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Different but still very able

Dr. Eline van der Linden (back row left), Chairperson of the Down Syndrome Association of Namibia, with Hon Dr. David Namwandi, the Minister of Education and Ms Nangula Hamunyela, Managing Director of Engen Namibia, and some of the Down Syndrome children at the ceremony where Engen Namibia donated N$300,000 to the association (Photograph by Mandisa Rasmeni)

Dr. Eline van der Linden (back row left), Chairperson of the Down Syndrome Association of Namibia, with Hon Dr. David Namwandi, the Minister of Education and Ms Nangula Hamunyela, Managing Director of Engen Namibia, and some of the Down Syndrome children at the ceremony where Engen Namibia donated N$300,000 to the association (Photograph by Mandisa Rasmeni)

Engen Namibia last week handed over N$300,000 to the Down Syndrome Association of Namibia (DSAN)  at Hotel Thule in Eros. The money will be split into three tranches with the association receiving N$100,000 per year for three years starting this year.
Dr. Eline van der Linden, Chairperson of Down Syndrome Association of Namibia, who also has a daughter with Down Syndrome said their objectives are to raise awareness and advocate for people living with Down Syndrome and their families and caretakers. Dr. Van der Linden emphasised that they aim to facilitate access to education, health and support groups and they currently have a data base of about 100 people and organisations. “The Down Syndrome Association was launched in October 2012. We still do not have offices but we are working on that” said Dr Van der Linden.

Ms Nangula Hamunyela, Managing Director of Engen Namibia said that they decided to donate to the Down Syndrome Association because the sector policy on inclusive education recognises that there are special children who face barriers in learning and that education is the core of Engen Namibia’s corporate social investment initiative. “We are further encouraged by the fact that the sector policy on inclusive education affords them the opportunity to achieve their potential,” she said.
Honourable Dr. David Namwandi, the Minister of Education stressed his conviction with regard to propelling the education system to address the needs of all learners, especially those who are at risk of being marginalized.
“The initiative taken by Engen to donate a grant to the Down Syndrome Association would surely yield a positive impact on the targeted population,” concluded Dr Namwandi.

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