With a mind set to help people living with HIV/Aids, the International University of Management (IUM)’s faculty for HIV/Aids Management appeared to be the perfect one for Stefanus Nangombe to enrol in.
Irrespective of what people said about it at the time with regard to academic performance, IUM was, for Nangombe, the best local college.
The quality of its courses, he says, are remarkable, so are the lecturers who are always willing to assist students to excel.
“Professor Monish, for example, always encouraged and motivated me.
“I became a student tutor and presented a number of workplace policies in some of the offices under his guidance. The rest of my lecturers did a good job in grooming and shaping me as a professional too,” Nangombe relates.
While preparing for his final exams at IUM, Nangombe landed himself a job with Lifeline/Childline Namibia as a rapid tester and HIV counsellor.
After working there for five months, he got a job as a national co-ordinator for Youth and Education Programmes run by a local non-governmental organisation (NGO) called Catholic Aids Action (CAA) as a youth educator and life skills coach through which his humanitarian work would start.
“I dealt mainly with previously-disadvantaged people, the majority being the youth who were, in one way or the other, affected by HIV/Aids. My studies and experiences at the IUM prepared me well for the duties at CAA. I was now in a position to do what I had always wanted to do; empower and guide young people,” Nangombe states, adding that working with the NGO has made him realise there is still a sore lack of schools and educational resources in rural areas.
“Unlike most of our youth, I had the opportunity to attend a reputable institute like IUM. Young people just need someone to listen, care and understand them, not people who judge them. They need someone to open their eyes and guide them to find their solutions in their own way. Through counselling, I am in a position to do that; to judge the problem and not the person,” he concludes.
The former IUM student now heads the Children in the Wilderness (CITW Namibia) programme under the Wilderness Safari.