KEETMANSHOOP, Aug. 31 – A group of Namibian high school learners are launching a National Heart Health Campaign following two weeks at a special camp designed to raise their aspirations.
The 37 learners from JA Nel Senior Secondary School in Keetmanshoop have put together a campaign – Heart Health Namibia – to promote healthy living, with the support of students from Cardiff University and UNAM.
The campaign was launched by the learners themselves at a Press Conference at UNAM’s Southern Campus in Keetmanshoop earlier today.
Heart Health Namibia includes web pages, social media content, leaflets, branding, short films and community engagement, and the learners have devised their own slogan for the campaign: Your Heart, Your Choice.
The initiative is part of Cardiff University’s Phoenix Project, a partnership with UNAM to improve health and reduce poverty in Namibia. Focusing on business & marketing, journalism & media, healthcare and computer science, the campaign is the culmination of two weeks of hard work from the learners and students.
They have taken part in a demanding ‘UniCamp’ involving academic content, workshops, activities, games and sports to improve their knowledge, self-esteem, teamwork, communication skills and literacy.
Chantel Kaffer, 18, of JA Nel Senior Secondary School, said: “We are privileged to be part of the UniCamp. Many of us didn’t know the risk factors to an unhealthy heart but now we know they are diet, smoking, alcohol and lack of exercise. We want people to hear about our Heart Health campaign so they can live longer and healthier lives. What I’m trying to say is your setback is just a set-up for your comeback.”
Revonia Lambert, 18, of JA Nel Senior Secondary School, said: “Through the UniCamp I have gained skills, improved my language and knowledge, and learned table manners, new games, songs and how to work in a group. Our Heart Health Campaign will educate people about the dangers of heart disease and we hope that young people will be taught early on and pass the knowledge to the next generation.”
It is hoped that the UniCamp, led by Cardiff University’s Head of Widening Participation and Community Outreach Scott McKenzie, has raised the aspirations of the learners with some aspiring to progress to university.
The health campaign has won the support of Deputy Minister of Health Hon Julieta Kavetuna who said she was “delighted to see the young people of Namibia, both students and learners, making a real contribution to the health of our nation”. – Ignatius Mutasa