The Rössing Foundation was established in 1978 by Rössing Uranium Limited through a Deed of Trust to implement and facilitate corporate social responsibility activities within the communities of Namibia. The Foundation is registered in Namibia as a welfare organisation, and it is governed by a Board of Trustees. During 2022, the Foundation functioned with 17 employees stationed in four locations in Namibia, namely Windhoek (Khomas), Ondangwa (Oshana), Arandis (Erongo), and Swakopmund (Erongo region).
The Foundation continues to deliver on its mandate to Namibian communities in collaboration with different stakeholders. The highlights of 2022 are described below:
1. The new journey for 2023-2027
The Rössing Foundation is evolving as it is currently going through transformation; a new five-year developmental strategy was formulated, approved by the Board, and is ready for implementation in the year 2023. The strategy is well aligned with the national developmental goals, such as the Harambee Prosperity Plan and the National Development Plan, as well as the UN Sustainable Development Goals. The Foundation strategy, “Transforming lives through community empowerment and innovation”, aims to complement the national effort to achieve the desired results such as inclusive education, poverty reduction, job creation, climate change, women and youth empowerment. The Rössing Foundation’s new strategy provides an analysis of the challenges facing youth, women, children, and communities, the public sector’s response to these, and the remaining gaps. The Foundation commits to working with both the Namibian Government as well as private and nonstate actors in the implementation of the new journey in order to meaningfully transform the lives of the communities we serve.
“Got it right” Learners from Andimba Toivo yaToivo (Oshana region) busy verifying results on serial dilution against the colour chart
2. Imparting knowledge among future scientists
The Rössing Foundation has three science laboratories in Namibia and they are based in Arandis, Swakopmund and Ondangwa. In our science labs, both practicals and experiments are critical as they enhance the learners’ understanding of the subject content. The schools in Erongo, Oshana, and elsewhere in the country are generally faced with the challenges of conducting practicals and experiments at the school level due to limited resources such as physical laboratories and the necessary equipment and apparatus needed for both practicals and experiments. The Rössing Foundation education centres currently close that gap and serve as a source of complementary education in Mathematics, Physics, Chemistry, Biology, and English as schools bring their learners to the centres to conduct experiments as they are unable to do them at their respective schools due to the absence of labs and apparatus.
During the year under review, education officers from The Rössing Foundation, in collaboration with teachers, offered faceto-face lessons to over 2,701 learners from various schools in the Erongo, Oshana, Oshikoto, Ohangwena, Otjozondjupa, and Kunene regions. Learners were supported with examination readiness and problem-solving skills, which are increasingly important as Namibia strives to become an industrialised nation.
At the end of intensive tutoring at the Foundation’s centres, learners reach competencies and subject matter understanding and experimentation. Furthermore, learners who participate in practical learning at the Foundation’s facilities have shown significant academic improvement over time. This is evidenced by the testimony from the beneficiaries on the right.
Advance Subsidiary Level learners from Oshigambo High School busy with practicals at The Rössing Foundation centre
3. Education support during school holidays
During the year 2022, the Foundation hosted holiday classes at Ondangwa, Tamariskia, and Omaruru clusters for grades 10, 11, and AS level to sharpen their academic skills in English, Mathematics, and Sciences, with the aim of preparing them for the final examination. The holiday classes intervention has proven to yield positive results, as revealed by an evaluation conducted with learners at the end of the engagement. Students who attended The Rössing Foundation’s winter holiday school had the opportunity to consolidate science subject content and understand what they had learned at school during the academic term, as well as improve their ability to maintain a positive attitude. It is therefore safe to mention that the holiday school at the Foundation does contribute to the enhancement of quality education in Namibia.
Messages from participating learners and teachers are encouraging to the value of the RF and its partners as annotated below:
"I always thought being taught by more than one teacher brings confusion in learners, however after attending Chemistry lessons with Rev. Noah Shikongo for three consecutive days, I realise that what I believed was wrong. I am glad that I had the opportunity through the Rössing Foundation, to attended the lessons. Not only did I gain knowledge but also gained a better understanding of the level I am doing. The Rössing Foundation is making the Advanced Subsidiary level so much easy and I wish all AS learners get taught here."
