Written by Christiana de roo
In this category we introduce outstanding travellers who are on a mission to change the world for the better. This article is meant to inspire you and others. Perhaps you’d do the same, follow your dream.
Below we’d love to share Neele’s story.
The German Neele met her Namibian husband Jo in Germany, 2010. He was sent by the Namibian Navy on an exchange programme to study three years, for his next rank. After their time in Germany, the newlyweds decided to live their lives in Namibia. They moved to the township where Jo owned a house: Kuisebmond, Walvis Bay, in 2011. They now live there happily with Jo’s first son Prince, their children Benaiah and Laeli and two cats and a dog.
In Namibia, having access to quality education comes with a price. Government schools aren’t preparing children enough so they’re ready for an academic future, and private schools that do are extremely expensive. Being very weary of the challenges parents are facing, Neele realised that her community in the Kuisebmond township is lacking largely some of the privileges she and her husband have. Many of the parents surrounding her are unable to prepare their children properly for their educational future, due to financial shortcomings. This problem already occurs within the pre-school system.
An idea is born
The issue isn’t the supply of pre-schools. Actually, anyone in Namibia can start a pre-school, even without any teaching qualifications. “That means that some adults open their garage to children, calling it a pre-school. Where in reality all they really do is take care of them, without any form of teaching.” Neele saw an unfulfilled need and wanted to set her education and skills to a good cause. As a qualified pre-school teacher, she decided to start her own pre-school. One that does prepare children properly for school.
In 2017, the Hamster pre-school was born. In an additional space, next to their house, Neele and her teachers, now teach 39 children in the morning, and another 14 attend the homework classes in the afternoon. “Children from the age of 2 have the opportunity to enjoy a warm, friendly, safe and stimulating environment where they can learn through play and activities. We make use of educational toys, books and other materials to teach our children. Grade R`S ( 5 to 7 years) are helped,supported and prepared to start Grade 1 with ease and confidence. We do this because we believe that a quality education is important for the well being and growth of our community.” Neele enables low income families to enter their kids in the Hamster Pre-school: “We keep the entry fees as low as possible, and even have some students that are currently not paying anything.”
Neele adds that finding qualified teachers in Namibia is also challenging. Therefore, she has a teacher that is actually a carpenter and another one who’s still in school, but wants to become a teacher. Of course, they’re always assisted by the expertise of qualified teachers. “I want to give the right people the chance to be introduced to teaching. So that one day, they too will be qualified. Hopefully they’re part of a generation that can fill the gap of unqualified teachers in Namibia.”
“I really hope that our little school can bring a small wave of change. And hopefully we find the funds we need to buy more space, so we can teach more children!” In order to welcome more children to the Hamster Pre-school, Neele is looking for financial support, in anyway possible.
For more information, visit
Or pay Neele a visit, in Omugulugwombashe Circle 4566, Kuisebmond Walvis Bay, Namibia