Ombetja Yehinga Organisation

Mission of the organisation

The Ombetja Yehinga Organisation(OYO) is a Namibian Trust (T109/09) that uses the Arts to create social awareness. All our projects have an Art component (dance, drama, films, publications), all address a social issue (including HIV, teenage pregnancy, gender-based violence, anti-bullying). Most of our projects are in school but we also work with offenders in correctional facilities. OYO believes that children and teenagers need to be reached more than once (to reinforce messages), using exciting mediums (to stimulate their attention) with simple, yet strong messages (to impact on their attitudes and behaviours). OYO suggests interventions to start a dialogue with the schools (whereby schools are recipient of an activity), followed by interventions at school level (under the form of a campaign where schools have to take a stand and become actively involved in the process). OYO believes that children and teenagers have the answer. All we need is to unlock their creativity. Among others, OYO has: Created the OYO dance troupe. This is the first and currently only troupe in Namibia employing dancers as performers. The troupe has reached over 200,000 children in schools so far, performing a vast repertoire. Produced various DVDs. Most DVDs are used in schools during evening sessions with learners, triggering discussion and challenging norms. 'Salute' is the first DVD produced in Namibian Correctional Facilities with inmates, telling their stories. Other DVDs include 'Kukuri' on child marriage, 'pap and milk' on sugar daddies (inter-generational sex) and the mini-series 'my best interest' on children's rights. OYO has worked with numerous out-of-school youth groups in many parts of the country, produced various drama and photographic exhibititons (including 'the caring Namibian man' and 'still life') and supported various school clubs and girls' camps. OYO uses the Arts because the Arts don't appeal to your intellect but to your feelings. It makes you feel and once you feel, you start reflecting. Programs appealing to your intellect provide you with knowledge, but the Arts, appealing to your feelings, impact your choices and subsequently influence your attitude and behavior. Some of our projects include: The San matter project: The rationale for San Matter Phase I was that only 67 percent of San children in the country enroll in school. And only 1 percent of those children complete secondary school. (OSISA Group report "Rethinking Indigenous Education,"). One of the reasons for the high drop out of San children from the education sector is linked to cultural bullying in schools. Since 2016 OYO implements an anti-cultural bullying project in twenty four schools across two regions of Namibia. Activities include intervention by the OYO dance troupe, training of the local out-of-school youth group, implementation of San girls camps, organisation of the San School friendly competition once every second year. Over 88% of the San children involved in the project have re-enrolled in schools in 2019. The growing strong in the Karas region: Since 2006, OYO has been supporting various youth groups, training them in the arts of drama, dance and songs and creating shows of social significance with them. In 2008, OYO established its OYO dance troupe. OYO is now developing packages involving both the dance troupe and youth groups working on the same issue from two different angles and visiting the same schools to reinforce messages. The 'In and out' project: this is project to work with inmates (called offenders in Namibia) in correctional facilities on issues around HIV and Sexual and Reproductive Health. In a country where sodomy is still criminalised, offenders do not have access to condoms. Together with offenders OYO works towards addressing their needs, wants and fears and encourages them to know their status. Over 600 inmates have been tested as part of the project. "OYO's application of the performing and visual arts in a highly participatory and learner centred pedagogy represents a model of excellence and best practice." Hon. Nangola Mbumba MP, then Minister for Education, September 2009 (now Vice President of the Republic of Namibia)

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Ombetja Yehinga Organisation

4 Babie Street, P.O Box 97217
Windhoek, 10020