Fifteen youth officers and coordinators from the environmental education unit at the Ministry of Youth, National Service, Sport and Culture participated in a weeklong sustainable living programme at the Namib Desert Environmental Education Trust (NaDEET) Centre from 21 to 25 May this year.
“I have been trying to bring youth officers responsible for environmental education to NaDEET Centre for many years and am now pleased that it has finally materialised,” said the Directorate of Youth: Environmental Education Coordinator Siegfriedth Bandu. He went on to say that this opportunity has given youth officers’ skills in better addressing environmental needs of young people.
NaDEET Centre is based on the NamibRand Nature Reserve in the Hardap Region. For the past nine years it has been offering weeklong environmental education programmes to schoolchildren, youth and adults. Programmes focus on how Namibians can live a more sustainable lifestyle to improve their own livelihoods and protect our natural resources. With over 6000 participants, the programme has proven to be a leader in the field in southern Africa due to NaDEET’s “we practice what we teach” approach.
Youth officers participated in a “training of trainers” programme to enable them to improve the quality and content of the environmental education activities they offer to youth nation-wide. It covered current environmental problems and solutions, educational methods, activity and programme development and support material development. For centre-based staff it included a session on “greening” youth centres through infusing sustainable living practices in all aspects of the centre. One participant enthusiastically commented, “This was my first exposure to environmental education learning and I gained valuable skills that will help me to carry out my work differently.”
In order to improve the ability of the youth officers to implement what they have learned back in their workplaces with youth, NaDEET secured sponsorship from the Dutch-based COV fund to provide free-of-charge appropriate sustainable energy technology to the group. This included ten parabolic solar cookers and fifteen fuel-efficient stoves.
This training opportunity was made possible by funding from the European Union through a grant to empower Namibian communities to improve their living conditions. Empowered youth officers reflected this in their evaluation of the NaDEET programme by saying, “More Namibians need to be educated on sustainable living; so I feel more people need to get this first-hand experience as we did. Thank you very much for making this a reality.”
For more details, please visit www.nadeet.org or contact Viktoria Keding, email@example.com