The inaugural Afrox Leadership Academy programme culminated in a Gala Dinner attended by the First Lady of the Republic of Namibia, Her Excellency Madame Monica Geingos, in Windhoek on the 09th November 2018 at Safari Hotel.
Afrox Leadership Academy was birthed out of the desire by the management of Afrox Namibia to identify the best possible method for intervention in skills development and poverty eradication in Namibia. Afrox Namibia embarked on this audacious programme to equip the youth with the necessary soft skills to make a tangible impact in their communities and consequently play a part in the realisation of our national development goals.
Speaking at the Gala Dinner, the Managing Director of Afrox Namibia said, “We have never been here before, but we have become who we needed to be to find ourselves here this evening. Well done! Looking back, it’s been a fantastic journey, many of us were challenged to “undoubt” ourselves, challenged to be more and do more.”
“When we started dreaming about a value adding programme a couple of years ago, and eventually settling on this Leadership Academy programme, I believed that we were onto something valuable. We saw how the future of this country could be impacted by investing in the lives of our young people. Today, having been involved in the process of the Academy, listening to the stories of strength and the dreams that these young people have, witnessing their growth and development as the programme progressed, I am convinced, without a doubt that we did the right thing” he said.
This initiative which was launched on the 10th of April 2018 in Windhoek, ran as a pilot programme involving 16 (sixteen) Grade 10 learners chosen from the top 3 (three) academically performing, public schools in the Khomas Region in 2017. It covered a 1 (one) week leadership training camp facilitated by the Africa Leadership Institute at Rock Lodge, focusing on a range of topics such as career guidance, performance and results, service delivery, basic etiquette, project management and many more. It was also followed by active engagement in various community projects.
The community projects initiated by the students ranged from offering learner to learner based remedial classes at school, soup kitchen feeding schemes, after school kindergarten care and after school learn-to-read programmes for lower primary learners in identified communities.
“We believe that once a leader leaves a place, they have to leave it better than they found it. That is what we were hoping the Community Projects would instill in the participants. This academy programme wasn’t only about investing in our Alumni. It was designed to inspire people and to create beautiful stories about ordinary Namibians making a difference, and I firmly believe we managed to achieve exactly that,” said Mr. Vorster, referring to the work done by the ALA participants through the various community projects. “We realized that training alone would not bring about the desired impact from our investment, and thus we built in the aspect of Mentorship and Community service” He added.
Giving the keynote address and offering some sage advice to the “ALA Class of 2018 Alumni, Her Excellency, The First Lady of the Republic of Namibia, Ms. Monica Geingos, firstly, commended Afrox Namibia and all its partners for envisioning and actualizing the ALA programme saying, “No matter how hard it is you need to show up! Afrox Namibia with its partners did just that. They showed up” and expressed support for the programme saying, “Education is indeed the greatest equalizer, but more than just academics, it is character development, it is integrity. It is more than just giving or offering money. It is about ensuring that ALA alumni have a holistic spectrum of support, and this ALA programme is doing just that.”
She then proceeded to challenge the ALA Alumni to maintain the spirit of Volunteerism expressed in their community projects. “There comes a time in life where money becomes secondary, and the search for significance and real value becomes your driving force. When you are focused on the right things, you’ll find a way of using what you have and make it work for others. At this point, the question you’ll have to answer is – am I doing enough to make a difference in the lives of others?” she quipped.
On a more personal note, she encouraged the ALA Class of 2018 to be perseverant, not being easily provoked and to maintain their self-confidence. “Keep your self-confidence. If there’s one thing that you’ll need forging ahead in life, it is self-confidence. This aspect is often tested by those closest to you, but do not allow anybody to take away your confidence. You must promise to make the decision to walk away from anything or anyone that causes you to question yourself.” She remarked.
Afrox Namibia is the leading supplier of Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG), welding consumables as well as medical and industrial gases in the country. A subsidiary of the Linde Group, Afrox has a long history of service delivery in Namibia and is proud to be associated with the Afrox Leadership Academy Programme.