Farmer fills maize meal gap

13 February 2018 | Education

An Omaheke farmer donated 240kg of maize meal to an Omitara school after maize from the school feeding programme failed to materialise this semester.

Rebecca Heita, principal of the Otjivero Primary School at Omitara, praised the donation, saying that the maize meal is crucial to her learners, many of whom come from vulnerable backgrounds. “This food is very important to our learners, who are very vulnerable,” she said, noting that most come from impoverished homes and a lack of food keeps them away from school.

“We are always grateful for the help, because this really helps the kids and keeps them in school. If they have no food, they always ask for permission to visit the farms where their parents work to get food.”

Heita said she had contacted the regional education officials, and that she was informed that the region had not yet received the promised goods because a contract with the suppliers had lapsed. She was informed that the contract had been extended and the school looked forward to receiving its rations of maize meal soon. In 2015 the school was also taken aback by a six-week delay in the start of the National School Feeding Programme in the region, raising school absences.

The latest delay was alleviated to some extent by the donation of 240kg of maize meal by local hunting farm operator Marina Lamprecht.

In a statement she stated that the donation to the school was to ensure access to food while the anticipated supply from the education ministry was on its way.

Lamprecht said she regularly assisted the school with academic and sport supplies, firewood and other necessities.

In 2017, she donated more than 1 000kg of maize meal to the school feeding programme, in addition to meat she donates from her trophy-hunting outfit. “For the majority of learners, this provides their only regular source of protein,” she said in the statement.

Lamprecht said that trophy hunters “truly invest in, as well as interact with local communities, the environment and wildlife at every level. This form of hunting has generated more jobs, pays better salaries and offers more on the job training and promotional opportunities than any other form of rural land utilisation in our country.”

Attempts to reach the education ministry and regional offices for comment had failed by the time of going to print.

JANA-MARI SMITH

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