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UNDP Training Reduces Poverty In Namibia
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UNDP Training Reduces Poverty In Namibia
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In Namibia, a training program funded by the UN is helping local people learn new skills and start small businesses. Each dollar earned is another small step toward achieving the Millennium Development Goal of eliminating poverty. 

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Segment 1

VOICEOVER
The artisan skills of the Ohangwena region in Namibia are famous. Men traditionally weave gigantic harvest baskets, yet there's nothing to fill them with. Persistent drought has made the years of plenty a distant memory. Goats and other farm animals now have to roam vast distances to find an open water hole. And one question looms like a dark shadow: how long will there be enough food for animals, and for people as well? Nangobe Efraim and his extended family live in this compound of huts in the village of Onamboto. Years ago, their pumpkins and zucchini piled up. This year, there is nothing left to sell. Nangobe hopes he has at least enough zucchini stored to feed his wife, seven children, and the rest of the family. Under these circumstances, being a farmer is a hopeless struggle, but luckily Nangobe found a new job.
NANGOBE EFRAIM
Now it is different. We survive better. I earn enough money to buy everything we need.
VOICEOVER
Nangobe went to the Eenhana Artisan Training Centre, a micro-enterprise development project, funded and supported by the UN Development Programme. It is the first vocational training program in the region and not only brings people's artisan skills to a new level of proficiency. The center also reduces poverty in the community, says Daniel Kashikola, Executive Director of the Ohangwena Regional Council.
DANIEL KASHIKOLA
In those pilot areas where these activities actually have been implemented, we see change. People have started marketing their products.
VOICEOVER
Besides carpentry and metal work, the center offers dressmaking classes for young single mothers. After six months, the women receive a certificate and can start their own micro enterprise. Welders and carpenters learn their skills in small groups and pay special attention to independent work and accident prevention. Graduates who can't afford to set up their own shops can rent the center's equipment for their own projects. Tools produced in the workshop are appreciated in the local community garden. The center has already signed two contracts to furnish office buildings. The cash will be used to purchase new equipment. The artisan centre is a success story, says UNDP's Representative for Namibia, Dr. Jacqui Badcock:
DR. JACQUI BADCOCK
We must have had some impact. And I think what we need to do now is try and develop more centers, not just in that one area. It's back to the population being so scattered. We need many more such training centers to gainfully employ more people.
VOICEOVER
Nangobe was one of the first graduates of the Artisan Training Center. Since then, he has opened his own store. Customers don't mind the long walk it takes to get a good look at the merchandise. Word is spreading, even without an expensive advertising campaign. Nangobe now earns USD$40 a month and can even afford the luxury of a new radio. His story is an example from Africa of how the UN Millennium Goal of eradicating extreme poverty by 2015 is being addressed. This report was prepared by Kamil Taha and Ingrid Kasper for the United Nations.