WAD graduation in Keetmanshoop.
The students got awarded certificates in computer literacy, office administration and typing, tailoring as well as in the content of gender-related laws which include, the Combating of Rape Act, the Combating of Domestic Violence Act, the Child Maintenance Act and the Married Person's Equality Act.
Speaking at the ceremony, executive director of WAD, Veronica De Klerk said that she is proud of the success the Karas centre has achieved since it opened its doors in 2007. The centre has served as a catchment area for school leavers and school drop-outs and has trained close to 1000 unemployed young people.
According to De Klerk, an estimated 70% of the students trained managed to find jobs in the labour market or started their own income-generating ventures.
"It is WAD's pride that this Human Development Centre has since its establishment succeeded in giving hope and opening the windows of opportunity to many young people who have found jobs in the labour market or who have established their own income-generating ventures," she said.
She further said irrespective of the large number of students which the centre is training to equip for some form of work, many unemployed young people lack the needed skills for the labour market. "It is most unfortunate that gender based violence, the raping of women, murder, attempted murder and the general high crime rate in the South are burdening the souls of the people of that region."
"There is no doubt that this centre should be viewed as a Beacon of Hope which can change lives, depending on how you as young people would utilise the opportunities it offers," she added.
She also congratulated the Karas Region for not having a single case of baby dumping reported to the police last year.
"This is most encouraging and indeed an out standing achievement for this region, especially in view of the fact, that it is a huge problem in other parts of the country," said De Klerk.
BY LORATO KHOBETSI