s indigenous population to research and document their own truth and reconciliation processes.” Referring to a Thirteenth Assembly resolution on the rights of indigenous peoples, he highlighted the case of the San community in Mangeti Dune and a forthcoming publication on the process will contribute to learning in the Lutheran communion and beyond.

ELCIN and the Mangeti Dune community are working on a publication that will document the cultural resurgence and adaptation strategies of the San people in Namibia. You will explore challenges and opportunities in shaping your own development trajectories, advocate for Indigenous-led development approaches that prioritize cultural integrity, community and empowerment, and foster knowledge sharing between the church, Indigenous communities and academic institutions.

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