07 Jul 2013 05:30
MARIENTAL, 07 JUL (NAMPA) - Eight income-generating projects in the Hardap Region have received financial support from the Ministry of Gender Equality and Child Welfare to enable them to grow their business.
The Income Generating Activities (IGA) programme is run by the Directorate of Community and Early Childhood Development in the Gender Ministry, and sponsors community projects across the country on an annual basis.
Speaking to Nampa on Sunday, the chairperson of the Hardap Regional Council and Gibeon Constituency Councillor, Jeremia van Neels said the ministry availed N.dollars 67 998 from the 2012/13 financial year budget for the Hardap projects.
The financial support is aimed at improving quality of life at grassroots level by encouraging community members to embark on income-generating activities, and to promote self-employment.
Salons and projects involved in activities such gardening, needle work and leather work received N.dollars 11 00, N.dollars 7 000 and N.dollars 6 000 each depending on the size of the project, with the bigger projects receiving the highest amounts.
The funds were handed over at Mariental on Tuesday.
Van Neels said six of the projects which benefited are well established and making good progress, while the other two beneficiaries are embarking on new projects.
?They are doing very well. This was the first time they received money but they have been doing outstanding work on their own, so I encourage the rest of the community members to apply for such grants so that they can generate their own income and create employment,? Van Neels said.
He noted that besides these eight beneficiaries there are still a lot of community projects, especially in his constituency, which need support.
?The Hardap council has allocated N.dollars 80 000 to a group of 130 people in the Gibeon Constituency to start an aquaculture project this year. We are currently in the process of buying materials (for the project),? said Van Neels.
The IGA programme supports all Namibian citizens aged 18 years or older, including the previously disadvantaged, those who cannot access bank loans due to a lack of collateral, women living with disabilities who can engage in business activities, as well as those with project proposals that are economically viable and which have the potential to provide employment to other community members.
Beneficiaries are expected to provide the Ministry of Gender Equality and Child Welfare with progress reports on an annual basis.
The ministry, however, has the right to relocate the equipment bought with IGA funds to other projects should the project fail to achieve expected goals within three years.