• PINEHAS NAKAZIKO
HILDE Shindondola (18), a Grade 11 pupil at Okahandja Secondary School, has established Hildes’ Women and Youth Empowerment, an initiative to tackle issues and challenges facing young people in the Okahandja community.
She started the organisation in February, which is licensed by the Ministry of Health and Social Services.
“We are determined to become the number one NGO (non-governmental organisation) countrywide, to empower women and youth through skills development and mind education,” says the young and ambitious Shindondola.
The organisation also aims at addressing issues that teenagers face, which, over the years, have led to a high rate of teenage pregnancy, school dropouts, alcohol and drug abuse and negative peer pressure.
Shindondola, who was also selected as a semi-finalist of Miss Teen Namibia this year, told The Namibian that she will be visiting various schools to talk to teenagers and educate them through motivational speaking and other methods.
“We are also excited to have regular community gatherings, where we will be having highly influential people to educate our young people on issues that fall within our organisation. We will also be preparing Grade 7 pupils for secondary school by giving them career guidance,” explains Shindondola.
She says her organisation also aims to empower the youth and women from disadvantaged backgrounds through skills development and by providing them with sanitary pads and toiletries.
“We plan to lobby for the development of a youth resource centre that will help to incubate our local entrepreneurs into successful businessmen and women. By incubating the entrepreneurs, we are also aiming to reduce the rate of poverty in our community and beyond.”
Shindondola adds they have psychologists that are helping them with counselling at their premises.
Youth activist and founder of Generation Next Youth Club in Okahandja MacDonald Vihanga says he came to know Shindondola through monthly youth meetings held at the Okahandja Youth Forum and Chambers.
“She is an ambitious and focused young lady with a dream and goal in mind. Along the way, I recruited her under my organisation (Generation Next Youth Club), so she could take part in the motivational aspect of our mandate as well as inspire other young girls to believe in themselves,” says Vihanga.
He adds Shindondola later decided to register and open her own organisation, which is beneficial to many young people.
With the organisation, Shindondola managed to host charity work and feeding programmes by providing food to mostly young and unemployed women.
She will be visiting schools in her community to motivate pupils on the importance of education. She is also set to speak at the youth event at the outdoor facility in Nau-Aib (The Flex Zone) on Saturday.
Shindondola was born and raised in Okahandja, residing in the informal settlement of Five Rand community.
“Everyone can agree that I am an exemplary teenager in our society and I have so much love for the community and I am determined to bring change with the knowledge and resources within my reach,” explains Shindondola.