Youth with disabilities need support
The National Youth Council Of Namibia( NYC) this week launched the interim findings of the Gender, Youth with Disabilities and Marginalised Youth Sub- committee of the Board of NYC.
The findings showed that some educational institutions do not admit people with disabilities, and that communities have a negative perception of people with disabilities. Also, the San Youth lacks national documentation such as ID’s and birth certificates which hinder them from finding jobs. Going slightly off mandate, the report rightly points out that alcohol abuse is one of the major causes of poor performance of San Youth in schools.
The Youth Council said the purpose of this initiative is to establish the needs of the groups so as to effectively plan and bring them at par with the developmental programmes and activities as enjoyed by the rest of Namibia’s youth. “Youth with disabilities are often discriminated and marginalised, families and communities see them as burdens or in some cases as a curse. In the workplace they are overlooked due to their limitations even though they are able to perform the tasks they are given” said NYC board member and National Coordinator for Youth with Disabilities, Raphael Shipulwa.
To integrate youth with disabilities and other marginalised young persons into the Youth Council development activities and programmes, the NYC health,gender and welfare desk, together with the National Organisation for Youth with Disabilities organised a conference for young disabled people from Katima Mulilo, Divundu, rural plots in the Kavango, Tsumkwe and Otjiwarongo and also from the Otjozondjupa Region.
The objective of the conference was to set up a platform where youth with disabilities can discuss issues that affect their lives, fulfil the NYC’s obligation towards youth with disabilities, educate youth with disabilities on health, gender and other issues and find a solutions to the existing problems facing young people with disabilities.
Shipulwa stressed the importance for the NYC to create more programmes and awareness campaigns that will focus on education measures and issues such as alcohol abuse, health, gender and welfare as well as behavioural change toward youth with disabilities. He also urged the youth with disabilities to work hard and become ambassadors as disability does not mean inability. “It is NYC’s vision to see the youth with disabilities contribute their quota to the development of the youth at large”, he concluded.