The Rössing Foundation was established in 1978 through a Deed of Trust as a vehicle to oversee and implement many of Rössing Uranium’s corporate social responsibility activities in Namibia.
The Rössing Foundation implements programmes and projects under the following mandates:
- To further the education of all Namibians in order to achieve greater national productivity and enhance lifelong learning.
- To encourage the creation and/or to create opportunities for people to use their education.
- To promote the advancement of the living standards of all the people in Namibia.
- To carry out any act or accomplish any thing, which in the opinion of the Trustees, shall beneft Namibia or any or all of its inhabitants.
In order to align programmes and projects, the Rössing Foundation
focuses mainly on the following identifed targets:
- the improvement of primary and secondary education through the implementation of various teachers' and learners' support programmes;
- the development of the local workforce and of specialised vocational skills though the provision of scholarships and parttime study opportunities to deserving Namibians;
- the diversifcation and strengthening of the local economy through support to small- and medium-scale enterprises; and
- working hand-in-hand with local authorities to strengthen their capacity and facilitate the development and implementation of their strategic plans.
The Rössing Foundation has been working in partnership with the Ministry of Education, Arts and Culture since Namibian independence in 1990. The partnership encompasses activities such as strengthening the capacity of teachers and learners, leadership and management programmes, resource sharing and exchanging expertise between the partners.
To address the education challenges facing Namibia the Rössing Foundation assists the Government of Namibia through the Ministry of Education, Arts and Culture by availing opportunities to teachers and learners to acquire subject-related knowledge for the development of competencies in English, Mathematics and the Sciences.
To this end, the Rössing Foundation built and operates three stateof-the-art English, Mathematics and Science centres in the towns of Arandis and Swakopmund in the Erongo Region and in Ondangwa in the Oshana Region. In addition to these centres, the Rössing Foundation managed the English, Mathematics and Science mobile laboratory which travelled to many areas of the country during 2017.
This operation greatly benefted rural schools, as many teachers and learners cannot afford to travel to the centres. The centres and mobile laboratory will continue to serve as the hub of support programmes, not only for learners and teachers, but also for Namibian communities.
Teachers' support programmes
Rössing Foundation regards support for teachers to be vital, as a single, well-equipped teacher is able to beneft up to 30 learners. Teacher support programmes are conducted either at a centre or through the mobile unit on school visits to rural areas.
A total of 62 English language, one Mathematics and 11 Science teachers were supported at the three centres. In addition, the Rössing Foundation’s Science Education Offcer at the Ondangwa Centre, who served as chief judge at the annual Science Fair, trained 25 teachers to judge learners’ Science projects fairly. Ten teachers from Swakopmund-based Hanganeni Primary School also visited the Tamariskia Centre to familiarise themselves with the centre’s operations.
Learners' support programmes
The Rössing Foundation’s three education centres remain popular among learners. In addition to on-going support provided to learners from different schools in the English language, Mathematics and Science, many learners ﬂocked to the Arandis and Tamariskia centres for examination preparations.
Learners who attended learning activities at Namibian College of Open Learning (NAMCOL), non-governmental organisations such as Mondesa Youth Opportunities, or privately-owned training institutions such as EDUBLOX and Africa Institutional Management Services (AIMS), also attended sessions regularly at the Rössing Foundation’s centres.
The Rössing Foundation Ondangwa team carried out a special Mathematics session to support Okatana Secondary School in the Ohangwena Region during the school holiday period of May/June 2017.
During the year, vacation classes were conducted in all three centres to assist learners to consolidate what they had learned during the year.
In total, 4,147 junior primary learners benefted from the Rössing Foundation English, Mathematics and Science programmes during the year under review.
National mobile outreach programme
During 2017 the mobile laboratory visited 21 schools in the Erongo, Kavango West, Omaheke, Oshana and Kunene Regions to support rural schools in English, Mathematics and Science subjects. A total of 12,788 learners, 455 teachers and ten education offcers of the Ministry of Education, Art and Culture were supported through the programme. Each school received support for a full week.
A team of senior education offcers from the Directorate of Education worked with the Rössing Foundation team and staff of the schools. The combined teams contributed greatly to the successful school support intervention in all the visited regions.
Learners are generally well-behaved, enthusiastic and willing to learn, while teachers continued to show enthusiasm and shared contact details with the visiting teams to enable continued support. School management teams played a vital role in ensuring that planned activities are carried out in the schools.
Library services to the community
The main purpose of the Rössing Foundation’s libraries is to ensure that learners, teachers and other community members have access to information through books. Improved reading skills are conducive to good results at school and deepen general knowledge as well.
The Rössing Foundation libraries are located in the vicinity of the communities they serve. Learners and other members of the communities of Arandis, Ondangwa and Swakopmund make use of the libraries on a daily basis.
Tamariskia recorded the highest learner attendance, while Arandis recorded the highest book circulations. At all three centres, between 6,500 and 6,750 learners visited the three libraries respectively. All libraries were utilised beyond capacity as learners occupied all available space in preparation for examinations.
In 2017 20,025 learners, 103 teachers and 8,602 community members visited the libraries in Arandis, Ondangwa and Swakopmund.
The Rössing Foundation's mobile laboratory which travelled to 21 rural schools during the reporting year, forms an important part of its education outreach programmes. In total, 12,788 learners, 455 teachers and ten education offcers were supported through this programme during 2017.
Enterprise development support
Four Rössing Foundation-supported enterprises had an opportunity to market their products and services during the Rössing Marathon held in Swakopmund. Afterwards they all indicated that the occasion was a good marketing platform, as the event was attended by many people from across Namibia.
In the first half of the year under review, the Rössing Foundation hosted a ceremony at the Arandis Town Hall to award certifcates to eight Arandis residents who completed a Basic Business Skills training course and five who attended six or more sessions of the English Improvement programme.
The Foundation continued with the course during the second half of 2017 as both the Basic Business Skills and English courses are in demand among community members.
Three members of Ûiba-Ôas Crystal Market Cooperative, situated on the main road between Usakos and Karibib, received training from members of the Namibia Development Corporation and the Ministry of Industrialisation, Trade and SME Development in Karibib. The training focused on the use of the three value-addition machines (the tumbling, slicing and drilling machines). The training enabled the cooperative members to add value to raw stones, turning them into quality products, maximising their potential to turn a proft. Rössing Uranium donated personal protection equipment (PPE) to members for the use at the cutting and polishing centre to enhance safety.
The Rössing Foundation continued to work with project members of the community agribusiness, Dreamland Garden, to devise and implement a long-term solution for water supply to the project. Currently, the garden is using recycled water supplied by the Arandis Town Council to water the plants. After addressing water challenges, the project accelerated its production, enabling it to deliver over 100 bags of spinach per week to a local supermarket in Swakopmund and smaller amounts to local customers.
The Rössing Foundation supported the Ohungu Conservancy in the Dâures Constituency in northern Erongo since its inception in 2016. Following the approval of project funding by the Game Products Trust Fund, the community recruited workers to collect stones and sand to build three protection walls around the community’s water points. The protection walls secured the community’s water supply, which in the past was regularly compromised due to infrastructural damage caused by elephants roaming the area.
During 2017 the Rössing Foundation also facilitated a two-day workshop to help Khorixas Youth Construction (KYC) in developing project production and marketing plans for submission to the Social Security Commission-Development Fund (SSC-DF). Four members successfully completed a three-day practical course on brick making, machine handling and maintenance.