By Frederick Philander
“It is an inspiration that young people made a deliberate choice to invest their time and effort in participating in the MVA accident essay competition.”
So said the Deputy Minister of Education last week at the finals of the competition that was held at the Polytechnic Hotel School. More than 50 entries from all schools around the country were received and five essays were selected for the finals.
” Motor vehicle accidents affect every sector of the society equally as we are all susceptible to becoming a victim of a motor vehicle accident. It is therefore of vital importance that we are sufficiently informed about the MVA Fund and its operations should we find ourselves in need,” said Dr Becky Ndjoze-Ojo.
The essay competition was part of an MVA Fund public education drive, aimed at publicizing the fund and informing the Namibian nation about its operations.
Ross Limbo of Jan Mohr won the first prize of N$2 000, followed by Taleni Shafashike of Windhoek High School and Cornvlle Mentoor of David Bezuidenhout Secondary School in Khomasdal.
“This essay competition is an innovative way to reach out to a selected target market of learners, parents and teachers. I therefore commend the MVA Fund for taking this initiative, an innovative way of educating our young Namibian citizenry about issues such as motor vehicle accidents, which affect them on a daily basis. Research entails information gathering for knowledge creation and I am convinced that as you prepared your essays, most of you found out more about what the MVA Fund is all about,” she said.
“It is often said information is power. I am posing a challenge to the finalists, the teachers and parents of this competition, to share and pass on the information about the MVA Fund, to their colleagues, friends and other acquaintances in the neighbourhood and thereby, teachers and the parents, to empower those who lack the necessary information and knowledge,” she urged.
“While I whole heartedly commend the MVA, and notwithstanding your current efforts, I nevertheless hereby wish to encourage the MVA Fund to continue the good work they are doing, namely, to educate and inform our Nation on road safety measures. This is a more proactive approach to prevent accidents. In actual fact, as the saying goes, prevention is better than cure! Let us therefore keep this saying practically alive and may the MVA provide the social safety net to those who unfortunately fall victim to road accidents,” Ndjoze-Ojo asserted.
She further praised the flagship accident prevention project Xupifa Eemwenyo, an intervention aimed at reducing road accidents.
“The prospects of this project are quite commendable, for both the fund and its partners. Congratulations and keep up the good work. As you venture into this newly found partnership with the schools around the country, make these young people the lead advocates of road safety. These are future leaders who must be empowered today to become agents of change with the responsibility to produce the desired behaviour on our roads.”
In conclusion she said: “We must therefore intensify all existing efforts and involve more young people in our endeavours. We must give our future generation a voice because, if and when empowered, the voice of a child can be an amazing and powerful tool of information.
“Motor vehicle accidents are now a common occurrence in our society and we must do everything in our power to reduce these sad occurrences on our roads.”