AMINUIS - While many people spend their big days celebrating and throwing big parties to mark an additional year to their lives, Prime Minister Saara Kuugongelwa-Amadhila, who turned 51 on Friday, spent hers with a great degree of humility.
She spent her day in Aminuis of the Omaheke Region, where she handed over donations of beds and mattresses to Dr. Fischer Primary School’s hostel. Fishing sector players, namely Escalate Investments (PTY) LTD and Hangana Seafood made the donations.
The handover ceremony, which attracted many community members, was also attended by the Minister of Fisheries and Marine Resources Bernhard Esau, Omaheke Regional Governor Festus Ueitele, Permanent Secretary in the Education, Arts and Culture Ministry Sanet Steenkamp, councillors of Aminuis and Otjinene, as well as local traditional and religious leaders.
In her speech, the Prime Minister re-emphasised the government’s commitment to the provision of quality and equitable education for all, and thus the introduction of free primary and secondary education, which has resulted in an increased intake of learners at public schools.
She said, education is ranked amongst the highest priorities for the government, as it is the most effective empowerment tool and the greatest equaliser, which she said is the reason the sector is one of the largest recipient of public resources under the national budget, although it is still not sufficient enough to deal with unyielding challenges faced by the sector.
Kuugongelwa-Amadhila therefore encouraged the corporate sector to meet the government halfway, while applauding the two entities for their generous donation to the said school. She added that corporate social responsibility has become more important now, more than ever, given the limited resources available at the government’s disposal.
“An investment into our communities is an investment in the future of our country, and thus an investment that yields results for all of us and not a form of charity to the individual recipient communities,” says Kuugongelwa-Amadhila.
The Director of Escalate Investments, Meriam Onesmus said her company’s corporate social responsibility is associated with the promotion of quality education in the country, and has in 2017 donated cash to the tune of N$220 000 to various schools.
She further mentioned that when they learnt of the dire needs of this school through the Office of the Prime Minister and the media, they did not hesitate to respond even in economic hardships, knowing that their contributions will create favourable conditions and a conducive environment for the learners in the hostel.
“Though we experience economic hardships that affect some businesses, we all have a responsibility towards the wellbeing of our children. Escalate Investments as a responsible corporate citizen, decided to meet government halfway and responded in a small way by donating single 130 double deck beds at a cost of N$200 000. It means 260 learners will now each have a new bed to peacefully sleep on,” Onesmus said.
She further stated that the beds donated have been manufactured and assembled in Namibia by previously disadvantaged Namibians with women as majority, and they are proud to support local manufactured goods and services that creates employment opportunities in the country.
On their part, O&L Manager for Corporate Relations, Patricia Hoeksema said Hangana Seafood, an O&L subsidiary, is a proudly Namibian company that has employed close to 1400 employees and is passionate about the O&L Group purpose of “Creating a future, enhancing life”.
“We are optimistic that this humble contribution of 200 mattresses to the value of N$117 000 will encourage the children to enjoy school and study hard, and further enhancing their education so that they can in the near future make greater contributions to our economy and country.” The company also supports various charities and rural communities with fish donations on a regular basis.
The Regional Governor thanked the PM for making time out of her busy schedule to be with the people of Omaheke on her special day and also thanked the two companies for their immense donations. He called on learners of Dr. Fisher P.S to take good care of the donated items and refrain from vandalising them.
* Hileni Mwandingi is an Information Officer in the Ministry of Information and Communication Technology at Omaheke regional office.