The Kalahari New Hope Primary School started with 40 children, one teacher and a very tight budget. But the dream that has been burning on the founder’s heart was enough to start something beautiful: to offer access to education to the San tribe. Children of different age groups were gathered together in one room and began to decipher with much difficulty the secrets of reading.
The first one who guided them every step of the way was Lidia Pater, a missionary volunteer from Romania. Over the time more and more volunteers have joined her in teaching and the number of the children has gradually increased as well.
Lidia Pater said: “I was very glad when I went to the Restcamp and met the parents of a little girl from our kindergarten. They were telling me with much joy how the girls at home were trying to speak and sing in English. They were very happy about it, but it was not just a source of joy for them, but also for us, because it encouraged us to believe that all our work has not been in vain.”
The Kalahari New Hope Elementary School became what it was meant to be: a new hope. It had been functioning for six years without accreditation from the Ministry of Education of Namibia, before receiving the much-needed approvals only at the end of 2015. Imagine an ethnic group with no legal access to education, but this obstacle has been overcome!
Even though Kalahari New Hope has been accredited as a private school it still follows the legal curriculum appointed by the government of Namibia. The school years start in January and finish in December and have three trimesters.
In our kindergarten all the way to the third grade the children are taught by group-teachers that teach all subjects: English, math, art, religion, sport and environmental studies.
Starting from the fourth grade the children have separate teachers for each subject: English, mathematics, biology, geography, history, agriculture, religion, arts, sports and civic education.
KNH Primary School has grown to offer education to over 220 children every year. The educational project of the mission has been in operation since the beginning of the ministry in 2009 and it is developing on an ongoing basis.
On a humanitarian level the school provides students with all the practical necessities for their education and it covers their basic needs as well. Thus, the students of KNH Primary School are given clothes, uniforms, school supplies, notebooks, backpacks, shoes, food, etc. There have been many donations designated for this project which have significantly improved the quality of our school in Kalahari.
The organization of the school’ activities differ from year to year due to the ever-changing number of the volunteer teachers. However, there is one thing constant no matter what happens: every school-day begins with a prayer followed by breakfast and also ends with prayer and lunch.
In order to have a good development it is necessary to have approximately 11 volunteer teachers eager to get involved for at least one year. For this reason, we constantly need volunteers as well as trained professionals.