On the 20th of June 2017, Osire Refugee Settlement joined the rest of the world in celebrating World Refugee Day with the theme “WE STAND TOGETHER #WITH REFUGEE”. Three thousand two hundred (3200) attended the event including many officials from the government of Namibia to the Osire community at large. The message sent that day was one of solidarity.
Hon. Erastus Uutoni member of the parliament and Deputy Minister of Home Affairs mentioned: There are currently 3804 asylum seekers and recognized refugees in the country. Stating the government hopes to continue welcoming and providing safety, shelter, security, health, education other basic needs to all concerned bodies. He added that the government of Namibia is working hard with challenges regarding Alcohol abuse and Gender based violence in the settlement.
The Government and organizations like UNHCR are working closely together to facilitate the safe return of the refugee to their country of origin, applauding refugees that have returned to their countries and that are contributing to the development.
He encouraged refugees to abide by the law and if not appropriate measures would take place. He then concluded his talk by appreciating AHA for many years of contribution and mentioned a local NGO called Komeho Namibia Development Agency will now continue the work they were doing starting July 1st, 2017.
Dr. Asis K. Das representative of UNHCR said, stated something often forgotten which is the courage and persistence despite the hurdles the refugees face they strive to belong and contribute to the society, building connections and creating new opportunity. The Representative of UNHCR mentioned that given the right environment refugees bring solutions and not problems. Following this, he thanked the entire participant who made it possible and ended his speech with 3 petitions
ENSURE ALL REFUGEE CHILDREN CAN RECEIVE AN EDUCATION
ENSURE ALL REFUGEE FAMILIES HAVE SOMEWHERE SAFE TO LIVE
ENSURE EVERY REFUGEE CAN WORK TO PROVIDE FOR THEIR FAMILY
Mr. Jason Hamunyela the Komeho Namibia Development Agency Project Coordinator stated despite the limitation of their capacity to help the refugees their goals are oriented with the framework of the UN sustainable development goals.
On behalf of the community, Mr. Jovial Hodori said, he thanked the government of Namibia for sheltering and providing the refugees but reminded the government Osire Settlement is in an isolated area where access to many facilities isn’t easy, therefore, recommending the possibility of giving more days to look for jobs.
Refugees thanked the Office of Home Affairs for facilitating work permits but hoped that one day they would be able to work without work permits. Finally mentioning to deal with criminals especially those involved in drugs seriously for they are destroying the reputation of all refugees.
Omatako Constituency Councilor office gave a world of thanks by encouraging all stake holders to participate in finding durable solutions for refugees to achieve: “working towards a world without refugees”. He then appreciated the government officials and organizations for their participation and contribution.