Namibia Economist (Windhoek)

23 November 2012

Namibia: Early Childhood Centre Lays Foundation for Pre-School Children

FNB Namibia recently handed a cheque of N$50,000 to the Child Development Foundation at the opening of their new Early Childhood Centre. This contribution helps the Centre to take care of abondoned and orphaned infants and toddlers during their critical development years.

CDF has been operating an education centre near the Goreangab dam since 2007 and has recently moved to a purpose-built education centre in Otjomuise where orphans and vulnerable children attend kindergarten and pre-primary classes. The Centre has 40 pre-school children while another 70 children are sponsored from grade 1 to grade 12 with uniforms, school development fund contributions and stationary, and for vocational training.

In her address Jane Katjavivi, Chairperson of the FNB Foundation quoted the distinguished economist and Nobel Laureate, Dr James Heckman, from the University of Chicago in the USA and said that learning starts at infancy, long before formal education begins, and continues throughout life. Early learning begets future learning and early success breeds future success. She added: "At FNB Namibia we believe that all children have the right to grow up in an environment in which they are enabled to reach their full potential in life: the right to be raised in a family and to have access to quality health care, good nutrition, education, opportunities to play, and protection from harm."

The building cost of the new centre of N$2,1 million has been covered principally by the Dutch main sponsor, Stichting Pappa, with substantial discounts on the building material by the Pupkewitz Foundation and further support in kind from Namibia Construction, Jensen Transport and Murray Robberts construction company.

As per the contract with Stichting Pappa, CDF has undertaken to raise 30% of their operating costs in Namibia. Their budget for 2012 is around N$800,000. They have already raised around N$250,000 from local sponsorships including FNB Namibia.

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