The newly unveiled Zambezi Education Foundation, which aims to provide quality education for all, last Thursday raised over N$1 million both in cash and kind.
Officially launching the foundation, Secretary to Cabinet George Simataa, who is also its patron, said the idea of the foundation was born around June 2015 by his cousin, Dr Audrin Mathe, who is the New Era Publication Corporation (NEPC) chief executive officer.
Simataa said the resources mobilised by the foundation are targeted at benefiting the Namibian child and by no means the trustees or anyone else.
He added that “the foundation’s trustees serve without any form of remuneration whatsoever.”
“Their only reward is fulfilling God’s greater purpose of serving fellow men. I am aware that as of 2015, the trustees and founding members have been operating on their own resources and continue to do so,” stated Simataa.
Targeted interventions, he noted, include carefully defined material support to learners and schools, capacity building for teachers and career guidance, among others.
Simataa said that quality education is limited by the lack of infrastructure and material support, adding that the less fortunate who reside in both urban and rural areas are the hardest hit.
According to Simataa, after the idea was born Mathe was soon joined by other committed and inspired citizens to make the foundation become a reality.
“I truly commend the courage and conviction displayed by the young men and women who, in the face of pessimism and skepticism from some quarters, preserved and remained firm in their resolve to make the Zambezi Education Foundation a reality. Dr Mathe and his group were optimists who continued with their idea of the Zambezi Education Foundation … and tonight you have its launch. The foundation belongs to all, across the divides,” he said.
Simataa together with his distant relative Chuma Mayumbelo pledged over N$300 000 in cash and kind.
He says that in a world of growing polarization between the so-called “haves” and “have-nots”, education becomes the greatest equalizer and an asset in the fight against poverty.
He added that poverty and ignorance, amongst others, are a central feature of world debate and governance.
“As citizens of the world, we cannot just stand by and pretend that we have no moral responsibility towards the less fortunate as the consequence will return to haunt us. Education is that crucial investment that transcends all boundaries. Education must enable people to achieve their legitimate goals in life and those of society,” he noted.
He attributed the ills afflicting the world today, such as war, poverty, hunger and inequality, to a lack of education.
According to him, the foundation commits to complement government’s efforts to provide quality education for all, adding that a firm partnership is being nurtured and fortified with the Zambezi regional education directorate.
The foundation together with education authorities in the Zambezi Region aim to develop a position paper on the state of education in the region, which has been ranked as one of the poor performing regions.
Simataa explained that the paper will serve to lay bare baseline data, key causes of poor performance, validate assumptions and inform a clear plan of action for a possible turnaround.
“We truly appreciate the partnership. Plans for a regional launch are on course and will be duly announced,” he noted.