ADS Not Just Sitting on Their Laurels

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By Petronella Sibeene WINDHOEK Public perception has been that diplomats’ wives spend most of their time beautifying themselves and using taxpayers’ money on flashy clothes and luxury goods. This perception was proved wrong last week Friday, when the Association for Diplomats’ Spouses (ADS) in Namibia raised close to N$20ÃÆ’Æ‘ÀÃ…ÃÆ”šÃ‚ 000 to be used for sponsoring two young San females with their education. The event last Friday was specifically held to raise funds that can be used in sponsoring at least two female San young people to obtain a diploma or degree in any field of their choice. President of the association, Thokozile Nhongo, told New Era that the diplomats’ wives are not just accompanying their spouses in the country and enjoying the luxury that comes with being in foreign service, but were here for a meaningful purpose. “With the money raised today, ADS members hope to fulfill one of their ambitions since the beginning of 2006, which is to empower two young San girls to acquire post-Grade 10 teaching diplomas,” said the Patron of ADS, Tengeni Angula. The two young people are yet to be identified by the Prime Minister’s office, tasked by Cabinet last year to spearhead the San Development programme. “We will have to go around and identify two girls who would have passed well. We do not just want to give money but to ensure that these people are empowered,” she said. Through raffle tickets and generous bids, Treasurer of the Association, Bola Akimbo, though says it was too early to be sure about how much was collected. She was confident that it would not be less than N$20ÃÆ’Æ‘ÀÃ…ÃÆ”šÃ‚ 000. ADS has been active in Namibia for over 10 years. The association provides food to crÃÆ’Æ‘Æ‘ÃÆ”šÃ‚¨ches and soup kitchens in Katutura. “It has donated food and equipment to communities as far afield as Ondangwa and the Catholic AIDS Action in Katima Mulilo. It has also sponsored an excursion trip for less privileged children from Katutura to Nadeet in the Namib Desert,” added Angula. The association aims to reach disadvantaged women and children living with HIV/AIDS as well as the disabled. It also works in line with the Organization for the Empowerment of Widows, Widowers, and Orphans of HIV/AIDS in Namibia (OEWONA), the brainchild of the First lady Penehupifo Pohamba. In December 2006, the association will be having a bazaar where it intends to help also market products produced by small women’s groups. The event was held at the Italian residence in the capital.