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US government project, ‘Reach Namibia’ empowers youth

US government project, ‘Reach Namibia’ empowers youth

By Michel Haoses.

Rosamunde, a participant in the U.S. government-funded Reach Namibia project is a 23-year-old resident from Katutura’s Ombili location where she heard of the initiative that started her empowerment journey.

Reach Namibia, started in August 2023 is funded by the U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief ( PEPFAR) through the United States Agency for International Development ( USAID) and implemented by Project Hope Namibia and Intrahealth Namibia.

The program provides comprehensive health and social services to HIV-vulnerable children, adolescents, and youth to equip them with life skills and improve access to education, jobs, and health services.

Additionally, the program also facilitates economic opportunities for young women experiencing challenging life situations to help reduce their vulnerability and risk of contracting HIV.

Rosamunde completed training where she learned financial literacy, professionalism, communication, leadership, and job readiness including CV writing and interview skills.

Vocational training courses such as plumbing, bricklaying, and Baking are also supported however Rosamunde opted for the baking course and completed her internship at Mello Bakery and is one of six participants at the bakery.

Bakery owners Dylan Maritz and Mike Samson endorse the Reach Namibia program by offering internships and job placements to graduates and providing critical insights and information to program staff to ensure training courses meet the actual needs and realities of the country’s job market.

“The characteristics that we look for in an employee are strong work ethics and a go-getter attitude” Maritz and Samson stated “Baking is hard work, the hours are long, but it is also very rewarding” added Rosaumnde.

She described herself as happy, as she is now able to help cover expenses like groceries and toiletries at home. She also uses the start-up kit provided by the Reach Namibia project to bake and sell bread to local communities over the weekend and thanked her neighbor who told her about the USAID program that kick-started her journey of empowerment.

Rosamunde proudly presents freshly baked brothers.


About The Author


The Economist accommodates two interns every year, one per semester. They are given less demanding, softer issues to hone their skills, often with a specific leaning to social issues. Today, many of our interns are respected journalists or career professionals at economic and financial institutions. - Ed.