Welwitschia is looking for interns in Namibia and Germany

CALL FOR APPLICATIONS

INTERNSHIP POSITION IN FRANKFURT AM MAIN, GERMANY AND WINDHOEK, NAMIBIA IN 2017

Perspectives on Colonialism
– a Media Project on the Colonial Perspectives of Namibia and Germany and Their Present Relation

Due to the colonial history, there is a particular relation between Namibia and Germany. But how many people in Germany even know about the colonial past while it’s significantly noticeable in Namibia? How much does the civic society of both countries know about today’s political and economic relation? How do the youth, experts and politicians think about the German-Namibian relation back then and today?

The project offered by Free Your Mind! and Welwitschia is dealing with these questions and wants to create awareness of the disparity between Germany and Namibia. Therefore, an international project- team will deal with the relations of both countries, collect information, conduct interviews and create a short documentary and/or website.

Who we are

The German host organization Weltwitschia e.V. aims at communicating a diverse and stereotype- free picture of Namibia in Germany. The organization works closely with its partner organization in Namibia whose main goal is to improve the education of young Namibians. Welwitschia e.V. works decentralized via internet and frequent meetings, but without any permanent office and employees. If needed, a working space and access to libraries can be organized. There will be a direct contact person in Frankfurt am Main working with the team. Additionally, regular meetings with other members will be organized in order to carve out the project.
Free Your Mind! Entertainment CC, based in Windhoek, produces a comedy show dealing with current affairs, national and local politics in an entertaining way. It is also working closely with other partners dealing with national political topics. The South phase will take place in Windhoek where the participants will have access to the Theatre School to work.

What we want to do

The German-Namibian project-team will engage in this media project dissecting the colonial past and present of their countries and today’s relation between both, and edit a documentary video or create a website depending on the participants’ competences. Building on research on the historical, political and economical background of the relations between both countries, the team will conduct interviews with experts from different professional backgrounds and with young people asking about their views on colonialism and the present relationship between Germany and Namibia. The work seeks to challenge stereotypes, to inform about the colonial past of both countries and to discuss parallels and differing views on their relationship. Working with own film equipment and laptop is an advantage, but the material can also be provided.

The North phase will take place between April and June 2017; the South phase between August and October 2017. Two ASA seminars will take place during the North phase, another in spring 2018. A prerequisite for taking part in the ASA program is an active participation in the seminars. The program comprises two three-month full-time internships. The North phase will take place in Frankfurt am Main. Working language is English.

Whom we look for:

This project is directed towards people who are interested in media and communication, with a focus on documentaries or websites as a means for civic education. The partner organizations are looking for interns with experience in conducting interviews, skills in video editing and/or designing websites, as well as the ability to conduct in-depth research on the project topic. The outcome will be a documentary or a website, depending on the interns’ competences, which focuses on colonialism and the challenges for the present relationship between two countries in a globalized world. In alignment with ASA’s guidelines, we expect participants to be open to better understand and question global interdependencies, sustainability concepts and different forms of discrimination.

Vocational fields / Fields of study: Communication and Media, Art, Culture and Design, Computer Science, Information and Communications Technology, Human and Social Sciences, Culture and Media Sciences, Linguistics and Literature, Journalism, Media design, Political Science, Sociology, History and Travel and Tourism.

What we offer

Financial support that covers costs with:

  • Accomondation in Germany
  • German course in Germany
  • Visa costs
  • Plane ticket (return)

Important: The 3-month internship phase in Windhoek is NOT paid but pocket money will be provided.

What is ASA?

The German ASA program is a learning and qualification program dedicated to Global Learning. It is aimed at young people who want to better understand global interdependencies, who ask critical questions and who want to strengthen a fair and sustainable world. To meet today’s complex global challenges, ASA wants to create awareness, provide necessary knowledge and experiences, build capacities of young people to engage and take responsibility in their society, connect people and give spaces for exchange and developing new ideas together.

For more information: (some links are only available in German) https://asa.engagement-global.de/ http://en.asa-programm.de/english/home/

TO APPLY

Send an e-mail with a short motivation letter explaining why you would like to be part of this internship program and how you can contribute and your CV to asa@welwitschia.org.

We are looking forward to hear from you!

Nam Career Service announces coding competition

Reward: USD 500

We’d like to develop a career selection app, based on individual talents and interests. Users in different African countries can answer a catalogue of questions for various careers to find out which careers and educational paths match their interests and talents. Based on their answers to typical activities in a certain career, they are presented an individual advice. This information is supplemented with country-specific information about where to study these courses.

This is a great opportunity to expose your work to the public to foster education and perspectives for the youth. Are you curious?

Learn more about specific requirements and timelines here: https://goo.gl/ye0YoY
Please direct any questions to chair@welwitschia.org

We are excited to see your results!

