Upgrading and extension of school and hostel facilities at the Uahekua Herunga Primary School at Otjorute village in the Ruacana constituency, Omusati region.
On Thursday 15 August 2013 at an illustrious ceremony held at Otjorute and attended by the founder of the Dirk Mudge Trust, veteran politician and co-writer of the Namibian Constitution, Mr. Dirk Mudge, the Minister of Environmental Affairs and Nature Conservation, Mr. Uahekua Herunga, and a number of other dignitaries, the upgraded classrooms, new class rooms, hostel facilities and school hall were handed over to the Ministry of Education and the community of Otjorute. The occasion marked a milestone for the state of education in the area, where children attending the school often have to stay home because of the dangers posed by wild animals, adverse weather conditions or long distances. Apart from renovating the existing two classrooms at the school, the Trust contributed two more classrooms, a hostel for at least forty learners, a kitchen, assembly hall and ablution facilities.
The N$2 million project, was conceived when Mr. Mudge reacted to a plea for assistance, published in the Namibian Sun newspaper by Mr. Albert Tjiuma, the then principal of the Uahekua Herunga Primary School. The responsibility for the construction and management of the project was placed in the hands of the Chairperson of the Trust, Mrs. Chrisna Greeff, who wasted no time in getting the wheels rolling. In April a construction team was on site and in August, the site was handed back to the community.
24 men and women from Otjorute participated in the building of the infrastructure under the supervision of 3 experienced builders with a supervisor. They were not only earning good wages for their work, but at the end of the project, were also rewarded with certificates stating the skills they acquired in the process.
At the ceremony, the Minister, on behalf of the community and Government, assured the Trust that the community and learners will make good use of the new infrastructure they acquired, and that it will be looked after carefully. He confessed his reservations regarding reconciliation at the time of Independence, when he was still a young man, but that projects like this one convinced him of the importance of reconciliation for the Namibian nation.
Chrisna Greeff, Chairperson of the Dirk Mudge Trust expressed her appreciation of the people of Otjorute, for their enthusiasm, their positive attitude towards her and her team and the ambition of the community for their children. She also expressed her appreciation to Tate Lazarus Kolele, who represented the Otjorute community as Project Leader, as well as to the officials of the Ministry of Education and the Ministry of Labour for their diligent and professional assistance.
Speaker after speaker at the ceremony voiced their appreciation for the public private partnership established by the Dirk Mudge Trust, and inspectors of the Ministry of Education undertook to install electricity at the school immediately, in order for the infrastructure to be fully utilised.
The upgrading of the school, bringing electricity to the vicinity and the on-going upgrading of the road from Omakange to Ruacana, promise enormous change in the livelihood of people in the area.
Apart from upgrading the school at Otjorute, the Dirk Mudge Trust at the same time completed two dormitories and toilet block at the Otjekua Primary School, as well as restoring water flow to the school.