De Klerk retires after 20 years at WAD

21 Aug 2014 18:30pm
WINDHOEK, 21 AUG (NAMPA) – The executive director of the Women’s Action for Development (WAD), Veronica de Klerk is retiring on 31 August 2014 after 20 years at the helm of the organisation.
She made the announcement during a media conference on Thursday, and also announced her successor, Salatiel Shinedima.
De Klerk said she completed her journey at the organisation after empowering many rural men and women to improve their living conditions.
She established the local non-profitmaking, non-government organisation (NGO) in Namibia in 1994.
“I had a fantastic journey through the past 20 years at WAD, but I am going to rest now. After that I will decide what I want to do for the future,” said De Klerk.
She noted that with the appointment of Shinedima, WAD is introducing a new approach with a bold young man, who is prepared to take up the cause of women, “a man who is proud to run the national agenda of women and to face the challenges head-on”.
She mentored Shinedima, who hails from the Oshana Region, for a couple of years in managing many projects for WAD since he joined the organisation in 2011.
He completed a Master’s Degree in Community Development at the University of Kwazulu Natal, South Africa.
De Klerk said Namibia needs dynamic and fearless role models in society - people who will address the numerous challenges currently facing women, such as violence, rape and brutal killings, poverty, as well as unemployment.
She indicated that WAD will use more men in its programmes in order to address these steadily growing challenges in society.
On his part, Shinedima commended his predecessor for steering WAD into a reputable and well-respected NGO in the country.
“Her unwavering contribution to community development and women’s empowerment is a remarkable one in our country. She is a patriotic and selfless leader, who has dedicated her life to the well-being of her fellow Namibians. Leaders of her calibre are rare to find these days, and I believe that many Namibians will agree with me that she is a true Namibian champion of gender equality and women’s empowerment,” he said.
Shinedima vowed to continue working with development partners, local and international donours, Government, private sector to make gender equality a reality.
He said WAD believes that the 50/50 representation of both men and women is the greatest equaliser to gender disparity in decision-making positions.
WAD is operational in all regions of the country.
It has mainly been sponsored by the Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung since its establishment.
Other key donors which are presently working with WAD on the empowerment of rural communities include the European Union, Spanish Government, American Ambassador’s Self-Help Programme, as well as Old Mutual Namibia, Nedbank Namibia, Mutual and Federal Namibia, as well as Bidvest Namibia.