FIRST lady Monica Geingos has launched her One Economy Foundation on Saturday at a fundraising dinner in Windhoek's Otjomuise suburb.
President Hage Geingob was the guest of honour at the launch, which was also attended by several business people.
The One Economy Foundation was established as a Section 21 non-profit organisation, and its heartbeat is to actively 'Build a Bridge' to inclusivity for as many Namibians as possible.
The planned projects for the One Economy Foundation take into consideration the notion that opportunity needs to be underpinned by support.
"This is a critical mindset to have to ensure that despite our many efforts to drive inclusivity, there are still root issues that need to be dismantled. The sole mission of the One Economy Foundation is to contribute to ensuring that fewer Namibians fall through the cracks and many more have a bridge to access their life's opportunity," Geingos stressed.
According to her, the foundation exists to facilitate the full social and economic participation of identified communities to break aspects of the poverty cycle by highlighting the root causes, maximising the potential of as many Namibian people and to strengthen those who are already on track to become better.
"ONE" has been described as the implementing arm of all the projects to be undertaken by the office of the First Lady, primarily focused on, but not limited to enterprise development and entrepreneurship; integrated early childhood development; gender-based violence response and preventative programmes; health; and institutional strategic support.
Through the employment of diverse strategies, including mentoring and professional coaching; collateral-free lending; talent identification programmes for educational and entrepreneurial purposes; advocacy on adolescent reproductive health, and advocacy on communicable and non-communicable diseases, the First Lady aspires to actively work towards the shared dream of a Namibia where inequality is significantly reduced and the formal and informal economy increasingly becomes one.
Geingos is the executive chairperson, and the rest of the board is constituted of independent, non-executive directors.
Board diversity is personified in the skills, the demographic and experience mix of its directors, and also by their respective participation in the formal and informal economies.
According to Geingos, board directors include a financial services' expert, youth, an office cleaner who aspires to be an entrepreneur, and a breadwinner whose full-time occupation is guarding cars at a shopping complex in Klein Windhoek.