FIRST Lady Monica Geingos officially launched the Study With Flon (First Lady of Namibia) study group initiative at State House on Friday.
The initiative focuses on creating a strong sense of African identity through a series of short courses offered jointly by the Thabo Mbeki African Leadership Institute (TMALI) and the University of South Africa (Unisa).
The Study With Flon programme empowers participants to understand, implement and embrace transformation through studying various courses including African Political Economy, African and International Trade - Building an African Developmental State, African Feminist and Gender Studies, Thought Leadership for Africa's renewal as well as Good Governance in Africa.
“The idea for Study With Flon was sparked when I decided to personally register for a course through the Thabo Mbeki African Leadership Institute. I offered, via social media, to assist five other Namibians who are interested in developing their knowledge to register and join me for a study group,” explained Geingos.
Under the Twitter hashtag #StudyWithFlon, the initiative raised significant interest, and Geingos was inundated with requests from interested students.
According to her, The Study With Flon group quickly grew from an initial of 5 to 25 participants and also drew the interest of the chief executive officer of The Prosperity Group Bertus Struwig, who offered to cover the costs of those who required funding.
Speaking at the launch on Friday, Struwig said if every employed Namibian makes a difference in only one other person's life, they are contributing to socio-economic upliftment. He further reminded the participants how privileged they are to be afforded an opportunity to study with Geingos.
One of the beneficiaries of the programme is attorney Nekwaya Iileka, who thanked Geingos for the opportunity.
“This is a very relevant and timely opportunity. The course I intend on pursuing is a new one to me. I will be studying a course on Africa and International Trade, with a focus on Building an African Developmental State,” said Iileka.
The courses are on NQF level 6 (36 credits), and offered through distance learning. All participants in the Study With Flon programme, including Geingos, were provided with their course material and meet once a month to study together.
TALENT IDENTIFICATION PROGRAMME (TIP)
Geingos also invited applications for the Talent Identification Programme (TIP), which is part of the recently launched One Economy Foundation.
TIP seeks to identify children with high potential from informal settlements, rural areas and poor communities, and then to provide them with quality education and life coaching from Grade 8 to Grade 12.
The scholarship recipients are enrolled either at Windhoek Gymnasium or Windhoek High School, and offered an opportunity to acquire quality education with access to mentors and various forms of psycho-social support and educational support.
“The ability to pay school fees is not the only barrier to quality education. We want to ensure our children (programme participants) leave with a strong education and a strong sense of self through access to mentors, education and emotional support and an active involvement in the child's academic and social life,” said Geingos.
TIP furthermore intends to break the poverty cycle by ensuring that talented Namibian children with high potential but low income have the same opportunities as children from high-income households.
Participants will enjoy a nurturing and supportive environment, which is geared towards ensuring that they excel both in and out of school, she noted.
“We must assume that in every poor community, there are highly intelligent children who have the dream and capacity to become first-economy participants. We want to find those children and give them an opportunity to cross the bridge from the second economy into the first economy, and provide them with a realistic chance to become whatever they want to become.” Geingos added.