MARIENTAL - Extreme poverty fuelled by unemployment and a large number of youths dropping out of school is the dire situation faced by many communities in Namibia but more so in Stampriet, east of Mariental. But despite this, Agnesia Afrikaner and Delores Witbooi have risen above their circumstances to be amongst the best-performing Grade 12 learners in the Hardap Region.
The 18-year-old cousins have shared many difficulties growing up and they both are highly determined to keep building on their dreams of one day being able to support their families.
Afrikaner comes from a family of ten children with both her parents being unemployed, while Witbooi was raised by a single mother and has three siblings.
Afrikaner who attended Mariental High School achieved 28 points in Grade 12 overall and Witbooi obtained 59 points. Witbooi was a learner at Rukonga Vision School in Kavango East Region.
She was one of the beneficiaries of the Ministry of Education, Arts and Culture’s vision school pilot project aimed at giving an opportunity to vulnerable and disadvantaged learners access to quality education.
However, despite the successful completion of high school, they are not sure about their future. Afrikaner who wants to study accounting could not apply to the University of Namibia (Unam) due to a lack of funds, while Witbooi is on the waiting list at both the Namibia University of Science and Technology (Nust) and Unam.
“I did not apply at Unam because I did not have the N$150 to pay for the application form so I decided to apply to Triumphant College because they came to our school. I decided to go where I had the opportunity,” Afrikaner said.
Both girls are the first in their families to successfully complete Grade 12 and have the opportunity to enrol at tertiary institutions.
“I was motivated by my parents and siblings because I was the only one in the family or in the house that made it to Grade 12, so I knew I had to make a plan to one day be able to feed my family and my siblings and provide a better life for them,” said a very emotional Afrikaner who is the 5th eldest child in the family.
Witbooi said she was mostly motivated by her teachers who encouraged and advised her as well as the sacrifices of her mother. She also encouraged other learners to read more as it can help open up their world to new things.
“You should read more, when you read more, you learn new stuff and when you learn new stuff, this can help you to go places. Take time to read a novel or newspaper to gain more knowledge,” she added.
The proud mother of Delores, Maria Witbooi said: “I am very proud that I could carry my daughter through her school years as a single mother until thus far. I am glad that I could support and motivate her despite our circumstances.”
2020-01-17 07:33:14 | 2 months ago