By Charmaine Boois
Mariental, Aug. 3 – The plight of unemployed youth in Mariental has reached a critical point, with a severe lack of job opportunities leaving many battling mental and economic hardships. Dreams of a bright future are fading, and limited resources for survival have pushed some towards alcohol and crime, further exacerbating the already challenging situation.
Among those affected is 28-year-old Dinah-Lee Kawarie, who openly shared her thoughts: “Imagine being unemployed for years, with limited job options available. It’s draining.” Kawarie added that some resort to alcohol and crimes such as theft to survive. “We have responsibilities, taking care of children and elderly parents who can’t fend for themselves anymore. It’s emotionally and mentally taxing.”
A Namibian Daily News reporter spoke with unemployed youth in Mariental to learn about the bleak reality they face daily. A 26-year-old, who wished to remain anonymous, spoke about the difficulties they encounter in finding employment information. “Job applications and opportunities are not adequately shared, especially for those living in informal settlements like Donkerhoek, where I live, without internet or smartphones.”
Walking around Mariental’s streets, one can witness the desperation. While some wait around at bars, seeking momentary solace in alcohol, young people sit in store hallways, begging for spare coins to buy necessities. Others wander aimlessly, searching for meaning.
Puis Domingos, a 20-year-old, shed light on the lack of support from government organizations and people living comfortably, who often generalize unemployed youth as unambitious. “I initiated an art initiative called ‘Hardap Shining Stars,’ where we gather unemployed youngsters to showcase theatrical plays and earn money through various art activities and shows. We even received approval from the Mariental Municipality to use the community hall. But when we approached organizations for sponsorship, our pleas fell on deaf ears. The lack of support in our town is disheartening, crushing our dream to unite our community.”
The situation in Mariental highlights the urgent need for a comprehensive support system that addresses the challenges faced by unemployed youth. Providing accessible job information, vocational training, and financial aid to start small businesses can empower them to become self-reliant.
Local authorities, private enterprises, and charitable organizations must collaborate to create initiatives that foster entrepreneurship, nurture talent, and encourage community engagement. Together, they can breathe life back into the dreams of Mariental’s unemployed youth and build a future of hope and prosperity.
As Mariental’s unemployed youth cry out for a helping hand, it is time for the nation to unite and stand in solidarity, paving the way for a brighter and more inclusive tomorrow. – Namibia Daily News