For the past nine years, we have been implementing a daily regiment of ‘education subsidy’ to youth in grades four up to eight. Knowing that many of the schools are failing the children of Namibia, MYO provides exceptional quality in math, science, English, reading and life skills education to 140 youth each day after their regular schooling. Only the very highest performers from various Mondesa townships schools are selected for MYO; attendance is mandatory and rigorously enforced.
We view the solution to the education problem as relatively straightforward—focus on the basics and accept that there are not shortcuts. We also acknowledge that while the solution may be somewhat obvious, it is the implementation of the solution that can difficult.
MYO is managed by Namibians and funded primarily through Namibian business sources. It is likely the pre-eminent youth education program in the country.
In spite of this, the MYO model has been slow to attract attention from serious NGO funding sources. I have attended many conferences focused on youth development and find it astonishing how many NGOs think that teaching children to play soccer somehow prepares them for their future or attempts to solve the underlying problems of poverty. A staggering amount of money is spent on programmes that have little value beyond bringing some smiles and short term enjoyment.
Basic education is everything. It provides a platform for further education (if warranted) and enhances the emotional, mental, physical and spiritual development of youth so they become more enlightened parents, spouses, employees and members of their communities.
You should visit us one day. I promise you that you will not be disappointed.
Note: Lister says it sounds like a wonderful project and hopes to visit one day - Ed