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Passionate young teacher opens centre for adult literacy

2019-05-08  Staff Report 2

Passionate young teacher opens centre for adult literacy

Paheja Siririka

WINDHOEK- Driven by his passion to make a meaningful contribution to society through education, a 25-year old Windhoek based teacher has officially launched an adult literacy centre in the Goreangab informal settlement.  
The centre currently has 21 students and their ages range between 18 and 45. The students, all adults who are either unemployed or looking to acquire skills in search of employment will be taught for free for the next six months. The teachers are all qualified and teaching at schools in Windhoek. 

“We will have our first graduates in October and immediately open registration for 2020,” said Wilfried Mbamba, the brains behind the literacy centre.

Mbamba told the Youth Corner that he has always been passionate about education and educating the older members of society will impact positively on the youth. 

 “I am committed to helping people when it comes to the improvement of their lives. I realised that children learn more and achieve better academic results when their parents can help them with homework and talk with their teachers. I want all my students to be successful,” said Mbamba. 

Last year, Mbamba was awarded a Mandela Washington Fellowship. This programme was sponsored by The United States embassy in Windhoek. 

He was based in the U.S for six weeks on intensive leadership training. When he returned back home, he decided to establish a language centre for the elderly. He decided to name it the Hatika Adult Education Centre. 
“My Godmother who is also my aunt Hatika Hubsch lived in this yard, she, unfortunately, passed away when I was 10 years old. I named the centre in her honour,” explained Mbamba. 

He said this adult education centre is a place where parents could learn English, Afrikaans and basic literacy skills. “By walking throughout the neighbourhood, I listened. People wanted English classes but they also wanted to learn Afrikaans. They wanted to learn Afrikaans to get jobs or get better jobs, so I decided to add Afrikaans. Other courses that the centre offers include art, business skills, computer skills and financial literacy,” he said.  With a grant from the US Embassy in Windhoek, Mbamba was assisted by volunteers to build the adult education centre close to where people live. 

“With the help of fellow teacher volunteers, my family and donors, this venture became a reality,” accentuated Mbamba who officially launched the school last Saturday, which also happened to be Cassinga Day. One of the students Vilzensia Kapewa expressed gratitude for the opportunity that adults have been granted to acquire skills at the centre. “As students of Hatika Adult Education Centre, we are very proud and appreciate the chance to learn the languages offered here for free,” Kapewa said. 

Mbamba also explained the meaning of the literacy centre’s logo, saying the hand shows the opportunities the educators and students of Hatika Adult Education Centre can create and build together. “The book represents the learning that begins in the classroom but extends into homes. The letters are in red, representing the blood of life,” clarified Mbamba. 
Considering the sacrifice of the adult learners’ time on Saturday mornings and the additional time they take to study and complete their homework, it was appropriate to launch this centre on Cassinga Day.  

“…A day to remember the sacrifices of our fellow men and women and children in the struggle for freedom. We can honour that sacrifice and the results of that sacrifice: Independence by pulling together and working together to build opportunities for each other and our families through lifelong learning at the Hatika Adult Education Centre,” said Mbamba.  
Having been identified as a Young African Community Leader and Organiser, Mbamba holds an honours degree in education from the University of Namibia and is a teacher at Olof Palme Primary School in Katutura. 

2019-05-08  Staff Report 2

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