Campus rises up against ­violence

Learners now have the opportunity to report to the #BreakFree society on campus.
The #BreakFree anti-violence campaign officially launched a society at the University of Namibia’s (Unam) main campus on 12 May.

Officially registered as #BeakFree 2 #BeFree, the society was created as a result of a survey done in partnership with Youth Against AIDS and the 2021 Unam Student Representative Council, from the Internal Affairs Office, which highlighted an urgent need for education, sensitisation and positive action towards sexual reproductive and health rights, gender-based violence and the status of marginalised students on campus.

Lelly Amunyela, a representative from the #Breakfree movement, shared that a social worker will be on campus to assist students for their basic counselling needs. Currently, the society has 96 members.

The society will operate under the internal leadership of Unam students who were elected to be the executive team and the external leadership of the #BreakFree anti-violence campaign. The society aims to offer practical solutions towards decreasing incidents of violence on campus, engage front-line service providers and other stakeholders to build capacity, maximise opportunities to reach community members through students, raise awareness on the complexities of violence, and the prevention thereof, and facilitate accessibility to responsive and essential services (including psychosocial support and counselling) for students by collaborating with key ministries, civil society partners and tertiary institutions.

#BreakFree is a national campaign launched in 2017 under the Office of the First Lady/One Economy Foundation, with the aim to be a key player in the fight against sexual gender-based violence and all other forms of violence in Namibia. The campaign does this through awareness-raising and the creation of platforms for Namibians to actively and meaningfully contribute towards decreasing the incidences and occurrences of violence.

Members of the society can expect sexual and gender-based violence training, counselling skills, development workshops and youth dialogues facilitated to address issues affecting young people on campus, amongst many other activities.

Students from Unam main campus who are interested to be part of the society can contact the society’s chairperson, Abigail Mushendami, at 085 640 0529.