The first ever elections of the National Young Women’s Association (NYWA) took place over the weekend, following a dissolution of the interim executive committee, which was established by the National Youth Council (NYC) that has served the association in the past year.
The 10 members new executive committee are president Hallo Angala, vice president Emilia Shiiwa, secretary-general Mbatemua Kamatjipose , Klaudia Nangobe as vice-general secretary, Riitha Kanuni (treasurer), Tunakie Kangowa (secretary of education), Zenesia Nghitamuka (secretary of gender and health), Modesta Namoongo (PRO) while Suama Nangolo and Charmaine Tjingeo will serve as additional members, representing the concerns of the marginalised and disabled, respectively.
Accepting the new challenge Angala said; “My task now is to co-ordinate our team to set a sound course for our foundation. I feel honoured that my fellow women have trusted me with this important task. We’ll have to see what the current and immediate needs of the organisation are and work on meeting them.”
Some of the aims and objectives of the new executive include promoting the development of local communities, with special attention to girls and women’s welfare and education; lobbying for the legislation and programmes of action that make available opportunities for girls and women, including access to education as a prerequisite and a priority for rapid social and economic development.
Tjingeo who was elected as an additional member to serve the marginalised people’s plight said, “My main concern is the Ovahimba, especially their young women who live a difficult life. They are always in shebeens. I want to do what I can to get them out of their slump by engaging them in meetings. The next time we have a convention like this, I will bring some of them along as proof that change is possible.”
NYC board member, Natangwe Ithete summed up the process, “We were mandated by the general assembly to form this organisation. It does not mean because they were birthed out of a resolution from the NYC they have to be affiliated to us. They are free to be an independent body. It is their democratic right.”