Men on the Side of the Road (MSR) last week officially rebranded its logo and strategy for the future. MSR was established in 2007 with the aim to support men gathering at job sites around Windhoek to connect them to training and job opportunities. Since then, more than 1 100 men have been registered as members of MSR. The non-profit organisation now also aims to include an information and communication technology skills set, as part of its vocational training programme. “The rationale for changing the brand came about because of the realisation that there were so many categories of unemployed people, those physically sitting on the side of the road, those who are on a virtual side of the road and those that are one their way to either of the two. Whatever the case may be, all are in the same category ‘unemployed’. The board realised that to have an impact, MSR should consider all unemployed people, thus including the men physically sitting on the side of the road, Grade 10 and 12 school drop outs, women and all the others falling in the category of being unemployed,” said MSR’s chief executive, Crystal Beukes. MSR has adapted its strategy to makes its services inclusive to all Namibians. “Job creation in Namibia is not only the responsibility of the state and therefore the input, efforts and vision like that of MSR in collaboration with various training institutions to empower the youth and the disadvantaged communities are applauded and should be supported and encouraged in this regard. The training offered through MSR, unemployed people do get opportunities to better equip themselves for the job market or to start their own business when possible,” said Erkki Nghimtina, Minister of Labour, Industrial Relations and Employment Creation. The Minister added: “Our Government welcomes MSR’s approach for also opening their doors to women. Unemployment does not discriminate against gender and as such people should be given equal opportunities to access employment in any field of their choice and earn a living for themselves, support their families and contribute to the national economy. “MSR has not only focussed on vocational training but also it has encouraged young Namibians to complete their Grade 10 and 12. The Government’s objective is to educate its citizens to the best of their ability therefore MRS is appreciated in furthering this objective,” Nghimtina said. “We would like to thank Bank Windhoek, Capricorn Group, Santam and all other individual sponsors and donors for their support over all the years. Such partnerships make it possible for us to continue our work,” said Beukes. “Whatever your hopes, dreams and ambitions, they start in the mind. Our motto is ‘Connecting people to employment opportunities’.” MSR will continue to play a role in the “life of the unemployed” and mostly the unskilled to improve the lives of individuals as well as the socio-wellbeing of those who cannot find employment. “Our new identity is thus not only a sign of growth to the organisation but of the expanding of our support offered to assist the unemployed to a point where he or she can sustain him/herself and their families,” Beukes said.
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