The season for giving

Panda Pack Project paves the way

01 October 2019 | Education

Evany van Wyk

On 14 September, the atmosphere at Tobias Hainyeko Primary school in Windhoek was the epitome of joy and happiness, as the school became the lucky recipient of Panda Pack Project schoolbags from China.

The invited guests were gleefully received by learners, who eagerly waved their Namibian flags to greet and welcome everyone to their school.

The learners then eagerly awaited the handing out of the pink and blue bags.

They were at their best behaviour, as they listened attentively to all the speeches and interacted with the speakers when asked to do so.

Among the guests were deputy education minister Anna Nghipondoka, Khomas governor Laura McLeod-Katjirua Laura, Windhoek mayor Muesee Kazapua, the executive vice-president of the China Foundation for Poverty Alleviation, Wang Xingzui, and Chinese ambassador to Namibia Zhang Yiming.

The Panda Pack Project is a private charity drive initiated by the Chinese Foundation for Poverty Alleviation and the One Economy Foundation in Namibia.

The initiative is supported by the Chinese embassy in Namibia and the ministry of education.

This year, the charity decided to sponsor 40 000 schoolbags that will be distributed to all 14 regions of Namibia, in areas where there is a need.

It is hoped that the Panda Pack bags will improve the learning conditions of primary school learners.

This will then hopefully lay the foundation for each of these young learners’ futures.

“I hope that the Namibian learners can enjoy this gift and continue to study hard, so that they can one day realise their dreams,” said Zhang, adding the bags were an early gift ahead of the Day of the Namibian Child, which is celebrated on 28 September every year.

Nghipondoka said the school bags, which contain stationery, a lunchbox and toys, have a far-reaching effect.

She said they would help immensely to extend the life of Namibian textbooks.

“This is not just a bag, but an opportunity and a loaded gift. Do not take that in vain,” she said.

When the handover of the schoolbags finally began, the excitement among the learners was contagious.

As they say, a smile on a child’s face is one of life’s greatest blessings, and this was definitely the case during the handover.