Young volunteers’ ideas impress first couple

By Fifi Rhodes

Young volunteers’ ideas impress first couple

Windhoek

President Hage Geingob and First Lady Monica Geingos were both very impressed at State House yesterday when they engaged and enjoyed their conversations with a 12-year-old boy and his delegation on their actions and dreams of feeding the elderly and cleaning up neighbourhoods.  Armando Pieters, a Grade 8 learner at Peoples Primary School, became an overnight hero by executing a clean-up campaign over the weekend at Okahandja Park without any assistance from outside. The group of 15 members started to clean up parts of Okahandja Park on Saturday and were spotted by a NBC television news crew. They aired the clean-up campaign and President Geingob saw the good deeds as he watched the news broadcast on Sunday evening. He instructed Press Secretary Albertus Aochamub to get in touch with the youngsters.
By 12h00 yesterday the group of young volunteers were traced and invited to State House to share their dreams with the presidential couple.
“My biggest surprise was to see a small boy standing, talking Queen’s English, announcing that he is the founder and that he is going to help the president to address the plight against poverty. What you have done must be done by all children and communities,” Geingob said.
In his opening remarks Pieters rose out of his chair and introduced his delegation by name without stuttering. He laid out his immediate plans, starting with a feeding programme and cleaning campaign at the Katutura Old Age Home, and further cleaning areas where sanitation is a problem.
During the month of September, he said, the group will focus on cleaning campaigns in various suburbs and in October they will engage in several feeding schemes where there is a need.
“In the meantime you must prove that you are serious in what you want to do. We will help you where we can. So we will see how we can coordinate,” Geingob informed the youngsters.
Pieters listed all their needs, starting from cleaning materials to safety wear like gloves and plastic bags, but never mentioned money.
Pieters and his delegation were then brought to the office of the first lady to share his plans.
“I can’t tell you how impressed we were with all of you when we saw you on television. What impressed us is that people get used to ask what others can do for me. It is so rare that you find people that are eager to help others, especially among children your age. We want to follow your leadership because this is your idea. We want to hear from you how we can help you so that you can continue with what you do,” Geingos said.
Again the 12-year-old boy rose and laid out his plans although he was not quite sure where to set up the soup kitchen.
“You could help us with clothing materials and transport,” he said without hesitance.
Pieters said he was inspired by Marybeth Gallagher in whose company he was when they visited the first lady on a previous occasion, and that gave him the inspiration to take it upon himself to kick-start his contribution to the Harambee Prosperity Plan.
Geingos inspired the youngsters by telling them to study hard as nobody can take away from a person that which he accomplished in life.State-House-Laughter1



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