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Social Entrepreneurship Forum Inspires and Engages the Youth

"Let’s be inspired. Let’s engage with each other and the problems around us. Let’s act. Let’s turn the problems we encounter in Namibia into opportunities." This was the message young people took from the two days Youth Speak Forum. 

Delegates were not only inspired, but also were asked to engage with different topics and issues through various workshops.

As one of the partner organisations UNICEF ran a workshop on All-in HIV/AIDS- Adolescent Country Assessment. The issue engaged the delegates to a great extent, as they shared their feeling that it was high time Namibia started tackling HIV/AIDS from a different angle. Only then can positive results be achieved. UNICEF co-delivered the workshop together with UNAIDS, the Ministry of Health & Social Services, and AfriYAN.

In a panel discussion about social entrepreneurship the audience was given the opportunity to learn about different approaches to the topic. The moderator, Mr Apoorv Bamba from the Allan Gray Orbis Foundation of South Africa, led through a discussion between Mr. Petrus Shikofota from the Bank of Namibia (Economist), Miss Ndiitah Nghipondoka-Robiati from the Namibia Trade Forum (CEO), Mr. Sylver Kibelolaud and Tobias Meszaros (AIESEC Namibia president). The participants of the Youth Speak Forum had the opportunity to ask in-depths questions to the panellists and actively engage with them. A lively debate developed that was continued through various one-by-one interactions and discussions after the panel discussion was over. 

Being inspired and engaging with others and problems is not enough to turn problems into opportunities. Action is needed to achieve this. Thus, the delegates received the challenge to come up with their own project to tackle a pressing social issue in Namibia. This gave participants the opportunity to actively apply what they had learned about social entrepreneurship throughout the Youth Speak Forum. All of the eight teams came up with very innovative and very different ideas and project. Three winning teams who came up with outstanding projects were selected. They will be sponsored by Allan Gray Obis Foundation through unit shares and will be followed up by Allan Gray Orbis Foundation & AIESEC Namibia. 

At the end of a very interactive two-day Youth Speak Forum everyone left not only with new networking contacts or friends, but also with a new mind-set about how to approach problems not only as problems, but to perceive them as an opportunity to act.