As Democracy needs Democrats, Democrats must have the capacities and share the same behavioural and ethical standards to take responsibility as Namibian citizens and servants. With the median age in Namibia being 21,8 years (2020), youth is the pillar of the current and the future society. Youth must be empowered to defend democratic achievements and values, strengthen, and form alliances and networks in participating in socioeconomic and political development and debates in their communities. This is a precondition for a prosperous society.
Friedrich Ebert Stiftung (FES) started engaging with young Namibian individuals in 2007. In collaboration with the National Youth Council (NYC) and the Ministry of Sports, Youth and National Services (MSYNS), FES implemented the Youth Leadership Development Programme (YLDP) until it was handed over to the National Youth Council in 2020. From 2008 until 2020, many Young Leaders were trained, who are now actively shaping the future of Namibia as Decision Makers. In 2008, graduates of YLDP founded the Youth Leadership Development Programme Alumni Association (YLDPAA). The YLDAA since then has aimed at safeguarding the interest and rights of the youth by promoting unity among the Namibian youth, irrespective of political, social, and religious affiliation.
In 2021, FES started partnering with the Economic and Social Justice Trust in the School of Activists. The School of Activists strives to inspire activists from diverse backgrounds committed to addressing critical socio-economic and political challenges affecting their communities. The School of Activists explores various debates and possible actions to influence positive change. The topics covered include inequality, unemployment, poverty, decent housing as a human right, the struggle for a living wage, climate justice and the ecological crisis, political economy, social protection, gender justice, and many more. The School of Activists provides hands-on and minds-on guided learning activities in a free-thinking atmosphere to help the participants to be creative, innovative, and radical and to understand themselves as capable of initiating positive socio-economic and political changes. Monthly sessions include Interactive seminars, roundtable discussions, film screenings and engagement with community-based organisations to innovate fresh ideas of effective activism against socio-economic injustices.
YLPD Alumni, FES, and graduates of the School of Activists believe that Social Justice is a head cornerstone in Namibian society to ensure social cohesion and, consequently, the strength of the Namibian democracy.