WINDHOEK: Close to 336 ‘struggle kids’ as well as orphans and vulnerable children (OVCs) in the country have been placed in entry-level jobs in the public sector.
Tobias Hainyeko Constituency Councillor Zulu Shitongeni confirmed this in an exclusive interview with Nampa on Friday.
“Various Government ministries have responded positively to the campaign under the auspices of the Office of the Prime Minister (OPM), such as the Ministry of Agriculture, Water and Forestry, which came through and placed 21 struggle kids and OVCs as drivers, and another 33 as labourers,” explained Shitongeni.
The Ministry of Defence also placed 23 youths as clerical assistants, 36 as cleaners, four as clerks and four as handymen.
Shitongeni could, however, not provide the exact number of ‘struggle kids’ and OVCs and their job placements.
The councillor explained that these jobs are not just in the Khomas Region, but in other regions as well, adding that the successful candidates will be deployed to the regions, based on their individual conditions.
“If for instance a certain candidate does not have family obligations such as a wife, husband or school-going children, then we see no problem with deploying such a candidate to work in regions other than where he/she is based,” the Tobias Hainyeko councillor noted.
Shitongeni, who is also the chairperson of the Struggle Kids’ Committee, said the allocation of jobs was done by the administrative committee of the OPM from a list of names of orphaned and vulnerable youths identified by councillors in their constituencies, and not just ‘struggle kids’.
The successful candidates are likely to start their new jobs on 01 October this year, with some still going through the process of interviews, whilst others are awaiting letters of acceptance.
“Our constituencies are also filled with children who have been orphaned by HIV/AIDS, and are thus forced to run households at a very young age. These are some of the situations we are focusing on, and not just on the struggle kids based at Brakwater and Berg Aukas,” he said.
The councillor said once they come across a family headed by just young people, they normally take at least one or two children from that household and give them jobs in order to support the others.
His constituency also counsels young, vulnerable prostitutes who approach the constituency office for help, and tries to also get them jobs after they receive counselling.
Meanwhile, Shitongeni said the process of finding jobs for the ‘struggle kids’ and OVCs will continue, as the Struggle Kids’ Committee was given three months by the OPM in which to find a solution to the plight of the group, and to prevent them from protesting again.