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One Economy Foundation launches Project #BeFree

Updated: Aug 16, 2021

Background

On the 31 March 2021, One Economy Foundation in partnership with the Ministry of Sport, Youth and National Service launched the ground-breaking of Project #BeFree, which represents the coming of age and harnessing the vibrancy of the #BeFree Movement. We will jointly launch Project #BeFree which is aimed at:

· building a state of the art, safe space for young people to access necessary services;

· facilitating a safe recreational space for young people to engage with peers and access services, such as counselling, comprehensive adolescent friendly sexual and reproductive health services, including family planning;

· respond sexual and gender-based violence for adolescents and young adults;

· conduct training in collaboration with a range of stakeholders; and

· addressing youth challenges through coordinated, inter-agency and multi-sectoral intervention that ensures integrated, preventive and responsive services to young people.

#BeFree emerged from the need to create an urban catalyst, which would embody and institutionalize all the ground breaking work of #BeFree and all its initiatives. Project #BeFree is to act as a haven and platform for youth across Namibia. The facility is comprised out of several interactive spaces namely; the Adolescent Friendly Clinic, The Yo! Hub (Futuristic technologies), Resource center, Training center and Admin building. These multifunctional and dynamic buildings give rise to a central courtyard of interaction, which conjures up a sense of community with spaces of expression and growth.


One Economy Foundation is committed to financing the construction and furnishing of the facility, ensure the implementation of all the necessary activities and ensure the financial sustainability of the Project. One Economy Foundation will donate the facility back to the Ministry of Sport, Youth and Culture upon completion of construction. One Economy Foundation will facilitate transfer of skills, ensure consistent maintenance of facility and utilise project construction phase to renovate parts of Multi-purpose Youth Centre. One Economy Foundation has ensured that there is a financial sustainability plan to safeguard project viability and eliminate unnecessary, unbudgeted and unrealistic financial input from the Ministry. One Economy Foundation as Non-profit, welfare focused intent of ONE aligns with national mandate to provide public good, specifically for youth.

The generous donation of land for the construction of the facility will assist the Ministry of Sport, Youth and National Service to attain some of the key national youth policy goals and strategic objectives i.e. Education and Skills development, Health and Wellbeing, Employment and Economic Empowerment, Political and Civic Participation. Additionally, One Economy Foundation will provide facilities to youth organisations and collaborate with youth focused organisations in the vicinity, this will enable the Ministry to redirect much needed resources to other areas.

Adolescent Friendly Clinic

The landmark facility will kick off with the Adolescent Friendly Clinic which is situated in the heart of Katutura, Windhoek. The project seeks to trail blaze and provide unique health services which cater not only for physical needs but as well as psycho-social needs. Health care facilities are critical to respond to and prevent adolescent health challenges, in promoting sexual and reproductive health and in inculcating help seeking behaviour. Therefore, building a world class facility that offers accessible and a full spectrum of sexual reproductive health services in an environment that is neither intimidating nor judgmental and where young people will feel comfortable, respected and heard underpinned by confidentiality is what we aim to establish.


Additional Information:

Project #BeFree was born as a result of engaging over 120,000 young people from all fourteen regions in Namibia, the Southern Africa Development Community (SADC), the United States of America, Switzerland and the Netherlands, with frank, non-judgmental dialogue and thematic conversations on experiences through #BeFree engagements. Young people have taken ownership of the #BeFree brand and are driving the values, programming, services and modalities. The needs to be addressed are the result of extensive consultation, particularly with adolescents and youth, parents, frontline service




providers, including police officers, social workers, life skills teachers, health care workers and church leaders. The specific reference points are encapsulated in the #BeFree Key Learnings Report. Additional needs were drawn from focus group discussions, the BreakFree Anti-Violence Campaign and the Problematic Mind-sets Research Report. Throughout the process, we remained conscious of the vulnerabilities, risk factors and generational impact of the issues faced by adolescents and young adults.



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