Windhoek – Sixteen Grade 10 learners from Windhoek’s top performing secondary schools such as Delta, Eldorado and Hage Geingob have been selected to partake in the Afrox Leadership Academy over a six-month period this year.
Grace Mackinza, 16, who has achieved many accolades and recently won first place in the English and German public speaking competitions in the country, says she hopes, after attending the academy, to impact fellows, especially those who are suffering from depression to continue living.
Twapewa Mungoba, who recently represented Namibia at international debating competitions in South Africa and Botswana, says she wants to achieve a lot and spread a message of successfulness to fellow learners. “I also want to change the mindset of the youth, to let them know that we are the future leaders,” says Mungoba.
Martin Nafuka, a member of the Eldorado Pan-African Club and the school choir, says she wants to be a leader and change the lives of the youth for the better. Learners will, amongst others, be equipped with the necessary soft skills to make a tangible impact in their communities. Afrox Namibia will cover all costs needed to execute the programme. The programme will include a one-week leadership training camp, followed by active engagement in community projects for which participants will receive mentorship and assistance.
The first year of the programme will run on a small scale as a pilot programme. Lessons learnt from the pilot will form the backbone for future national implementation. With the assistance of school principals and life skills teachers, the participants were selected from over 90 applicants from the three schools. The learners went through a rigorous selection process in which each had to write a motivation letter to the selection committee. This involved describing why they want to take part in the academy, having an endorsement letter from their life skills teacher supporting their application, and having to attend a one-on-one interview with the programme coordinators as part of the final selection process.
According to the organisers, it’s well documented that building leadership at a young age encourages responsibility and develops a positive mindset and organisational skills, which eventually allow the leaner to become more responsible and engaged citizens.
Following the launch of the academy on Monday, selected participants will travel to the Rock Lodge training centre in Okahandja for a one-week leadership training camp. The academy programme will culminate in a graduation ceremony to be held in October, where the participants will share their experiences of the Afrox Leadership Academy, and present the results of their community projects.