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Winner of our essay competition

At the end of last year, our essay competition took place. We ask our followers to write an essay of approximately 1000 words on a specific topic. This time it dealt with free education in Namibia. The task was the following:

Primary education is free already. Is it the right way to expand free education to secondary and tertiary level, too?
Besides discussing whether free education is useful or not, please consider as well how free education could be financed.

A jury out of two members from Welwitschia in Namibia and two of Welwitschia in Germany selected the winner of N$750: Sem Uutoni. He studies in Hungary and convinced the jury with his well-structured essay dealing with the most important factors including the question how to finance free education. Find below the winning essay:

Access to education is credibly a prominent pillar of sustainable development and economic prosperity of any country. The introduction of free primary education in Namibia is a substantial step in improving access to education nationwide; however this could also result into a blockage if the citizens cannot access the other levels of education that is why it is essential to expand free education to secondary and tertiary level. The importance of education cannot be overemphasized, an educated nation forms basis for social and economic development. Without an education nation the human pursuits of economy, society and culture cannot be sustained. By placing a prerequisite importance and accessibility to all levels of education in Namibia, the country will create an enabling environment for its citizens to thrive and continue to make significant contributions to the development and advancement of the country.

Expansion of free education to secondary and tertiary levels is a good move in Namibia. Having one level of education free, and the other paid for will create a shortage of educated citizens and it will create blockage whereas a large number of pupils will drop out of school after primary school, this two issues are ultimately what free education wants to tackle. Namibia has attained great strides in achieving national and global education goals. With the establishment of free primary education, Namibia has just achieved the Millennium Development Goal 2, which aims to achieve universal primary education. Considering the recent adoption of the Sustainable Development Goals, this is the best time for Namibia to expand free education to secondary and tertiary levels as well.   The new goals embody quality education at all levels a priority and there is also access to different funding mechanisms available.

While free education is good initiative, it is essential that the quality of education is maintained. It is imperative that the government establishes and implements regulations and standards that will ensure the quality of the education system doesn’t deteriorate should free education be adopted. Furthermore, the establishment of free education at secondary and tertiary levels will not entail that every student will get admission, however it entails that all the students that meet the requirements of the specific course or institution will gain admission and access to free education. This highlights the fact that students still need to work hard to attain the best grades they can and to gain admission and benefit from free education.

Free education not only benefits the students however it can significantly impact the economy and economic development of the country in the long run. Education improves the skills, knowledge and the abilities of the citizens; this will lead these individuals into to being agents of positive change in their communities. Education further increases the productivity, improves efficiency and helps the citizens optimally use the available resources to increase and improve productivity. Education further fuels innovation and entrepreneurship and this has enormous benefits to a country’s development. All these factors help the country achieve social and economic development, and this helps the overall prosperity of and country, and it improves the wellbeing and standard of living of the inhabitants.

Funding free education at all levels in Namibia is attainable and will not big a major challenge. Namibia’s small population will make it easier for the government to plan and allocate resources to the education sector without many barriers. In the past years, much of the National Budget was allocated to education sector; doubling or tripling that amount would make it sufficient to cover for free education. Namibia as a country can set up a quota that every industry has to contribute towards the education fund per month. Industries like mining, fishing, agriculture and tourism contribute greatly to the GDP of the country, if a mechanisms can be establish that would allow this industries to pay a certain percentage to education fund per month this will provide money that can be used to fund free education at all levels. The country can further explore funding opportunities from organizations such as the United Nations and the Official Development Assistance through the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development.

Finally, the author concludes that the role of state in a country in any country is to invest in the future and welfare of its citizens. Education is a great tool that can be used to lift people out of poverty in an irreversible manner. Quality education is a catalyst towards achieving and accessing factors that contribute to human wellbeing such as employment; health; access to housing and access to water and food ultimately this leads to social development and improvement in human wellbeing. The success of these free education aspirations lies not only in the hands of government but substantially in the hands of its citizens, it is therefore essential for the government to create platforms that empower citizens and gives them an opportunity to partake actively and contribute to this aspiration. The Namibian government has done a phenomenal job so far in availing student loans, bursaries, grants and scholarships, however there a huge potential that exists in improving and increases access to education in Namibia for all.

Sem Uutoni

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Nam Career Service Essay Competition

The second issue of our essay competition starts today! After asking about how and why would you change the Namibian education system and about wow you see the importance of English in Namibia, we ask you this time the following:

Primary education is free already. Is it the right way to expand free education to secondary and tertiary level, too?
Besides discussing whether free education is useful or not, please consider as well how free education could be financed.

Last submissions are accepted by 30 November 2015. Please send the essay to info@welwitschia.org. Contact us using the e-mail-address or via www.facebook.com/NamCareerService if you have any questions or enquiries.

