Namibia’s golden girl Johanna Benson’s love for sport and humanity has seen her raise more than an amazing N$100 000 for charity during a fundraising gala dinner in her native Walvis Bay on Friday evening.
The Paralympic gold medallist aims to assist other disabled athletes through the fund.
Benson has reached remarkable achievements in track athletics despite her disability and has taken her talent to another level by successfully having started a foundation aimed at assisting other disabled athletes.
Officiating at the well-attended fundraising dinner, Benson’s uncle, Jeffrey Noabeb said that after winning a gold medal at the 2012 Olympics “Johanna returned home with the idea of setting up a foundation that would assist other needy vulnerable athletes just like herself”.
“Johanna knew how hard it was for disabled athletes to get the much needed recognition, let alone financial assistance. She knew how hard it was for her to get where she is today and that was one of the reasons why she set up this fund,” he said.
He added that she wanted to plough back into her community and share her victory with others.
“Not only on the field but also in terms of education for disabled athletes, and financial management,” he explained.
According to Noabeb, the aim of the fund is to promote and develop talented athletes in conjunction with their respective clubs by assisting them with coaching clinics, organizing athletics events, education and business development.
“She wants to invest in the future of other athletes so that they can reap the same fruits as she did,” Noabeb said.
At the same event, the Minister of Fisheries and Marine Resources, Bernard Esau, who was appointed as the patron of the fund urged individuals and companies to support such an initiative.
“I accepted this patronage with great humility and respect. Benson is our child, a child of Africa that has the urge to support others; therefore I would like to urge all individuals, businesses and the private sector to support such initiatives,” he said.
Gendev Fishing company donated N$50 000, while three framed photographs of Benson went under the hammer to pick up N$5 000 each for a total of N$15 000.