12 Mar 2014 15:50pm
WINDHOEK, 12 MAR (NAMPA) - The Social Security Commission (SSC) handed over bursaries and student loans worth N.dollars 5,3 million to 66 students in the capital on Wednesday.
The beneficiaries are studying at various tertiary institutions both inside Namibia and elsewhere in the Southern African Development Community (SADC) region.
Officiating at the handing-over ceremony, the Minister of Labour and Social Welfare Doreen Sioka urged the students to refrain from alcohol and drug abuse, and other socially immoral practices.
She reminded them that the bursaries and student loans handed over to them by the SSC are aimed at enabling them to become future business leaders so that they can, amongst other things, help fight the gender-based violence (GBV) currently causing heated debates around the country.
As you are given these bursaries, we want you to change this situation currently faced by our country, the evil of GBV, she stated.
Sioka also pleaded with the female beneficiaries to refrain from dating sugar daddies, and to not cheat on their boyfriends as she said these are some of the reasons why women and girls are killed.
Do not take his property if you know you are not planning to be with him for long, she said, while calling on the boys not to kill as they are not allowed to take anybody's life.
Sioka further thanked the SSC for the initiative, saying it is a clear demonstration that the Commission is doing everything in its power to cement its position of being a strong catalyst for creating livelihood opportunities for disadvantaged Namibians.
Also speaking at the handing-over ceremony was the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the SSC, Kenandei Tjivikua, who said the need for academically or technically-qualified personnel cuts across almost all sectors, as does the need for training in business and organisational development.
He added that even where skills are present, there is often a need for financial mentoring. Hence, it is essential that all stakeholders invest in the education of Namibians.
The SSC Development Fund also plans to form synergies with institutions in the public, private and non-governmental sectors which are working towards similar goals.
Furthermore, the SSC plans to approach institutions of higher learning in Namibia to consider the introduction of social security or social protection courses in their curricula so as to ensure that Namibia develops its own home-grown social security experts to move the socio-economic development to the next level, he stated.
The social protection landscape in Namibia is fragmented, which as a whole affects the cost and capacity to deliver social security services.
Tjivikua indicated that the SSC will, therefore, take a leading role in dialogues which may lead to the consolidation of the fragmented social security schemes into robust, comprehensive and coherent national schemes.