By submitting the essay, you authorise Welwitschia.org to publish your essay online in order to participate in the social media participation competition.

Finding a job – tips from our scholarship-holder

Our scholarship-holder Tikila Munashimwe is currently studying in his first year at the Institute of Bankers in Windhoek. The more graduation is approaching, the more he thinks about how he will be able to find a job. In his current report he explains what is important when applying for a job.

The following report outlines facts and general information that I have gathered regarding finding a job and how to approach it.

For the past decade, the education system has developed in such a way that previously disadvantaged children are able to seek assistance with organizations within the Namibian government for assistance to study in Namibia, the SADC region or overseas. Statistics, however, show that 64% of those who graduate with a degree do not find a job within a year after completing their studies. How does this impact the economy at large?

The Namibian Statistics Agency was kind enough to point out the reality when it comes to employment in Namibia. The main reason Namibia remains one of Africa’s developing countries is for the mere fact that it lacks modern infrastructure, skills and expertise in the developing environment. This means that it lacks the means to create jobs and employment.

The graduates are thrown into unemployment after graduating and are mostly hopeless to find a job soon that can generate an income for themselves or even the family. More Namibians find it impossible after four months of searching and, instead, gather their thoughts and decide to go back to school to consider studying something they think will be a better choice than their initial chosen field of study.

Investigating reasons as to why many Namibians struggle to find a job after their studies is what I spent my previous month with.

The student graduate does not know how to go about searching. When ads are placed, it is key that you can see the position advertised, the closing date and the name of the company advertising for you to research a bit into what is being offered. Secondly, it is vital that the criteria apply to you and it is within your range of skills. Pay attention to the main responsibilities which are the duties expected of you to perform. Apply if you meet the criteria.

The Curriculum Vitae, better known as the CV, is the document you submit when applying for the position you desire. It is important that one is typed out neatly as a crowded and unprofessional looking CV is unattractive and seen as rubbish. Grammar and proper English is another reason some do not get selected even as qualified as they are. If expressing yourself cannot be done in simple English, then how does the channel of communication work when information needs to be passed down from person to person? It is imperative to have this studied well or researched for the benefit of the candidate. This could then again be the deciding point as to whether you land a job or not.

Oral skills are vital: How you express yourself is key. You got called for an interview? What now? Getting prepared is important. Starting off with proper attire is crucial. Who lands a job with baggy jeans and dreadlocks lately?

Researching interview guides is a perfect way to understand possible answers and ways to answer questions when it comes to the interview process. For example, chewing gum is not allowed, listen attentively, think before you answer, question the interviewer if you didn’t understand what was said, avoid using ‘uhm’ and dragging your words. These are typical examples that all determine your success. Remember to smile and be polite at all times!

As CV documents are only a taste of what the candidates can do, the interview is the face-to-face process as to why so many do not make it for the job. CVs are similar and the interview room is the arena to prove oneself and hopefully stand out against the rest.

We have a tendency to doubt ourselves and our capabilities when it comes to finding a job. The ideal thing one should realize is that the confidence you need to bring with you to the interview room has to be the type of confidence resembling that of a lion. Be sure. Many Namibian students are either afraid of the employer or too shy. Take a course in public speaking. Learn the basics and adapt. We fail to see the bigger picture but only what is in front of us.

You find a really good guide on how to write good application documents in our “Your Career” section.

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Proposal for ASA SouthNorth exchange

We want to send you to Germany, we want to receive some Germans

Welwitschia Education Initiative for Namibia this year worked on a collaboration that saw one Namibian sent on a three month exchange program to Germany and in return Namibia getting one intern from Germany starting next month.

It’s against this background that this year we want to participate in the ASA SouthNorth exchange program to send one of you to Germany for three months on an intercultural exchange program and get some Germans too.
But to do that, we need your opinions on possible projects we could work together with. This project, according to ASA, should be an issue of current importance in the field of development policy that creates a link between the two countries involved (Namibia and Germany).

Preferred are topics that give insight in global dependencies and the shared responsibilities of North and South countries, such as global production and consumption structures, climate change or migration. Also possible are topics that show similar or comparable aspects between the two countries, as for example work with disadvantaged teenagers or environmental education.

“This year, we are particularly looking forward to project proposals from the field “Freedom of Movement”, since this topic has been elected as the annual theme 2016 of the ASA program” ASA said.

Do you have any thoughts or opinions on what the two organizations can come up with together and work on a proposal so that our dream to send one or two interns on a three months program to German and receiving interns in return can become a reality? Please leave your comments here, inbox us or send an email to cooperation@nam.welwitschia.org for the attention of Sammie Neshuku.

Candidates who submit great ideas will also have great chances of being selected should the idea be the one we propose in our proposal. This announcement is open to both Namibians and and Germans.

