ABOUT THE RÖSSING FOUNDATION
The first Chairman of Rössing Uranium mine, Mr Ronald (Ronnie) Walker clearly stated that the common loyalty and purpose, without which no nation can survive, depends on having something worthwhile to defend, such as a decent standard of living and individual freedom to enjoy it. He further stated that the one thing a corporate can do for a country is to provide education to the people of that country.
Historically, many employees of Rössing Uranium mine came from as far as hundreds of kilometres away, from all corners of Namibia, and were housed in Arandis, a town that was built for workers in 1976.
This situation led Rössing to establish an entity that would serve communities from areas where the miners hailed from. The entity was to provide greater educational opportunities for Namibians in order to impart practical skills that would create better economic opportunities for them, particularly in rural communities.
It was against that philosophy that Mr Walker and the Board of Rössing Uranium established a Trust known as the Rössing Foundation.
The Rössing Foundation was established in 1978 through a Deed of Trust to serve as a vehicle for overseeing and implementing Rössing Uranium’s corporate social responsibility activities in Namibia.
A group of teachers, parents and other community members duringthe
training of School Boards of the Hardap Education Directorate, Hardap Region.
The Foundation focuses mainly on programmes and projects which are aligned to the four mandates below:
In order to align programmes and projects to these mandates, the Rössing Foundation directs its efforts mainly to the following:
- the improvement of primary and secondary education through the implementation of centre-based and national outreach teacher and learner capacity support programmes;
- the development of the local workforce and of specialised vocational skills through the provision of scholarships, apprenticeship and part-time study opportunities; and
- the diversification and strengthening of the local economy through support to small- and medium-scale enterprises and agriculture.
SOCIAL TRANSFORMATION THROUGH EDUCATION
The Rössing Foundation continues to strengthen the capacity of teachers and learners through support to Namibian schools in identified challenging subject areas such as the English language, Mathematics and the Sciences at its Education Centres located in Arandis, Swakopmund (Tamariskia suburb) and Ondangwa.
National Outreach Programme
The Rössing Foundation has recognised that in order to fulfil the mandate and the aspirations of Rössing Uranium according to the original philosophy expressed by Mr Walker, the best action to take was to broaden the educational support footprint in Namibia. Therefore, the National Outreach Programme was established to reach out to those learners who, due to poverty and long distances, could not benefit from the state-of-the-art English language, Mathematics and Science Centres in Erongo and Oshana Regions.
To answer this need, a Mobile Laboratory support programme was introduced to support rural schools in Namibia.
In addition, a new outreach activity was initiated to introduce the National Planetarium Programme that deals with astronomy under the Africa Millimetre Telescope programme to schools in Namibia. The programme will eventually unlock learners’ better understanding of the universe.
The role of the Rössing Foundation in this international undertaking is to roll out the outreach programme component of the Africa Millimetre Telescope programme to many schools in Namibia.
INNOVATION AND ENTERPRISE DEVELOPMENT
Support to Small- and Medium Enterprises (SME) in Erongo Region
The Rössing Foundation, in partnership with the Erongo Development Foundation, continued to provide collateral funding, business development services and marketing linkage to the SME sector in Erongo Region. The support is provided through the constituency offices of the seven constituencies of the Erongo Region.
In addition, the Foundation is still supporting the Ûiba-Ôas Crystals Market at the t-junction off the B2 Road to Spitzkoppe, between Arandis and Usakos. To that end, improved solar power provision has been realised. The small-scale miners are now able to have sufficient lighting at the market and are able to cut and polish the semi-precious stones for value-addition purposes.
Support to Okombahe Community
The Okombahe Community Debushing Enterprise (OCDE) is a community-based organisation that was established with the purpose of harvesting Prosopis trees in the Omaruru River basin for wood and fodder for environmental, social and economic gain.
The enterprise has two primary goals: to eradicate the invasive Prosopis tree species from the river basin in the Dâures Constituency, Erongo Region, and in doing so, serving as a source of income to the Okombahe community.
The enterprise has been supported by the Rössing Foundation with funding from Namibia’s Social Security Commission.
Food Production and Employment Opportunities
The Rössing Foundation, in partnership with the Social Security Commission, has been supporting two agricultural enterprises in Oshikuku and Ogongo in the Omusati Region.
The Oshikuku enterprise is run by women, striving to achieve success with producing and selling produce to the local market, while the Ogongo project is currently in its infant stage.