Helping students help themselves
“We aim to link individuals with prospective companies and to co-operate with the public and private sector to help improve the educational situation in the country,” said Kevin Wessels, Vice Chairman and Director of Public Relations for Welwitschia – Education Initiative for Namibia.
Founded in 2012, the education, institute is aimed at improving the education situation and to bolster the cooperative partnership in education between Namibia and Germany.
Wessels said that since they were founded they have awarded ten scholarships to NAMCOL learners in Okahandja as part of a project aimed at keeping children off the streets.
“This led to the founding of NamCareerService by welwitchia.org in September 2013, which is facebook based and a platform where we publish offers for bursaries and internships and give career advice,” said Wessels.
He said that the NamCareerService tool was necessitated by the fact that many learners are not aware of educational and vocational opportunities upon completion of high school. “Those who find a study course often face the problem of funding and those who manage to solve all these problems often struggle to fin an internship to put the theory in to practice, therefore we have created a comprehensive platform that covers all three fields,” he added.
Wessels said they also face challenges which include time, availability of members, finding experienced individuals and funding, which is mostly due to the fact that members have their own full time job or school to attend to.
“We plan on making the best of our situation by initiating youth forums and panel discussions on education and career, to print the 2nd Edition of our NamCareer Guide and we would like to develop Welwitschia into an institution which is fully equipped to cater for our three core functions, which are pre-tertiary education career advice, sourcing of financing for tertiary studies and linking student with internship programs,” he added.
He advised any one who wants to get involved to apply to become a member, to get involved with their facebook page, NamCareerService, to volunteer for the various activities and to attend and participate in their workshops.
With the help of their lawyer Henry Shimutwikeni the organisation is currently in the process of registering as a Trust with the Master of the High Court, so that they can open an office in Windhoek to provide young Namibians with offline information and advice to supplement their online platforms.