Refugee Learners Earn Sponsorships

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By Staff Reporter

WINDHOEK

Last week Standard Bank Namibia handed over a donation of N$25 440 to four refugee secondary school learners at Osire.

This money will enable four youngsters from the Osire refugee camp to pursue Grade 11 in Windhoek and Okakarara, paying for allowances, school and hostel fees, transport, books, uniforms and pocket money.

“Namibia has made considerable progress since its political independence.

Inequalities in education have been substantially reduced, but as always there is still room for improvement. Namibia developed its national development strategy, Vision 2030 in which education and training play critical roles,” said Thaddius Maswahu, the acting head of marketing of the bank. The four scholars are refugees from Angola and one from the Democratic Republic of the Congo. They have been educated by the UNHCR in the Osire refugee camp up until Grade 10.

Says Joyce Mends-Cole, UNHCR representative: “The school in the Osire refugee camp only goes up to Grade 10. The Osire Camp School had a pass rate in 2007 of 63%, far above the national average.”

She added that she was grateful for the support of Standard Bank. “Not only is Standard Bank the bank of all the UN agencies, but they have also proven that they are more than just a bank. They are a company with a social conscience.”

Maswahu said Standard Bank had spent close to N$1 million in 2007 on educational initiatives for the benefit of Namibia and Namibians and will continue to do so this year.

“Every now and then it is also important to reach across the borders and assist those marginalized such as the refugees in the Osire camp. These four youngsters have proven that they are worthy of being educated further, and I congratulate them on their achievements thus far under hard and trying circumstances in a refugee camp,” Maswahu said.

He added that the scholarships will be reviewed on an annual basis and the granting of another year will be done depending on the youngsters’ performance.

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