Elita Chikwati Senior Reporter
Namibian First Lady Monica Geingos has called for open and frank dialogue between young people and adults on issues affecting youths, including adolescence and HIV and Aids.
She made the call yesterday at the Women’s University in Africa campus in Manresa while addressing youths, including university and college students, child parliamentarians and adults from different sectors.
The function was also attended by WUA founder and Vice Chancellor Professor Hope Sadza, chairperson and founding member Dr Fay Chung and senior staff from the university.
Mrs Geingos said there was need for adults to discuss issues affecting them with youths.
She said the discussions between young people and adults should be user friendly to the intended beneficiaries.
“As parents, it is difficult to speak to our children about (issues) relating to HIV and Aids,” said Mrs Geingos. “Young people are faced with many challenges and not only HIV and Aids, so we should change the campaign to enable the young people to free themselves, not only from HIV and Aids, but from many things that affect them, including drugs, peer pressure and bad behaviour.
Mrs Geingos said the discussions should not only be biased towards girls, as boys also had issues affecting them.
“Boys have challenges like the inability to deal with anger and peer pressure,” she said. “Sometimes we should take the dialogue to where the children go, for instance nightclubs, and have them discuss their challenges and let other people talk about them, it helps to have the young people know how other people see them.”
Mrs Geingos expressed concern over the rate of new HIV and Aids infections on young children between 14 and 25 years.
“We should not leave everything to Government alone, but the communities should work together to assist young people as they mostly suffer from social dysfunction,” she said.
Mrs Geingos was appointed the UNAIDS special advocate for young Women and Adolescent Girls.
Her role is to specifically champion the start Free Stay Free AIDS Free campaign, the super track framework for ending Aids among children, adolescents and young women by 2020.
She is spearheading youth focused #Be Free Conversations, which focus on all issues affecting adolescents.