It was a great honour and privilege to attend the holiday classes in July, as the classes were effective. It is also a pleasure that I managed to do some experiments. We got exposed to a lot of educational and inspired by young and experienced teacher. Thanks to Rev. Noah Shikongo, Mr Mushelenga and the Rössing Foundation. God bless you all and continue doing all this impressive work.
To Rössing Foundation: We would like to thank you for the assistance and support that you offered to our grade 12 AS learners in Advanced Practicals (Paper 3) in Biology, Chemistry, and Physics last year (2022). Our learners performed well in all three subjects, and we will forever be grateful for that. Ms. SN. Uusiku. Principal of Shaanika Nashilongo Secondary School
4. Library services
The Foundation operates six libraries in Namibia: two in Arandis, two in Tamariskia, and two in Ondangwa. The learners and communities from Arandis, Swakopmund and Ondangwa continue to utilise the Foundation’s libraries to enhance a reading culture and knowledge-based society.
The libraries in the three host communities serve as sources of academic and career information, as they offer a quiet study and research space for adults and children. The library’s clients, mainly students, out-of-school youth, teachers, and the public at large, borrow books, surf the internet, and access periodicals such as magazines. During the year under review, the libraries recorded 24,115 users. Because the libraries are in close proximity to the communities, they are easily accessible.
Learners at The Rössing Foundation libraries
5. Hardworking achievers recognised
The above-mentioned school, based in Ondangwa town, Oluno circuit, in the Oshana region, is one of the key stakeholders of The Rössing Foundation in education development. In addition to the Rössing Uranium sponsorships at award ceremonies of various schools, the Foundation donated workbooks as prizes for the best academic performers in Mathematics, Physics, and Entrepreneurship, and offered floating trophies for the best sportsmen and women. The prize giving boosted the morale of teachers and students, inspiring them to work even harder in the future. The occasion also served as a source of encouragement to other teachers and learners to put in extra effort to improve their work.
Emma Tshivolo, flanked by her mother, was the best performer in Business Studies Advance Subsidiary Level and was awarded a floating trophy and N$500.00 in cash, sponsored by Rössing Uranium and The Rössing Foundation
6. Textbooks sponsorship
Following the National Conference on Education in August 2022 the Foundation conducted an internal review to assist in mobilising external resources to fund critical education needs. In collaboration with ENAEX Africa, the Foundation will donate 1,426 textbooks worth N$250,000 to five schools in the Erongo region to improve learning and examination results. With the help of the Erongo Directorate of Education, five schools that will benefit from the textbook sponsorship in subjects such as Mathematics, English, Life Science, Entrepreneurship, and Physics were identified.
The Rössing Foundation recognises the importance of libraries and their role in providing children with a solid foundation for literacy skills. And, true to our value of “a culture of caring”, we donated 170 library books to Andimba Toivo ya Toivo Secondary School in Oshana region, 200 books to JB Brandt Primary School and 170 books to Katora Primary School in Erongo region during their respective annual prize giving ceremonies in October 2022. Approximately 3,000 additional books are to be donated in early 2023 to various school libraries across the country. Access to prescribed textbooks and learning materials enhances teaching and learning at schools as the syllabus is completed in time for exams, with the potential for improved pass rates in Mathematics, Sciences, and Business Studies.
Rössing Foundation donated 200 library books to the JP Brandt School library, while Rössing Uranium donated N$1,500 towards the school’s prize giving ceremony
7. Social accountability and school governance project
The Rössing Foundation, in collaboration with the Ministry of Education, Arts and Culture and UNICEF, provided school board trainer workshops to regional government officials. Since its inception in 2015, the programme has trained 227 regional school board trainers in ten different regions: Ohangwena, Hardap, //Kharas, Zambezi, Kavango West, Kavango East, Zambezi, Oshikoto, Kunene, and Omaheke. During the year under review, 89 school board trainers from Kavango West and Oshikoto regions were trained on school governance. The regional trainers are then deployed to further train and guide school board members (parents, teachers, and learners) to understand and implement their roles and responsibilities in accordance with the Education Act 16 of 2001. The programme’s goal is to equip school boards with the knowledge and skills necessary to provide oversight and governance to the schools.
