Sarafia Evalistus, a student at the Windhoek Gymnasium Private School said youth leadership has taught her a valuable lesson where she has realised that young Namibians, in general, have to take initiative and make the necessary changes they desire.
“We have to make these changes, we are incredible individuals and I truly believe that we can succeed once we put our mind to it,” shared Evalistus.
Evalistus, who is a TIP (Talented Individual Programme) beneficiary was speaking at the fundraising dinner of the One Economy Foundation, further saying the contributions from donors made it possible for her to be in the best conducive environment and also got the opportunity to attend the young African scholars’ event in Kenya last year where she had the opportunity to connect with fellow young leaders from the continent.
She said: “Everyone is driven and determined to make changes in their respective countries and that taught me the importance of young leadership. I realised that we as the youth have to take initiative.”
“This scholarship has not met my expectations but it has exceeded them. I gained exposure and invaluable skills. One of the important skills I acquired is leadership which has led to me being elected as an LRC,” she joyfully mentioned. She also cautioned fellow students and youths to not give up on their academics once in a ditch and that they should be made aware that grades and marks should not be defining them, something she got to learn from Yale Young Africa Scholars (YYAS).
YYAS is an intensive academic and enrichment programme designed for African secondary school students planning to pursue tertiary education and who wish to make a meaningful impact as young leaders on the continent.
“Once you start receiving awards every year, they start to define you, but one of the most important things that I have learnt at YYAS is that your marks and grades do not define you. As much as you should work hard and do well to become successful, if you fail and do not make it- it is ok. Get up and try again,” she passionately stated.
Another beneficiary, Chante Moses also from the Windhoek Gymnasium Private School applauded the scholarship for providing them with the funding and backing to perform exceptionally well both academically and extramurally and that the programme with its funders is planting seeds and building generations of leaders.
With the pledge of more than N$4 million, CEO of the One Economy Foundation Sem Mandela Uutoni assured the donors their contributions are not only generous gifts but are worthwhile investments, which have immediate and long lasting impacts.
“The collaborations and donations are worthwhile investments with immediate and long-lasting impact on the lives of Namibians. Gone are the days of working in silos. One of the great lessons we have learned and we will continue to embrace is that we don’t succeed if we try to do it on our own, we need to collaborate and leveraging existing resources to deliver inclusive and creative solutions to difficult problems,” shared Uutoni.