WINDHOEK - Education is the bedrock for propelling the next generation into a thriving future, the lynchpin for the prospective prosperity of a country and its people. Few would argue with this fact. Yet what happens if the circumstances for a solid education are simply unfavourable? How can our future leaders focus on learning if the conditions of their schooling are adverse at best and at worst, detrimental? More importantly, what can we as Namibians contribute to alleviate the difficulty to create an environment in which our students can thrive?
A practical answer to these questions motivated ABInBev Namibia to come to the aid of Eheke Primary School in the Oshana Region by the construction of modern ablution facilities for the use of its learners and teachers. The facilities were formally handed over for use on Friday, 8 February 2019.
Eheke Primary School’s new ablution facilities boast flush toilets, each in its own cubicle and separated according to gender, as well as wash basins with both hot and cold-water facets. The entire project came at a price tag of N$500 000.
According to Nico Kaiyamo, Northern Trust Representative of ABInBev Trust Foundation, the motivating factor that prompted the Namibian brewer to partner with the Eheke community was learning of the fact that insufficient ablution facilities and unsavoury conditions of restrooms at the school exposed learners to unhygienic conditions and health hazards on a daily basis. Learners were thus effectively putting their health and wellbeing on the line for the sake of an education.
Apart from the health hazards, Kaiyamo continued, the adverse conditions also affected the learners’ future prospects adversely. Recent studies have shown that the specific learning environment is inextricably linked to learner success and that learner achievement can be given a significant boost by simply improving learning conditions. On the flipside, a lack of access to basic amenities, such as restrooms and clean water, fosters an unwelcome environment, which, in turn, results in a higher rate of absenteeism, poor academic performance and drop outs.
The initiative forms part of ABInBev’s dream of “bringing people together for a better world by looking at the holistic welfare of the communities in which we operate.” It sees the brewer take hands with a community in need to uplift, excel and prosper.
In line with this vision, Kaiyamo said that the desired outcome of new ablution facilities, which offers learners access to state-of-the-art, clean and hygienic restrooms, goes beyond the elimination of a health hazard. It is ABInBev Namibia’s objective that the improvement in learning environment would boost attendance and academic performance, thus allowing each learner at Eheke Primary School to reach his or her full potential.
Hileni Mushisheni Amukana, Director of Education, Arts and Culture: Oshana Region thanked ABInBev Namibia “for their generous support to education… We appreciate your support and we say thank you, thank you very much, on behalf of the Namibian children…”
For his part, Gerson Hannu Kapenda, Chairperson of the Oshana Regional Council, called the donation and handover of the ablution facilities a “commendable achievement” and expressed his gratitude to ABInBev Namibia for its “generosity and utmost care for the Namibian child.” The endeavour, he said, served as a perfect example of the private sector “complimenting the government in delivering the best quality of education to the Namibian child.”