In an attempt to address and arrest social challenges faced by in-school and out-of-school youth in Namibia, the Rob Youth Foundation (RYF) in partnership with the Ministry of Education has recently launched nationwide sanitary pads, toiletries, and food donations at Dagbreek Resource School in Windhoek, Khomas region.

During the launch of the national donations, the Foundation donated 140 sanitary pads, toiletries and food hampers to 140 learners at Dagbreek school as part of the donation drive project that will now be rolled out across the country.

Speaking at the launch, the Windhoek East Constituency Councilor Mr Brian Black said that all citizens must be long-term thinkers who strive to invest in and build their fellow people, particularly the children who are the future – the leaders of tomorrow.

“Today is all about you, because you’re the future, and we are here this morning to celebrate another investment by a long-term thinker because that is what our esteemed donor and his board of directors decided to think about Dagbreek and to come forward with the fantastic donations that we are so privileged to receive here today’,” Black said.

In his remarks, the Managing Director of Rob Youth Foundation, Mr Robert Maseka said that it is through the Ministry of Education, Arts and Culture that the RYF is able to identify schools that are in need of assistance and fulfill some of the core mandates as a Youth Foundation in the country.

“The Rob Youth Foundation was established in 2019 with the aim to address and arrest social challenges faced by in-school and out-of-school youth in Namibia. We have recognized that there is a multitude of social ills that require urgent attention not only from the government but all stakeholders in general,’’ Maseka said.

“By joining hands with the government, other civil society organizations, the corporate world, and various other well-wishers and partners, we believe that we are in a unique position to harness this society’s potential.

“It’s our wish to be able to nurture a progressive, gender-neutral and suitable society. Education is a key element in empowering our citizens at the household level. We all know that a good household has the capability of shaping a well-knit community, which also translates into a conducive society and ultimately a better nation in general.”

Executive Director in the Ministry of Education, Arts and Culture Ms Sanet Steenkamp in her keynote address read on her behalf by the Director in the Khomas Directorate of Education, Arts and Culture Mr Paulus Nghikembua said  that the Ministry of Education Arts and Culture strives to work towards achieving inclusive and equitable quality education for all learners in the country.

“It is against this background that the Ministry, through the Division for Special School and Programmes (DSPS) is collaborating with the Rob Youth Foundation to ensure that the needs of learners with disabilities are catered for to maximize their potential.

“This partnership, with the Rob Youth Foundation, will enable us to exclusively address social and economic challenges faced by learners in our schools. We are all aware that girl child, especially, those with disabilities, faces serious challenges due to the lack of menstrual health and hygiene commodities and facilities.

“During their menses, they are often absent from school to avoid shame and embarrassment.”

Thakeesha Lombaardt, speaking on behalf of the learners said: “Dagbreek is a place where we feel we belong, thanks to the teachers and assistants for helping the learners.”

Lombaardt added that the school gives them the platform to learn on their own time, they don’t have to rush, and that doesn’t make them feel like they have disabilities.

The School Principal Mr Paul Du Plessis said Dagbreek is happy with the Ministry of Education, Arts and Culture for the support they keep on receiving.

“We are thankful to Ms. Sanet Steenkamp’s office for sending Mr Robert and his team to hand over the donation to our School,” Du Plessis said.

The Rob Youth Foundation in Partnership with the Ministry of Education, Arts and Culture in weeks to come will now roll out the donation drive to the 14 regions of Namibia, with schools with learners with disabilities being the first benefits of the donation drive.

In the photo: Some of the Dagbreek learners who received their donations.