Poetry Group Launches Educational Programme

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By Frederick Philander WINDHOEK SPOKEN WORD, a poetry association, has come up with a campaign, One Love, to ensure that basic education is a reality for all school-going children in Namibia, it was announced in a press release. ONE LOVE is the charitable arm of the Spoken Word formed by young ÃÆ’Æ‘ÀÃ…ÃÆ”šÃ‚ professionals, operating in various fields and innately conscious of the wealth of opportunities each one has been exposed to. We have decided to find ways to make our opportunities work towards the good of all young Namibian children. We believe a basic education is the primary prerequisite to achieving success in all spheres of economic and social prosperity. ONE LOVE can only exist with the commitment of each member of the organization providing time, money and actively participating in the achievement of defined objectives. The objectives of the campaign are to: 1. provide financial support to children of school-going age who are currently unable to attend school for financial reasons; requests for funding will be considered on the basis of set criteria; 2. actively participate in the lives of underprivileged children of all ages by providing opportunities for exposure and development; 3. mentor children currently facing problems in education, through tutoring, sport, camps, etc. “An amount of N$20 per month membership fee ensures that a fund is built up to cater for the financial needs of school-going children who, according to set criteria, are unable to obtain – or have difficulty obtaining – a basic education due to lack of finances. Twenty dollars per month is the minimum prerequisite for participation in the ONE LOVE Fund. Members may contribute more than this amount, the only commitment being that the amount in total is equal to or exceeds the minimum annual contribution of N$240,” the release by Afra Schimming-Chase stated. For the first year, ONE LOVE’s main intention from a financial point of view is to build a fund strong enough to carry the costs of funding education for a certain amount of children. The campaign activities include: a) Funding of School Fees: Funds to be available for payment of individual school fees and ancillary items including school uniforms, stationery and books. Funds will be made available on completion of set criteria and only to the educational institution and/or institution to which fees must be paid. b) Tutoring and Sports Activities: Members to tutor students in different school subjects (depending on pool of expertise of members which currently include: Business, Languages, Art, History, Dance). ONE LOVE beneficiaries to also be exposed to various sports, facilitated by members. c) Mentoring: Providing life skills to learners of different ages. Specific focus on Grades 8-10 learners. This will be conducted via life skills and motivational talks and support groups facilitated by members of the ONE LOVE Trust. d) Buddy Programme: Each member agrees to individually support a ONE LOVE Child, or children, by providing an outing at least once a month. This requires the commitment of each member to spend time with a ONE LOVE child regularly, and to provide feedback on a regular basis. This project will also include exposing privileged children to ONE LOVE beneficiaries, to be facilitated via schools. e) Soup Kitchens and Donations: ONE LOVE, as the charitable arm of Spoken Word, will be primarily responsible for the providing of soup kitchens at various deserving orphanages and other homes. Donations of toys received by the Spoken Word will also be distributed via ONE LOVE. ONE LOVE’s main objective is to give back to the Namibian community through the active participation of like-minded individuals driven to change the educational landscape. Members and the general public will be kept abreast of activities and progress of the Trust’s activities via various mediums,” it said. ONE LOVE will be officially launched on October 6. The beneficiaries of the trust are the Children of the Republic of Namibia (to be further defined). The Trustees include selected members of the Spoken Word as well as other individuals.