Rössing Foundation delivers on its mandate amid COVID-19

The Rössing Foundation mandate as penned down by the founding fathers of Rössing Uranium mine in 1978, is to promote the advancement of the living standard of the Namibian people and further the education of all Namibians. 

To effectively execute its mandate, the Rössing Foundation has been supporting the enterprise and agriculture sectors in Okombahe and Oshikuku to diversify and strengthen the local economy, create employment opportunities, contribute toward rural development as well as contribute to food production.

Gardening and debushing projects

One of the current projects is the Oshikuku gardening project, a community agribusiness in Oshikuku constituency, Omusati region. Eleven community members are part of this project, which produces fresh spinach, eggplant, Bambara groundnuts, beetroot, carrots, sweet potatoes, onions and green peppers. 

While only supplying these fresh vegetables to the local community and the surrounding villages, negotiations are currently ongoing to supply to formal markets.

Recently, the Rössing Foundation took the project’s 11 members to Olushandja for an exchange visit to share experiences with established horticultural farmers. To equip these members with business management skills, they recently also attended a five-day business management training course to equip members with necessary skills. 

The Okombahe community debushing enterprise is also one of the active community projects that involve eradicating invasive tree species, namely the Prosopis trees, from the Omaruru river basin in the Daures constituency, Erongo region. The Prosopis trees are harvested to make firewood, fodder and droppers. The project employs five youth members from Okombahe and produces products such as fodder, droppers and firewood which are sold both in the informal and formal markets at the coastal towns. Further negotiations are currently ongoing for the Okombahe products to enter into the formal market countrywide.

Chief Livelihood and Enterprise Development Officer Lysias Uusiku, at the Rössing Foundation, indicated that with access to the decent work as provided by the project, beneficiaries are better placed to support their livelihoods. Both the Oshikuku and Okombahe projects were supported by funding from the Social Security Commission.

Online educational support

Also known for its educational support, the Foundation has made great progress in online content development, which aimed to assist learners, teachers and other stakeholders during the state of emergency due to Covid-19 pandemic and the subsequent lockdown.

Before the production of online materials, a needs assessment was conducted by them in collaboration with partner subject teachers of the Ministry of Education, Arts and Culture (MoEAC) in Erongo and Oshana regions. The assessment showed how the Rössing Foundation could assist the MoEAC in supporting teachers and learners in English, Mathematics and the Sciences focusing on focal topics to achieve critical grades.In particular, the assessment revealed that  grades 9, 11 and 12 should be prioritised for online material and e-learning assistance.

So far the Foundation has compiled the grade 11 and 12 Mathematics and English content, as well as Physical Science for grade 9 and 12, and Physics for grade 10 and 11.Biology content for grade 10 to 12 has also been compiled and uploaded on the Foundation’s website, as well as the grade 3, junior primary content.

The executive director encouraged all those in need of assistance in the subjects mentioned to contact the Rössing Foundation or visit the Rössing Foundation website on http://www.rossingfoundation.com/login.html

Contributed by the Rössing Foundation