Pilot study to focus on societal problems faced by veterans
A pilot survey which focuses on the effects the National Liberation Struggle had on veterans was launched last week.
The Short-Term Consultancy on Spiritual and Psychosocial Problem Identification Pilot Survey was launched by Dr Nicky Iyambo, Minister of Veterans Affairs.
The pilot study will look at the veterans who were left traumatised as a result of the National Liberation Struggle and also focuses on the continued moral and social decay among members of society in general. The aim of the pilot study is to develop appopriate responses for the veterans experiencing psychosocial problems.
“The struggle for independence, both from inside and outside the country, was long and bitter and the after effects of the war has left many people with economic, social, health and psychological problems which can be observed every day in the lives of many of our people. Therefore, the programmes and projects initiated and implemented are to specifically ensure the overall economic and social wellbeing of veterans and their dependants,” Dr Iyambo said.
Iyambo highlighted that putting emphasis on the veterans and their plight did not mean that they were the only ones who were and are affected by the aftermath of the war, because all people suffered the same brutality at the hands of the colonisers and are living with the trauma.
According to the Veterans Minister, the Khomas region was selected as the basis for the pilot study because it was seen as a cosmopolitan region where people from all regions are represented.
He said that the pilot study was an initiative by the Ministry in terms of the Veterans Act, 2008 (Act No. 2 of 2008).
Iyambo said that such a programme is needed because of the absence of targeted spiritual and psychological counseling services to communities.
The information acquired through the pilot project will be used to develop appropriate psychosocial intervention programmes, preferably in cooperation with other organisations that are well vested in the area.
Some of the objectives of the Short-Term Consultancy in the Khomas region will be to create awareness among veterans and the larger population on the importance of counseling and other spiritual and psychosocial support services that will enable them to live a normal life and contribute to the development of Namibia, to identify the psychosocial problems and the magnitude of such problems that these veterans live with, and also to recommend possible interventions to address such problems.
“Now that we have attained our independence, the struggle is not yet over because we are faced with the struggle for economic and social emancipation. We need to coordinate our efforts and come up with focused interventions geared towards a national response to address the psychosocial problems of our people,” Iyambo urged.
The groundwork of the project started on 27 September 2010 with the “Stakeholders’ Consultative Workshop on Counseling Services to Veterans of the National Liberation Struggle”.