Raleigh Chalks Up 24th School

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By Petronella Sibeene WINDHOEK Raleigh International, a charity organization operating in 36 countries worldwide, completed the building of its 24th school in Namibia last week. British High Commissioner Alasdair MacDermott officially opened the Hanghome School, located 12 km west of Eenhana. In partnership with the Ministry of Education, a team of young volunteers from the United Kingdom completed the construction of two school structures in 10 weeks. The school will accommodate 90 learners with three teachers. “The Raleigh International volunteers completed the project in less than 10 weeks – from digging the foundations through to erecting the roof and decorating the classroom walls with teaching aids such as alphabet and world maps,” said Communications Officer Caroline Crouch. She added that Hanghome School is just one of the six community and environmental projects that the 150 Raleigh International volunteers, staff and participants have completed in the past weeks. The ten-week expedition, which ended yesterday, was divided into three phases. This involved completing a 250-km trek along the Goantagab, Ugab and Messum rivers to the Skeleton coast. One major environmental project to be completed by the team entails constructing four game viewing hides at Kaudom National park. These will be used by the Ministry of Environment and Tourism (MET) specifically to count a valuable herd of buffalo. Since 1996, the population for this species has grown from 24 to 140. Another large game viewing hide will similarly be built for full moon game counting that usually takes place in September and October. Raleigh, which has been in the country for nine years, will also build a new aviary for rare and endangered Cape Griffin vultures while at Naukluft the organization will clear a landfill site and re-instate the recycling units at the Sesriem campsite that was constructed in 2004. An education programme for staff will also be conducted especially on rubbish re-cycling. “Raleigh International works with young people from all backgrounds. At least 15% of all Raleigh participants are recruited from the host country, all aged 17-25 years. Preference is given to projects that are long term and sustainable and fulfill a genuine need of the country, whilst meeting Raleigh’s aims of personal and social youth development.”