PA Schmidt Primary School, in Namibia

Maltahohe is in Southern Namibia, about 300km south of Windhoek. The community has about 6,000 inhabitants. There are just two schools in the town Daweb Secondary School and its feeder primary school, recently renamed in honour of P.A. Schmidt. andBeyond involvement with this community began 15 years ago, when a team from the andBeyond Sossusvlei Lodge visited, on account of them regularly driving passed for supplies, and having staff that came from this community. During this visit the &Beyond team identified malnutrition as a major issue among the children that they encountered. Since then the lodge has made weekly visits to Maltahohe, supplementing the government feeding scheme for orphans and vulnerable children. They have supplied more than Namib $1 million toward the feeding scheme, which supports 500 hungry children. The scale of the problem of malnutrition in Maltahohe led Africa Foundation to engage in conversations in order to find a sustainable way to improve nutritional intake, through the primary school.

However, a kitchen and dining facility was still needed at this school to consistently feed the students. Adequate nutrition is the basic building block of not only academic performance, but also the physical, mental and emotional health of children. Africa Foundation, through the immense support of donors, raised funds to build these facilities Based at the school, the facility would enable all the 900 enrolled children, from Grade 0-7 to receive daily hot meals and benefit from school based nutrition feeding schemes. This will ensure a more consistent attendance to the feeding scheme, but also to school giving children greater incentives to attend school, and the nourishment to optimise learning when there.

In addition to the kitchen and dining hall, a need was ascertained to provide the school with a library and media centre . Funds were raised to build the library/media centre and toilets, with additional shelving to be erected in the library. The media centre was also adequately equipped so that it provides access to the internet and ICT activities. This includes computers, for work stations and one for the librarian, Wi Fi router, networking hub and printer. Security measures have also been taken, including burglar bars and gate for the library windows and door. In the information age, it is essential for students to be able to access adequate learning sources to facilitate their educational needs. While a kitchen and dining hall is necessary to nourish the body, a rich plethora of educational and informational resources is essential to nourish the mind.