Namibians, please share this, Germans please share this. Both countries are calling for you!!

Learn more about the ASA exchange program here:
http://www.asa-programm.de/en/english/home/

ASA exchange

Our two ASA interns from 2015

Final report of the ASA North phase

Our two ASA interns Eva and Anna spent the last three months in Germany with Welwitschia. Before starting with the South phase in Namibia, they summarise their activities, experiences  and thoughts for you. Thank you, Eva and Anna, for your great engagement! We are looking forward to working with you in Namibia!

In Germany, the African continent seems far away. Referring to the media the African countries are heaven for wildlife, but not a nice place for people: poverty, hunger, epidemics and crises characterize their daily lives. Plenty of bad news and documentaries about the “wild continent” are reaching people in Germany – and provide an incomplete picture and often misconceptions. And although we share with some countries a common history, our knowledge about them is sometimes very low.

As a German-Namibian tandem at the project Welwitschia – Bildungsinitiative für Namibia e.V. we, Eva Shitaatala and Anna-Paloma Sasse, held public lectures and workshops in different types of schools and different grade levels, in which we were dealing with exactly this topic of existing images about Namibia as an example for an African country, but also speaking about the political and educational situation today, and Namibia’s colonial past.

Workshops in schools

The confrontation with the German colonial past is not taking place in all schools in Germany. But as a look in the newspaper shows, the German-Namibian relation is nothing that is only connected to the past but also to current issues. Nevertheless, how much do German students actually know about the country? With this question we have entered into our workshops and have consistently gotten a similar picture: We know “little” or even “nothing”. But when we then asked what their image about Namibia is, the students made numerous statements which we collected on the blackboard to summarize them to a “general” image. Especially with younger learners the statements can be assigned to a “typical” poor image about the continent where children do not go to school, people do not have electricity and where people live in houses without doors and suffering of hunger.

The concept of our workshops aimed to diversify the image of Namibia in Germany, as well as clarify the historical and the current relationship between Germany and Namibia. We did not want to tell the students that their image might be wrong, but rather show them that it might be incomplete. In a short presentation at the beginning of each workshop we showed the diversity of Namibia which included talks about poverty and other issues the country faced. With the interactive conception of the workshops we enable the students to become aware of the one-sided image that arrives in Germany and let them think about what impact this could have on our daily lives.

The students were often surprised to learn something about Namibia which they could not imagine before and found it exciting to get information about the country where so many remains of the German colonial era can be found still today. And despite the challenge to follow the 90-minute workshop in English, the students showed a lot of interest – even if the language was sometimes a hindrance to conduct a lively discussion.

Presentations

Welwitschia – Education Initiative for Namibia supports young Namibians on their education and career. But how does the educational situation in Namibia look like? Since independence, the country is trying a lot to overcome the negative impacts of the Bantu Education and invested a lot in their education system. In various presentations at universities and public institutions we were giving a review on Namibia’s history, an overview of the country`s achievements, but also about the existing challenges. Further, we were also talking about how to handle stereotypes in educational work, about the political system in Namibia or the German-Namibian relation.

ASA seminars

An important part of the ASA program are the seminars, which we were attending twice for six days with about 60 other ASA participants.

A key issue in preparation for the upcoming time abroad is to learn about global power structures, and connected to this to enable the ASA participants to reflect their own position in the global structure – especially as a white person. This topic was strongly related to structural racism (not to be equated with right-wing extremism) and different issues that are connected to discrimination and privileges. At the same time, the seminars gave space for own learning experience and connecting with other participants from the global north and south.

Intercultural Encounter

As an international tandem, our goal was to work together on an eye-level, to complement each other and learn from each other. Although the intensive time together was not always easy, we reached that goal and were able to handle difficulties and solve problems. Besides working together, we also learned a lot from each other personally while traveling, discussing different topics, cooking, or laughing together – and become friends.

But not only on a personal level was the intercultural team an enrichment for Welwitschia. In the workshops and presentations it was very valuable that not only someone from Germany was talking about Namibia, but someone could report from their own country and answer questions at firsthand, whereby the workshops got a different emphasis. One question from a student that remained in our mind: “How do you feel when we think wrong things about your country?”

Challenges

Because Welwitschia – Education Initiative Namibia is a very young and still relatively unknown organization depending on voluntary work and because Namibia is a very specific topic with only little interest in general, there were some issues during our North Phase: It was difficult to get appointments in schools, and we were required to rely on personal contacts to teachers and only a few listeners were attending our presentations.

Also on the personal level, not everything ran smoothly. But in the sense of the ASA program as a learning program, we were able to cope with all emerging difficulties by having an open communication – and difficulties were turning into valuable learning experiences.

We are now looking forward to the South phase where we will incorporate our experiences from Germany in Namibia.