The PREN Project team accompanied by our project partners EduVentures and Namibia Energy Institute (NEI) embarked upon a familiarization visit to Kavango East and Zambezi Regions from 17 to 22 February 2019. The purpose of the visit was to meet local leaders to introduce the PREN Project and partners and visit rural schools that were identified to benefit from PREN Project activities.
Sunday, 17 February 2019 the PREN project together with its partners EduVentures and the Namibia Energy Institute travelled to Kavango East.
On Monday, 18 February 2019 the joint team paid the Directorate of Education, Art and Culture a courtesy visit and to introduce the PREN Project and planned activities for Kavango East. After the productive meeting, the team proceeded to Katima Mulilo. On Tuesday morning the team met with the Directorate of Education, Arts and Culture of the Zambezi region. Later that day, the team proceeded to the Zambezi Regional Council (ZRC) for a very productive meeting which also highlighted the importance of local dynamics which should be taken into account. The meeting with ZRC was amongst others attended by Mr Walubita Director of Planning and Mr Celtius Mubita Deputy Director. The team was well received by the Ministries and the Regional Councils.
The journey to the recommended schools begun on Wednesday, 20 February with Nsundwa combined school being the first school to be visited. Nsundwa Combined School is situated 65.1 kilometers east of Katima Mulilo in the Zambezi region. The roads leading to the school are narrow, bumpy and flood prone, especially when it rains, it becomes a challenge to reach the school. On the road to Nsundwa the team encountered unintended adventure as the car, which the team was travelling, got stuck in the mud. The team was caught off-guard as they were not ready for such a natural surprise. However, the team managed to get to the school and delivered the activities that were outlined for the school.
On the Thursday morning the team travelled to Kandunda Kaseta Combined School. The school is west of Zambezi region close to the Kavango East border. The team was pleased to discover that the school also accommodates marginalised communities like the San people. This means that the marginalised school will also benefit from electrification with renewable energy technologies and from EduVentures' environmental education programme. Fifty Learners participated during this meeting.
Later that afternoon the team was fortunate enough to visit Shinyungwe Combined School. The team was fortunate because the learners came back for afternoon studies and this made it possible for the team to interact with the learners. The school will however not benefit from electrification with renewable energy as the school is already connected to the national grid. 90 Learners participated during the meeting.
Neyuva and Shambyu Combined schools were visited on Friday 22 February and are also connected to the grid, therefore the schools will not benefit from electrification with renewable energy as well. The schools will however benefit from EduVentures environmental education programme, which educates the learners about biodiversity, climate change, sustainability and cultural heritage. The programme also provides practical activities, which helps them internalise the knowledge they receive. Highest number of attendance was recorded at these two schools, 96 and 310 respectively. In total 659 learners were reached.
On the last day of the familiarisation visit the team made a brief stopover at the St Boniface College. A top performing school nationwide. The idea was to assess how learners of this school can be included in the environmental education activities of the PREN Project. The representative of the school indicated the St Boniface’s eagerness to participate.
The pre-visit turned out to be resounding success and all the planned activities were executed with the support of locally based government officials. The next time the team visits the Zambezi as well as the Kavango region will be to implement the promised activities, namely to electrify N sundwa and Kanduda Kaseta with solar systems. EduVentures will visit the selected schools with their state of the art mobile classroom affectionately known as the Ombombo Classroom. Ombombo means butterfly in Otjiherero language.