Struggle kids ‘stigmatised’
22 April 2021 | Social Issues
One of the group members, Albertina Ekandjo, said this on Wednesday while narrating her story to Ombudsman John Walters at Ndilimani farm a few kilometres outside Windhoek, where the group resides.
The ombudsman is in the process of conducting public hearings with the group to gauge the collective view of the struggle kids with regard to matters that concern them. This came after the ombudsman had numerous consultations with representatives of the group over their concerns, challenges, experiences and desires. The hearings will also be held in Eenhana and Oshakati, where another group resides.
Ekandjo, 39, who was born in Cuanza Sul Province in Angola, said they are aware that the public is unhappy with government for giving them special treatment with employment, but they should not be treated the same as other youth who were born inside the country.
‘No one to turn to’
Another issue is that they are discriminated against when they look for jobs in the private sector due to their places of birth.
“I once secured a job at a shop in Maerua Mall and when the manager read my place of birth on my ID and asked if I am a struggle kid, I said yes. I was told that they can’t employ me because my job is at Swapo. So I think government should maybe treat us like the marginalised groups. We have no one to turn to, our parents died fighting for this country,” said Ekandjo.
Another group member, 36-year-old Festus Kandjmbi, echoed her sentiments, and said apart from employment he would prefer to be given start-up capital to start a self-sustainable business, because some of them have talents that can earn them income.
“I am a welder. If I can get equipment to start my business I can maintain it and even employ some of my fellow members here. There is a guy here who can make shoes very well, quality shoes, the same as shoes from the shops,” said Kandjimbi.
Ombudsman Walters said he will try to get as many testimonials as possible from group members before compiling a report with recommendations and submitting it to the relevant authority. – Nampa