Taking textbooks to the needy

Home Youth Corner Taking textbooks to the needy
Taking textbooks to the needy

Pollen Eixab

When learners complete high school, they seldom re-use the textbooks they purchase over the years, resulting in the books just gathering dust on the shelves or storage. 

Leonard Kamanya and his small team at ‘Be Happy and Help Out’ then take these books from where they are not needed, to where they are desired. 

Founded in 2020, the programme promotes and advocates for healthy learning conditions, primarily focusing on providing textbooks and study materials to those who need them most – in this case, rural Namibia.

Kamanya (25) is aware of government’s efforts to decrease the failure rate in high schools by changing the curriculum.

However, the problem is not necessarily the new curriculum, he said. 

“Many of these students just do not have a place to get their information from outside the classroom.” 

Aware that many of the topics being taught in the new curriculum can be found in the old one, Kamanya and his four-person team approach former high school learners, schools (mostly in the capital) and the ministry of education for excess textbooks. 

King Kauluma Combined School in the Oshikoto region was the first recipient of these textbooks. 

Despite being one of the highest-ranked schools academically within the region, the school also struggles to find study materials, especially in science-related subjects like physics, geography and biology. 

Tobias Kadhikwa, a teacher at that school, said partnering with the programme was helpful, as it provided learners and teachers with necessary materials. 

Acknowledging the struggles that come with doing this work, Kamanya said it is challenging to approach the needed stakeholders to make the programme thrive.

“People are scared to deal with the ministry of education, so they have quit. People want to see the work you have done before they invest. But how do you make progress when people do not want to join the organisation?” he queried.

Asked why he started the programme, Kamanya said it is important for the youth to be involved because they are the future leaders of Namibia. 

“We, the youth, should work in unity and one accord. If our future leaders are to be excellent and make a success of themselves, it is only reasonable that we provide them with the necessary study materials.”

‘Be Happy and Help Out’ has the ultimate goal to supply all schools in remote and rural areas with needed and appropriate study materials. 

He noted: “Thousands of people live their whole lives having great ideas but what makes a good idea great is the support someone has to turn the whole thing into a reality.” 

– polleneixab@gmail.com