Camp Campus brings education to marginalised community in Bethanie
When Sidney Boois started the Career Assessment and Mentorship Programme in Bethanie, little did he realise what a major impact it will have on the town’s school children.
Boois grew up in this small dusty town on the banks of the Konkiep River, some 140 km south of Helmeringhausen and 80 km north of Goageb. His close relationship with Bethanie gives him a profound understanding of the daily issues faced by all the children. Bethanie is not exactly the focal point of progress and prosperity despite an active farming community in the district.
But Bethanie is not irrelevant in the bigger Namibian picture. The district is huge, surprisingly stretching all the way south to the Fish River Canyon. The main economic activity is agriculture and a smattering of tourism.
There is such a need for the services of the Career Assessment and Mentorship Programme, CAMP for short, that is has grown into a structured, formal organisation in a short time. It is now based at what Boois calls, Camp Campus.
Camp Campus has many facets, primarily focusing on empowering the children of the Bethanie community through higher education and offering career guidance through early discovery, development and nurturing interventions. The Grade 7 – 12 high school students are all from marginalized communities. The ultimate goal of Camp Campus is to prepare them for university.
Apart from the academic side of CAMP, it also offers various life skills projects such as gardening, tourism, cultural heritage projects, leadership courses for educators as well as youth and community training and development programmes. The activities at the campus have grown to such extent that it attracted the attention of a private sector sponsor as well as the Ministry of Education, Arts and Culture.
Local short term insurer, Hollard Namibia joined forces with CAMP, understanding the importance and relevance of a project of this kind, which they describe as a truly innovative way to make a real difference in the lives of the children attending the project. On a wider scale, CAMP also has a lasting sustainable impact on the people of Bethanie.
Recently Hollard donated furniture, computer equipment and a fully equipped kitchenette, the combined value of which came to around N$125,000.
This was done to enable CAMP to achieve its goal to develop support structures for secondary school learners through career assessment and mapping followed by coaching and mentoring, job shadowing and capacity building across priority economic sectors.
The Minister of Education, Arts and Culture, Hon. Katrina Hanse-Himarwa visited the school on 08 Saturday April 2017 to see for herself the impact that this initiative on the children and the community.