Stingy businesses, parents scolded

26 February 2020 | Local News

Kavango East education director Fanuel Kapapero says it is a shame for learners to endure harsh conditions at schools and hostels while businesses and well-off parents who have the means to assist turn a blind eye.

Kapapero made this remark while receiving a donation of 76 mattresses from Epupa Investment to the Maria Mwengere Secondary School hostel, where learners were subjected to sleeping on thin mattresses.

Kapapero did not mince his words when he strongly condemned the lack of support to the education fraternity by stakeholders who have the means to assist.

He argued that people often condemn the news of learners sitting on floors, but the same critics have the means to resolve the issue.

“I know we have businesspeople around us; I want to challenge all the businesspeople, including individuals, your parents who have goats and cattle, I want them to challenge them today to do more,” Kapapero said.

“It is a shame when learners sleep on the floor and there are a lot of businesspeople and parents who have some means to help the kids. I really want to challenge everyone. It is not good that our children who we call future leaders sleep on the floor, as if we are not there. In Rundu there are a lot of children sitting on the floor because there are no chairs, but I see at the end of the month the town is full.”

Kapapero gratefully accepted the donation from Epupa Investment, saying the region appreciates any kind of support.

Ewi lyaNooli observed that learners are forced to sleep on thin and torn matrasses, which Kapapero said are more than five years old.

According to hostel superintendent Wigbert Kandunda, some of the learners who refuse to sleep on such matrasses have opted to bring their own.

Kandunda said they appreciate the efforts of Epupa Investment and called on other stakeholders to emulate what they have done.

“These mattresses will go a long way and we appreciate them a lot,” he said.

Epupa Investment managing director Shalli Ben-Elungu said the company is committed to assisting the communities in which they operate.

“We must admit that our involvement in grant distribution countrywide has opened our eyes to the plight of the less privileged citizens of our beloved country and from the onset we can acknowledge and embrace the reality that we can only prosper as a company by doing good in the communities in which we serve,” Ben-Elungu said.

He said while being driven by the long-term sustainability of the company, the passion of the men and women who work at Epupa lies deeply rooted in their desire to ensure that their customers are exceptionally served month after month.

“Being aware of our responsibilities, not to our shareholders and employees alone, but also to the wider communities in which we are allowed to conduct business, as a corporate citizen we saw it fit to also play our little part towards government's poverty eradication efforts.

“Additionally, our company also saw it prudent through our corporate social responsibility commitments and tight budgets to single out a donation of much-needed amenities, such as mattresses to learners in dormitories like the ones here at Maria Mwengere Secondary School, as a means of contributing to a conducive learning environment in our country.

“We have therefore today availed an amount of money to buy the mattresses for Maria Mwengere. We know it's a drop in the ocean, but we have made a little difference in the lives of the learners,” Ben-Elungu added.

Kenya Kambowe

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