The Rössing Foundation


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:

rossing foundation logo

Rössing Foundation
The Dreamland Gardening Project is one of the Rössing Foundation’s initiatives to promote desert agriculture. The project is already supplying fresh vegetables to the Arandis community and to supermarkets in Swakopmund.

 

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:

Rössing Foundation

 

EDUCATION DEVELOPMENT PROGRAMME
The Rössing Foundation has been working in partnership with the Ministry of Education, Arts and Culture since Namibia’s 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 and best practices between the partners.

The Rössing Foundation continued to manage its three 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. The mobile unit greatly benefitted 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
The Rössing Foundation regards support for teachers to be vital, as a single, well-equipped teacher is able to benefit up to a minimum of 30 learners. Teachers’ support programmes are conducted either at a centre or through the mobile unit on school visits to rural areas as part of Rössing Foundation’s national outreach programme.

A total of 498 teachers benefitted from the Rössing Foundation Teachers Support Programme. It is quite satisfactory that for the first time the support to the English teaching cohorts have increased at all the centres, but more so at the Ondangwa Centre.

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.

The focus of the Rössing Foundation support on the Junior Primary level was to strengthen the reading competencies of the learners in Arandis, Ondangwa and Tamariskia. In total, 335 learners were supported and improved their reading competencies. In addition, 107 pre-primary learners benefitted from the reading programme in Arandis.

On Senior Primary level, a total of 6,868 learners benefitted from the programmes offered at all the Rössing Foundation Centres. It should be noted that some learners attended classes on a regular basis throughout the year, while others attended sporadically and according to specific needs.

On Junior Secondary level, a total of 3,082 learners acquired new knowledge and skills in English at all the centres. The centres experienced fewer Grade 8 learners compared with other grades. This is an indication of learners adjusting to difficult content as the subjects are becoming more challenging.

A total of 9,896 learners on Senior Secondary level benefitted from the Rössing Foundation English, Mathematics and Science programmes at the Arandis, Ondangwa and Tamariskia Centres in 2019, surpassing the targeted number of learners.

Three schools supported by the Rössing Foundation had the opportunity to meet two Chinese astronauts during the school holiday in Swakopmund. They were further exposed to the operations of the Chinese Telemetry Tracking and Command Station Centre outside Swakopmund.

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. In total, 36,475 learners used the library services during 2019 and 765 became library members. The library was used by 400 teachers, while 13,120 general community members benefitted from the library. In terms of book usage, a total of 2,836 books were borrowed and 2,020 were returned.

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 to study, conduct research on projects, and do homework. It should be noted that the Rössing Foundation libraries in Arandis and Ondangwa are the only facilities that provide that service to those communities. However, the Ministry of Education, Arts and Culture still continued to honour their pledge of many years ago by providing human resources, as well as materials to the libraries in Arandis and Ondangwa.

In total, 51,256 learners, teachers and other members of the communities derived benefits from the libraries in Swakopmund, Arandis and Ondangwa. These beneficiaries would not have benefitted from such services in the absence of the Rössing Foundation libraries.

SOCIAL ACCOUNTABILITY AND SCHOOL GOVERNANCE PROGRAMME
The training of the Master Trainers of School Boards was conducted in September 2019 in Windhoek. The objective of the training was to enable the Master Trainers to use the Social Accountability and School Governance Tools to empower School Board Trainers to be able to capacitate school boards in their regions, circuits and schools.

The Master Trainers included three consultants and three Rössing Foundation staff, comprising of the Executive Director, Chief Education Officer and Coordinator of the Outreach Programmes. Two UNICEF staff members and one from charity organisation Star-for-Life also attended the training in an observation and support capacity.

The School Board training for the Kunene Directorate of Education was conducted in October 2019 in Khorixas, whereas two training sessions were held in November for the Oshana School Board groups in Oshakati and Ondangwa respectively. It is envisaged that the training will be extended to the Ohangwena Region in the next reporting year.

MOBILE LABORATORY OUTREACH PROGRAMME
During 2019, the mobile laboratory benefitted 992 learners and 23 teachers ranging from Grade 4-7 and Grade 8-10. Due to financial difficulties experienced by the Regional Education Directorates, the Rössing Foundation could only assist Kahenge Combined Secondary School three times in 2019.

However, the Rössing Foundation also held training for the Senior Education Officers of Kavango West’s Education Directorates in the approaches and methodologies as applied by the Rössing Foundation Education Officers in the efforts to improved learner results.

The same school also benefitted from the introduction and piloting of the Mobile Planetarium programme.

A follow-up support visit to Kahenge Combined School in Kavango West Directorate of Education was conducted in July, after an earlier visit in June that identified the need for more support in terms of ensuring that effective teaching and learning is taking place. A total of 23 teachers were trained during both support visits.

ÛIBA ÔAS CRYSTAL MARKET COOPERATIVE
Situated on the main road between Usakos and Arandis, the Ûiba Ôas Crystal Market is being managed by the Ûiba Ôas Cooperative, with support from the Rössing Foundation. Teams from both the Foundation and the Cooperative are working together to establish an improved electrical power supply to the small-miner settlement. To this end, the Embassy of the United States has provided funds to purchase a solar power supply system. The installations have started and new solar panels have been installed; the rest of the system is to be finalised in the next reporting year.

The Cooperative is working with a Namibian architect to develop a multi-purpose community centre that will also house a kindergarden and be a venue for cultural events and community gatherings.

