By Foibe N Paavo
SWAKOPMUND, 14 April – The DRC School Project and Community Centre, also known as the container school, is a non-governmental organisation (NGO) established more than 14 years ago to cater for children including those whose parents were waiting to get them a placement in schools.
Founders, Mike and Ivanna Kreiner, came up with the idea when they saw a need in the community especially with a shortage of schools at Swakopmund.
They noticed many children being left alone at home while their parents were out or working. And were concerned about how the children might harm themselves while needing to cook something to eat.
A child busy playing in the street might leave a stove burning and by the time they returned the house could be on fire.
To avoid that situation and eradicate poverty, Ivanna and Mike had opened this centre which is built from shipping containers.
“The centre had grown so big, it was just a baby and now it’s an adult formality catering for over 150 learners though different programmes,” according to Bernice Eixas, education coordinator at the centre.
“Now at this stage, we are also assisting learners that are at various schools that are struggling with homework in the morning hours, especially with the Butterfly system that has been on and off at the formal schools. We are assisting learners with homework and we go a little extra mile in their curriculum to explain to them what they did not understand back at the school. We also assist the community members with projects etc,” she explained.
“We do not discriminate. We take every Namibian and every citizen that is living in Namibia, especially in DRC, Swakopmund. Because it’s not only the DRC community members that don’t get any placements at schools although our initial idea was for the DRC community.
“We don’t do grades because we’re not registered under that and we’re not passing the learners. We’re simply helping and lifting off a little burden from their parents’ shoulders. By holding their children and giving them education. For example if the child is 15, or 10, then we know already that that child would be either in Grade 4 or 3 so we will be giving him/her the work that is in alignment with his/her grade,”she explained.
There has been a lot of vandalism currently since the community members do not understand the importance of the project. It has grown so big
and is operated officially now by Tangeni Shilongo Namibia.
“They were the ones that assisted us mainly with all the financial needs and they were the helping hand that we needed since day one,” Eixas said.
“Since they’re here, it makes life easier. I urge people like this to look into these kinds of matters, especially when it concerns the children because they are the leaders of tomorrow. The future depends on them.”
She said if children are brought up in this kind of environment, and all they know is shacks and those kinds of things, they might not go any further.
“At the centre, children get all the benefits that the outside world could not provide,” Eixas concluded. – Namibia Daily News