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Old Mutual Namibia awards bursaries

Mon, 11 November 2013 02:28
by Timoteus Shihepo

Old Mutual Namibia (OMN) has shown its continuous commitment to develop the nation by awarding bursaries to deserving students.
For the past five years, OMN has awarded bursaries to ten learners from Grade 12 to further their studies the following year at various tertiary institutions within Southern African Development Community (Sadc), including the Polytechnic of Namibia (PoN), University of Namibia (Unam), Nelson Mandela University, the University of Pretoria and Stellenbosch University.
The bursaries have always been awarded to deserving trade union member dependents through the Old Mutual and Nedbank Namibia Education Trust. The total value of the bursaries for 2014 amounts to N$430 000.
Since the Trust’s inception in 2008, a total of 3 496 Namibians have applied for bursaries from it but due to lack of additional resources, the Trust has only awarded 60 bursaries including next year’s.
The Minister of Education, Dr David Namwandi has thanked the company, saying, “Old Mutual Namibia has, no doubt, proven to be a leader in being a responsible corporate citizen through its corporate social investment projects. The Namibian government encourages the private sector to engage in and fully commit to transformation initiatives countrywide, such as through education.”
Four of the students who received the bursaries will study in South Africa at the three South African universities while the remaining six will study at PoN and Unam.
OMN CEO, Gim Victor says, “We are here with one collective vision in our minds and hearts; to attain all our aspirations as a proud Namibian nation. Our vision is to educate not only for today but for our collective tomorrow.”
At the handover ceremony, Victor added it is only through education that Namibia will be able to address and understand the challenges that face the nation, be it health issues, infrastructural development and optimisation of cultural diversity or financial stability.
Weighing in, a former OMN bursary beneficiary, Dr Grant Olivier said he made the most of the opportunity OMN had presented to him, as his parents could not afford to pay tertiary fees for him and his brother at the same time.
“My brother was then at the University of Pretoria where I eventually went to as well. When OMN sponsored me, I grabbed the opportunity and never looked back and I thank it for everything,” Olivier said, adding, he studied medicine at the University of Pretoria for six years and now works at the Katutura State Hospital. His dream is to fix whomever goes to him with broken bones.
One of this year’s beneficiary for 2014; former head-girl of Angra Pequena Senior Secondary School in Lüderitz, Rauna Johannes, wants to prove to everyone OMN didn’t make a mistake by awarding her the bursary.
“I love accounting, that is why I am going to study chartered accounting at Unam. I will plough back to the community when I am done with my studies and I believe I will make OMN and my family happy,” Johannes says.
Another recipient, Mutangeni IIpinge, who will study mechanical engineering at the University of Stellenbosch, vows to return home when he finishes his studies.