Dr Andrew Niikondo, Vice Rector at the Polytechnic of Namibia said he appreciates the fact that they are signing these Memoranda of Agreement with Lifeline/Childline and WAD. He described this collaboration as an extra effort to practically involve students in activities geared to solving issues of gender violence and child abuse. “Students will acquire stress management skills through counselling and awareness of HIV/AIDS and gender violence, learn how to maintain confidentiality and how to deal with traumatised people or those whose rights have been violated. In addition, they will learn how to ensure abuse prevention and mitigation, especially for children,” emphasised Dr Niikondo. He concluded by stating that with this exposure and experience, the students will not only graduate with subject knowledge, but also with ethical skills that will make them highly esteemed and responsible people in their communities.
Ms Anne Matebele, National Director of Lifeline/Childline said that it is important to note that volunteerism is encouraged because it is how they have came into existence more than 34 years ago. She said the people at Lifeline/Childline encourage Namibians to develop a social consciousness around social intervention programmes and to contribute their part in the work that various NGOs do in this field. “Against this background of our work, the support we are receiving and will continue to receive from a broad variety of interns and soon-to-be graduates form the Polytechnic has been incredibly rewarding. Therefore in return we offer invaluable real-life working experience within guided and supported structures,” she concluded.
Mr Salatiel Shinedima, the Executive Director of Women’s Action for Development said that internship programmes afford students the opportunity to develop marketable on-the-job skills which are transferable to future jobs. “Internship programmes afford students a good opportunity to improve their interpersonal skills such as confidence, maturity, customer care and decision making. They test the personal aptitudes, abilities and interests of students in relation to their career choices,” he said stating that they at WAD firmly believe that this partnership will provide students with appropriate skills that will enable them to become valuable assets to their future employers.