The above-mentioned project came to an end and the Foundation was required to carry out the Rapid Assessment (RA) under the Partnership Cooperation Agreement of 2021 – 2022 after the implementation of the agreed activities. Therefore, an assessment was conducted in three regions where the programme has been implemented: Oshana, Ohangwena and Kunene. The assessment examined social accountability and school governance as well as the co-ordination of school boards’ operations following the training. The outcomes from the study revealed that school communities, as represented by the school boards, now better understand their rights to education, roles and responsibilities towards education and can support and monitor education performance at their respective schools after being empowered through training
8. Support towards teacher’s professional development
Teacher assistance is an essential component of our programmes. Teachers who are well trained and equipped are not only confident in front of their students, but they also produce the best results. As a result, in collaboration with our key stakeholder, MoEAC, a total of 182 teachers in the Erongo, Oshana and Omusati regions were supported during the second and final quarters of the year through centre-based support, workshops, and holiday classes. This excludes the vast majority of teachers who received assistance via WhatsApp teachers’ groups, email, or phone calls. Teachers were given access to teaching and learning materials, examination papers were assigned, and lab practicals were conducted.
The Rössing Foundation has supported a senior education officer (responsible for Science) from the Ministry of Education to attend the Southern Africa sub-regional forum conference on artificial intelligence organised by the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) in collaboration with the Ministry of Higher Education, Technology, and Innovation. Among the participants and delegates were eminent local and international educationists, researchers, scholars, academics, scientists, engineers, administrators, diplomats, lawmakers, and heads of various ICT and higher education institutions. The conference established a forum for the exchange of scientific research findings, as well as functions of artificial intelligence and how they can be integrated into daily life.
9. Integrity is the “KEY” to business success
Ten Rössing Foundation employees, together with staff from immediate stakeholders such as schools, the Ministry of Rural and Urban Development, and the Ministry of Agriculture, Water and Land Reform, completed the Business Integrity Training presented by Rössing Uranium. The total number of stakeholders that participated in the training is as follows:
Business integrity is of paramount importance to the Foundation’s operation and its stakeholders; hence, training was organised to raise awareness about integrity standards, promote transparency, and cultivate a culture of doing the “right thing”. After the training, participants expressed a sense of empowerment and have indicated that they would promote and uphold strong moral and ethical principles.
10. Strategic partnerships and investing in our human capital
In respect to continuous growth, learning, and partnership as per our operational values, the Foundation continues to collaborate with local and international stakeholders for common ground. Through a joint collaborative effort, six Foundation staff have completed a series of project training workshops in order to strengthen internal capacity, increase productivity, and jointly grow the institution, especially during the transformation process.
There were two Climate Finance Training workshops by the Ministry of Environment, Forestry and Tourism. The staff members were equipped with skills for developing project proposals on climate financing. As a result, The Rössing Foundation has, to date, composed 12 project concept notes and submitted them to potential financiers. The responses from potential donors are quite positive, and these engagements will be concluded in 2023.
In addition, the Foundation continues to strengthen the developmental partnership with international organisations such as UNICEF. Two Foundation officials completed Prevention of Sexual Exploitation and Abuse (“PSEA”) training that was sponsored by UNICEF.The training’s goals included learning about the PSEA protocol process, its purpose, and the desired outcomes. The Foundation has developed and adopted an internal policy on PSEA.
11. Governance, accountability and compliance
The Board of Trustees has adopted and approved the following policies:
- Rössing Foundation Code of Ethics
- Rössing Foundation Fraud Prevention Framework
- Rössing Foundation Whistle Blower Protection Policy
We have taken the necessary steps to ensure that the Foundation is in good legal and financial standing. We are proudly compliant with, among others, the following regulatory bodies:
- National Welfare Board (National Welfare Act, Act 74 of 1965)
- Social Security Commission (Social Security Act, Act 34 of 1994)
- Employment Equity Commission (Affirmative Action – Employment – Act, Act 29 of 1998)
- Namibia Revenue Agency (Namibia Revenue Agency Act, Act 12 of 2017, Value Added Tax Act, Act 10 of 2000, Customs and Excise Act, Act 20 of 1978, Income Tax Act, Act 24 of 1981)