In addition, the Cooperative, supported by the Rössing Foundation, is investigating feasible options to bring water supply to the market, which is crucial to the development of the community. Discussions were held with various stakeholders to identify the best long-term solution to the community’s continual water challenges.

ARANDIS SMALL AND MEDIUM ENTERPRISES SUPPORT TO DREAMLAND GARDEN ENTERPRISE

The Rössing Foundation continues to work with the Dreamland Garden members to improve the day-to-day operations of the community garden. The enterprise is now flourishing as water becomes reliable and it continues to sell its produce to local shops and individuals in Arandis. However, the sustainable water supply needs to be formalised and the team is busy engaging Arandis Town Council in this regard.

COSDEC TRAINING ENTREPRENEURS
The Rössing Foundation assisted 13 Arandis SMEs with SME Basic Small Business Development, aiming to empower women with job application and interview skills. As part of the Empowering Erongo Young Women Project, eight participants completed the ‘Jobs-ready Workshop’ in July.

COMMUNITY INVOLVEMENT ACTIVITIES IN ARANDIS
The Rössing Foundation does not only work directly with SMEs, but also recognises that indirect help through community involvement is key to developing and maintaining a strong SME environment. The Rössing Foundation team is currently cooperating with the Arandis Town Council on plans to renovate the amphitheatre in Arandis, as well as to re-establish an urban park in the town. The plans were submitted to the Council. Suggestions were also made to turn the defunct swimming pool into a fountain park attraction. This idea was also well received.

BUILDING CULTURAL BRIDGES PROGRAMME
The programme aims to link secondary school learners with their counterparts in the United States of America (US) through teleconference facilities/equipment. The first ‘Building Cultural Bridges’ video conference took place with 20 learners from Westside High School and two English teachers, linking up with students in Buffalo and Jamestown New York in the US. Learners were able to talk and discussed subjects and social issues with their New York-based friends. The project plans will also be introduced at the Rössing Foundation’s Arandis and Ondangwa Centres.

ERONGO DEVELOPMENT FOUNDATION PARTNERSHIP
The overall performance of the Erongo Development Foundation (EDF) loans as received from local banking partner, Bank Windhoek, was presented to EDF Board of Trustees. Eight clients from the Dâures, Karibib and Arandis constituencies have defaulted on their loans and were referred to their legal department for collections. The EDF Board approved the recovery of the 60 per cent from the EDF Guarantee Fund. The Rössing Foundation, as one the major contributors to the collateral fund, recommended revisiting the referral approach that has become the order of the day and urged the Board members to find a realistic strategy that will strengthen the scheme.

OKOMBAHE DEBUSHING PROJECT
The Rössing Foundation and the Erongo Regional Council (Dâures Constituency Office) organised a study visit to Omaheke and Otjozondjupa regions for the enterprise beneficiaries. Four project representatives participated and were exposed to various bush value chain activities at four different operations.

A study tour was initiated to Farm Langbeen, a private farm located outside Dordabis. The members were exposed to theoretical and practical activities relating to making animal fodder from bush, including general forage production and pelleting.

The Vergenoeg project east of Gobabis is a community-based enterprise and a sister project to Okombahe project funded by Social Security Commission Development Fund under the auspices of the Omaheke Regional Council. Participants were able to witness wood harvesting, processing and packaging.

The Cheetah Conservation Fund (CCF) is a conservation organisation based near Otjiwarongo. The participants were exposed to high-level technology wood processing, including charcoal and bush blocks.

Nine enterprise members attended a practical training sessions on the safe operation of debushing machineries. After their training, they commenced with wood production, particularly fodder, poles and fencing poles (droppers) in Okombahe, with the target to produce 40 bags of chipped materials per day for the first three months.

The Office of the Erongo Governor was briefed on Rössing Foundation programmes in the Erongo Region. The meeting resulted in a decision to officially launch the Okombahe Enterprise, which took place on 21 November 2019. The official launch of the enterprise was attended by high-ranking officials.

our community
Project representatives of the Okombahe Debushing project attended practical training sessions on the safe operation of debusing machineries.

 

OSHIKUKU PROJECT
As part of the Oshikuku project, the planting and transplanting of maize seedlings continued with an additional 200 m2 plot of maize completed. The members harvested the first produce and sold it to the community in the town of Oshikuku and the surrounding villages. The search for organic manure continued unabated and during November, goats, chicken and pig manure was delivered at the site.

Nine members of the Oshikuku project undertook an exchange visit to a community garden at Onampira in Omusati Region during November 2019. The visit was fruitful as the farmers were exposed to different gardening techniques such as watering patterns, seedbed preparation, fertiliser application, harvesting, and marketing.

PILOTING THE MOBILE PLANETARIUM OF THE AFRICA MILLIMETRE TELESCOPE (AMT)
The Mobile Planetarium was piloted at the Mokganedi Thlabanelo Senior Secondary School in Omaheke Region, and the Kahenge Combined School in Kavango West Region. It is an educational medium and will assist teachers and learners to explore astronomy (planets and stars), thereby making abstract concepts more concrete and, in doing so, encouraging learners to pursue scientific careers at tertiary institutions.

The Rössing Foundation has been selected as a partner with Radboud University and NOVA, both institutions from the Netherlands, and the University of Namibia in the implementation of the Mobile Planetarium of the Africa Millimetre Telescope Outreach programme. The roll-out of the project will commence in September 2020 and will form part of the Rössing Foundation National Outreach programme. The project will run over five years with the vision of covering most schools in Namibia.