Social Security Commission (SSC) of Namibia granted N$2.7m to the Namibia Youth Credit Schemes (NYCS) under the Ministry of Youth, National Service, Sports and Culture on 27 March.
NYCs, through the Social Security Commission, will financially help the previously disadvantaged Namibian youth to start their own Small to Medium Enterprises (SMEs). Most Grade 10 and 12 school-leavers in rural areas end up with nothing, due to lack of financial assistance. Thus, this programme is expected to reduce poverty, create job opportunities and reduce the rising number of street kids and the homeless in Namibia.
“The is included in the 5.7m initially injected to the NYCS project by the SSC and will be given to the first 300 beneficiaries from six regions including Khomas, Erongo, Oshana, Hardap, Otjozondjupa and Karas. The remaining amount of N$3.2m will then be paid by SSC once a satisfactory progress report has been given by the Ministry on how the initial amount has been used.” said SSC Communications Officer, Wilda-Mary Sondlo.
“Most persons in rural areas, particularly women, represent a significant proportion of a population that suffers disproportionately from poverty. This is attributed to few formal financial institutions serving poor and disadvantaged persons because of the perceived high risks; high costs involved in small transactions; the perceived low relative profitability and the inability of poor and disadvantaged persons to provide the physical collateral usually required by such institutions.” Wilda added.
NYCS, according to Wilda, was established with the broad objective of youth empowerment through enterprise development. It provides a holistic approach to credit delivery, which involves an integrated package of training, credit and mentorship for Grade 12 school-leavers throughout the country.
It is against this background that SSC has been partly funding the NYCS initiative since its inception in 2005; an amount that has mounted to N$3.2m thus far. The first and second phase of the programme enabled the youth in Oshana, Oshikoto, Ohangwena and Omusati, Kavango, Caprivi and Kunene regions to start and grow their enterprises for income generation. The programme has contributed to poverty alleviation by creating more than 2 561 jobs to date so far. The funding would also enable the NYCS to replicate its activities in all 13 regions of Namibia.
According to Wilda, NYCS was established with the broad objective of youth empowerment through enterprise development. It provides a holistic approach to credit delivery, which involves an integrated package of training, credit and mentorship for Grade 12 school-leavers throughout the country.