Okondjatu-The extremely over-crowded and dilapidated Okondjatu Combined School might find herself between the hard rock and the sea, but uncompromising, energetic and youthful schoolteacher, Dave Karuhumba, is having none of that.
The school, situated in the heart of the impoverished Okandjatu area, and tucked away in the vast Otjozondjupa Region is home to 1,050 learners, with almost half that number hostel dwellers.
The government-owned school faces a multitude of challenges with semi-functional ablution facilities, sub-standard accommodation, dysfunctional showers and persistent power failures, missing water taps coupled with a horde of other inhuman conditions.
Karuhumba, who doubles as accounting/entrepreneurship tutor and hostel superintendent, has single-handedly taken the bull by its horns.
The bulky young man has put shoulder to the wheel in a commendable drive to raise funds through an assortment of activities to renovate infrastructure at the school.
“We are conscious of the precarious financial situation in which our government finds itself entangled, so it’s incumbent upon us as teachers to look at other means and introduce measures to solicit funds to sustain our schools,” Karuhumba noted.
The school held a successful fundraising dinner at the school hall – which also doubles up as the dining hall – last Saturday at which popular Windhoek-based oviritje band One Blood entertained revellers until the wee hours of the morning.
Earlier on the same day, schoolteachers from Okamatapati joined their hosts, local civil servants and farmers to engage in exhibition football and netball matches – much to the delight of spectators.
Those attending made pledges to the tune of N$25,000 at the gala dinner, while ticket sales topped N$34,000 in total.
Although Karuhumba expressed his gratitude for the community’s support for the fundraising activities – he aired his disappointment over parents’ involvement in school activities in general.
“Currently I would say parents’ physical involvement is a mere 20 percent, which certainly does not augur exactly well if we are to make strides. As it stands, we need at least N$100,000 to renovate the school hostel.
“I must applaud our patron Rivonia Kahivere, who donated the staggering amount of N$40,000 towards our project.
“Government is also doing its fair share considering the current economic meltdown and other challenges. We received 200 futons (mattresses) from the portfolio ministry.”
In his parting words, Karuhumba called on good Samaritans residing within close proximity to the school to come on board and support the school’s initiative, adding that education is key to a prosperous society.