Coming together as one

The second fundraising dinner for the One Economy Foundation created the opportunity for pledges to continue the foundation’s incredible work.

08 December 2020 | Youth

Mariselle Stofberg





On 3 December, the One Economy Foundation (ONE) hosted their second fundraising dinner in support of their work towards building a fair and equitable society under the theme ‘connect, converse and collaborate’.

With pre-pledges and pledges done during both dinners hosted, the funds raised amounted to more than N$4.4 million, exceeding their target.

ONE is a Section 21 non-profit organisation which concerns itself with Namibia’s dual economy wherein a small segment of the population participate and thrive in the ‘first’ profitable, knowledge-based economy and the majority of Namibians barely survive in the ‘second’ economy.

The foundation has five pillars, which include education, health, gender-based violence, entrepreneurship and enterprise development, and institutional and strategic support programmes.

The foundation, under its education pillar, seeks to ensure access to equitable and quality education for beneficiaries and to facilitate a conducive environment for learning.

TIP

The Talented Individual Programme (TIP) is a fellowship which provides 28 talented learners from low-income backgrounds with an all-encompassing educational experience which includes academic and psycho-social support for secondary school.

During this dinner, two TIP beneficiaries shared the impact of the foundation on their education and lives in general. Chante Moses commended the scholarship for providing them with the support to excel both academically and extramurally.

“Your time and money, do you see it in me? This is what you are investing in. We are not going to let you down. You have planted the seeds we need to excel. Ten years later, I might be the next president of our country, and only because you chose to invest in us.

“You are helping to build a new generation and I can’t be prouder. This opportunity has blessed me, and I want to thank the First Lady [Monica Geingos], because she has been an amazing mother to all of us,” Moses added.

Sarafia Ewalistus, another beneficiary, said ONE has provided TIP fellows with access to opportunities and exposure to gain invaluable skills. One of these skills is leadership, which has led to her being elected as part of her school’s learner’s representative council for 2021.

“I can proudly say that this scholarship has not just met my expectations but exceeded them. With the help of incredible individuals like yourselves, I’ve become someone the 13-year-old me would think of as a role model. I came to realise that we as the youth have to take initiative and make the change. With incredible individuals like yourselves as our momentum, I believe we can succeed,” she added.

Creating change

The work done by ONE has made a profound impact on society and the Namibian community at large and continues to strive towards creating lasting change.

“I am humbled by what happens here, but what frightens me is how many other Sarafias or Chantes there are in this country, falling through the cracks as we speak. We need to scale up what we are doing. We are doing great work, but the need is much bigger than what we are doing,” Geingos said.

“The social issues in this country are becoming political and the political issues are becoming economic. We meet the children who do fall through the cracks at 03:00 in the morning in our living rooms with guns. We meet them in the shops when they are scratching through our handbags. We meet them in the riverbeds when they rape our daughters. The social becomes political becomes economic and it’s our problem.

“What we don’t fix becomes unimaginable. We call them monsters and animals, but they are not. They are a reflection of our society. They are a reflection of what we haven’t done,” the First Lady added.

Geingos said a lot of the funding for education is placed at the top to enable tertiary education, with many learners falling through the cracks at primary and secondary school level.

“We need to invest in all our learners and provide them with the platform to succeed. As a country, we need to stand together, and not judge each other based on tribe or status or political party affiliation. We are Namibians and we are stronger together,” Geingos said.

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