Ombetja Yehinga brings life skills to Koes youth

A Koes youth group from the Karas region will receive training from Ombetja Yehinga Organisation (OYO) to help educate them and to enable them to take their new skills to a wider audience. OYO will organize five one-week workshops with the Koes youth group, where they will be trained in drama, dance and songs.
According to Dr Philippe Talavera, Director and Founder of OYO, the group will also receive training on HIV/AIDS, STIs and sexual and reproductive health. They will then be guided to combine other sources of information with their newly acquired skills to create an educational show that will tour the Karas region. “This is important to use because often unemployed out-of-school young people, especially in deep rural areas such as Koes, have low self-esteem,” emphasised Talavera.
He said nobody sees these youth as heroes and that they are often viewed as failures, but with their training projects, OYO help them to become role models to others. “Learners in schools who will look at them while they perform and deliver messages will view them as peer educators, in turn it will boost their self-esteem and the motivation of the youth involved,” he said.
Talavera announced that the training will take place between now and September, with the tour planned from 05 to 09 September. “The training was officially opened by Annelien Van Wyk, Head of the Keetmanshoop Multipurpose Youth Centre. The training will be led by Ivan Mueze with the help of funding from the FNB Foundation and managed by OYO Trust,” he concluded.
According to the Village Council Administrator, the youth of Koes is introduced to alcohol and drugs at an early age and subsequently indulge in sexual activities. As a result many girls fall pregnant early and there is a high rate of HIV prevalence among the population. The Council Administrator said the HIV rate may be as high as 55%.
Being very isolated, Tses offers education only up to grade 10. Many young people after completion of grade 10 will either work on the nearby farms or roam the streets. Only the fortunate ones with relatives willing to host them will di grade 12 in Keetmanshoop or Mariental. Many young people, as young as 16, are unemployed and have little hope of ever changing their lives.

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