OKANGUATI: The Bruder Grimm Schule in Cologne, Germany has donated N.dollars 30 000 in a ‘handshaking’ gesture to the Okanguati Combined School in the Kunene Region.
The donation signals the start of a long-term partnership between the two schools, for which an agreement was signed on Tuesday.
Vivian Bolling, a Grade 4 learner from the Bruder Grimm Schule who was instrumental in the collection of the N.dollars 30 000, along with her family, represented the German school during the signing ceremony at Okanguati.
Speaking on behalf of the family, Vivian’s father Professor Michael Bolling said the school requested that the family represent them in the initiation of the partnership, given their ties to Namibia.
“The Bruder Grimm Schule was looking at going into a partnership with an African school, and since we have been visiting Namibia since 1993 and knew the Okanguati Combined School, we proposed it to the school and it was approved. We were requested to facilitate the process of ensuring that the partnership agreement is carried out in a smooth way,” Bolling explained.
The partnership will, amongst other things, include the exchange of letters between learners of the two schools, as well as possible student exchanges.
The family brought letters written by Vivian’s classmates along to Namibia, and Okanguati Combined School learners wrote replies to the letters, which will be handed over to the Bruder Grimm Schule learners.
According to Professor Bolling, the idea behind the agreement is to help children at the two schools to learn from each other, and build long-term friendships.
The money handed over on Tuesday was collected through fundraising races.
Learners at the Bruder Grimm Schule were asked to run ‘sponsored laps’ around a sports field, with relatives and friends donating an agreed amount for every completed lap.
Vivian completed 19 laps, while her brother Antonio ran 21 laps.
The donated funds will be used to buy chemicals for the school’s laboratory, and also for the repair of toilet facilities at the school.
Mukuena Tjiuma, a teacher at the Okanguati Combined School who is an old friend of the Bolling family, said the partnership would be a great opportunity for learners to forge links with their German counterparts, and might even open doors for further studies for Namibian learners in that country.