A brand new, mother-tongue entry-level School was opened this week deep in the bush in the Nyae Nyae Conservancy, staffed by Ju/‘hoansi teachers and matrons for Ju/‘hoansi San children.

The school was officially opened by the Honourable Deputy Minister for Education, Arts and Culture, Faustina N. Caley. Also in attendance were the Executive Director of Education, Ms Sanet Steenkamp, the Regional Director, Ms Josephine Mutenda, the school Inspector Mr Hamulenge , and the Village Schools Principal Mr Cwisa Cwi.

The school was the result of an innovative partnership and a Memorandum of Understanding signed between the Ministry and the Ju/‘hoansi Development Fund, a Namibian-registered Charity, and also with the local Traditional  Authority headed by Chief Tsamkxao (Bobo) #oma, and the Chairman of the Nyae Nyae Conservancy, Mr Gerrie Cwi.

The school consists of two modern and airy classrooms, two hostels (boys‘ and girls’) each with its own bathroom, a toilet block, kitchen block with storerooms, and teachers’ flats with showers and toilets. The school is equipped with solar power, so has lighting and air circulating fans, and a kitchen garden in which the children learn to plant and take care of fruit and vegetables.

The construction of the school was made possible by the generous donations received from donors in different parts of the world, but in particular from Daiken Ltd, and B2Gold in Namibia. Representing Daiken at the opening were Ms Daisy Kendrick and Ms Julie C(check name), who came all the way from Spain, and from B2Gold was Chief Executive and Country Manager Mr Mark Dawe.

Also in attendance was Mr Eino Emvula, Managing Director of Ninetyone Namibia, who have already donated the cost of building the second school of five that have been planned in the Nyae Nyae Conservancy.

The School was beautifully designed by Nina Maritz Architects, based in Windhoek, and was built by Betonstein Construction Company, whose head, Mr Justus Shoopala, was also in attendance.

The visiting guests and dignitaries were delighted by the singing of the children and a session of traditional San singing and dancing conducted by the elders of the community.

The Chairman of the Ju’hoansi Development Fund, accompanied by Project Manager Ms Saskia den Adel Sheehama, Teacher Mentor Mr Festus Soroab, and Logistics Manager Mr Kgao Visser Ghauz proposed the vote of thanks to the Honourable Deputy Minister and the other dignitaries, as well as to the donors, the Press, the members of his own Board, and to all the children, parents, teachers, and the local community.

A splendid lunch was then held, prepared by local women from the Tsumkwe community.

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