PA Schmidt Primary School is the only primary school serving the community of Maltahohe in Namibia. With limited resources, the school felt it was not giving the students the optimal chances they deserved, and asked Africa Foundation for support.
The primary school has an enrolment of over 900 students, who live in the town and neighbouring township settlements. There is no high school in this area and limited work opportunities, leading to high unemployment rates
andBeyond have been supporting a feeding programme for children in Maltahohe, having identified a crisis of malnutrition in the area. Over 15 years the andBeyond Sossusvlei Lodge has supplied more than Namib $1 million towards this feeding scheme.
Through this connection Africa Foundation began to engage with the community to explore sustainable ways in which to provide support. The construction of a kitchen and dining hall at the school was seen as an effective way to enable the provision of daily hot meals to a large number of children. With this infrastructure in place, the school could benefit from Government nutrition programmes. With a focus on the primary school, other educational needs were identified, and the plans extended to include the provision of a library and media centre. Although located on the school premises, the library and media centre will be of benefit to the whole community who will have access to the facilities, to improve their literacy skills and access information.
Thanks to the generosity of Africa Foundation supporters, funds were raised to build the kitchen, dining hall, library/media centre and toilets. Additional funding enabled the kitchen and dining hall to be equipped, to be operational, and shelving to be erected in the library. The media centre was also adequately equipped so that it provides access to the internet and ICT activities. This includes computers, for work-stations and one for the librarian, Wi-Fi router, networking hub and printer. Security measures have also been taken, including burglar bars and gate for the library windows and door. A commitment has been made by the Department of Education to cover the software licenses and the ongoing running costs of the internet connection, printing supplies and computer maintenance.
While the daily meals at school nourish the body, the library and media centre are exposing the children to a new set of skills which will equip them for success in todays digital world.