Roline Amunjera – Namibia

Roline Amunjera – Namibia

Date: November 4, 2015
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Walking the talk of gender equality

Roline Amunjera is secretary to the Chief Executive Officer of Tses Village Council. Tses is a village in Karas Region in southern Namibia, with a population of approximately 1000 with about a thousand more living in the surrounding semi-desert farming land. It is situated one kilometre off the main highway from Windhoek to Cape Town and Johannesburg, opposite the turn to Berseba and Brukaros Mountain.

Roline tells us that she encountered Gender Links for the first time in 2012 when Gender Links country manager Sarry Xoagus visited Tses Village Council and held a workshop and briefed them about Gender Links. Asked what it was like working with Gender Links, she said that it has been amazing experience. She adds that it has been encouraging and motivational for her as a young woman in the organisation and that Gender Links has contributed to the council’s knowledge regarding gender related issues and the council is now “walking the talk of gender equality”. Roline says she has realised that most of life’s lessons are learnt not only from reading a motivational book but from participating in the kinds of workshops which change people’s perspective.

Roline shares the fact that Gender Links’ involvement in their town had pushed her capacity to the extent that she is able to proclaim that she is a gender activist. After joining the Centres of Excellence programme in 2012, Roline has been leading a gender committee formed by the council and she organised a campaign against gender based violence (GBV). The campaign was held under the theme “Walk Away”. The main objective of the campaign was to build awareness and encourage the community, both women and men, using the strong message that it’s better to leave a violent relationship before it gets out of hand. The campaign carried information directing people where to go for help and encouraging women to participate in decision making and to take leadership positions.

According to Roline, Gender Links came at the right time as the biggest challenge in her community is that most young people come from broken family structures and some of them do not get emotional support to deal with problems at home. The high unemployment rate, as well as rape and domestic violence, are some of the concerns highlighted by Roline.

Roline explained how they established a youth group that is dedicated and working hard to make a difference in the community. The group encourages young people to work hard and take care of themselves because they are leaders of tomorrow. Young people are being provided with skills such as entrepreneurship. They learn how to generate income to start their own businesses. Roline says that as their council strives for quality service delivery they are committed to achieving a high level of performance to help the growth of the village. She adds that they need to strengthen their economic base to improve the current unemployment situation and create activities that can include everyone in the community.

Roline believes that although the progress is slow she can definitely testify that people are now aware of gender based violence. Women and the community at large are working together fighting against domestic violence. Crimes are now being reported, and the community is helping the police to combat this social evil.


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