WINDHOEK – The Hifikepunye Pohamba Foundation (HPF), which was registered as a trust last year, on Tuesday gave scholarships to the first batch of vulnerable tertiary students.
The seven beneficiaries are all Bachelor of Agriculture students at the University of Namibia (Unam) and the Polytechnic of Namibia (PoN), who have all proven records of outstanding academic performance.
Six of the seven students each received N$15 000 cash and a laptop while the seventh student will get a full scholarship.
HPF, which was formed after the former President Hifikepunye Pohamba celebrated his birthday in 2012, is geared towards food security through education.
At the time, massive congratulatory messages flooded the newspapers, which prompted the former president to urge individuals and corporate community to rather donate towards the trust to assist the needy instead of wasting money on congratulatory messages. Speaking at the handover of the seven scholarships to the well-deserving Namibian students Deputy Minister in the Office of the Prime Minister Christina //Hoebes, who is also a trustee of HPF, said: “When (former) President Pohamba saw his photos in every print media, and knowing that these adverts have been paid for, he decided to establish a fund and appealed to the corporate world and individuals to contribute to the fund instead in order to assist children who are in need of assistance.”
Dr Kalumbi Shangula, the chairperson of the HPF Board of Trustees, who handed over the scholarships to the students, said as the fund started to grow after the corporate world and individuals responded well, Pohamba decided to formalise it and convert it into a legal entity that was launched last year.
He said 11 welfare organisations from 12 regions have so far benefited from the charity fund in cash and in kind. A school has so far benefitted in kind, while a tertiary institution benefitted in cash. The combined value of the assistance is N$120 000.
In total, Shangula said, some 700 vulnerable children have benefited.
The fund has an annual budget not exceeding N$250 000.