12 YOUTH CORNER Wednesday, June 7 2017 | NEW ERA Paralympian joins anti-bullying campaign Staff Reporter Windhoek The 15-year-old Ntando Mahlangu, a double amputee Paralympian, has teamed up with Cartoon Network to launch the 2017 anti-bullying campaign, CN Buddy Network in Africa. The initiative, which kicks off on June 23, is to encourage children and young people to ‘Be a Buddy, Not a Bully’. The campaign aims to raise awareness around bullying, and empower children of Africa to take positive action against discrimination and bullying, on and offline. CN Buddy Network is a global anti-bullying campaign started by Cartoon Network United States (US), which the network in the EMEA region then adopted. CN launched it in Africa in 2016 in partnership with gold Olympic medallist and world record holder, Wayde van Niekerk. Taking over the reins as Africa’s CN Buddy Network ambassador, Ntando Mahlangu, will appear in an on-air campaign on Cartoon Network, premiering on June 23. The programme will also include an original series of animated shorts voiced by children who articulate positive messages around friendship, school and appreciating differences whether it is on the playground, sports field, or even online. “What an honour to follow in the footsteps of Wayde van Niekerk, CN Buddy Network’s brand ambassador for 2016. “Wayde is an amazing athlete and I aspire to be like him one day. To learn that he was once bullied, was an opportunity for me to be brave and speak out about my experience in order to raise awareness around discrimination regarding disabilities,” Mahlangu says. “I am proud of who I am and what I have accomplished and I hope my bully can see me now! I was so excited when Cartoon Network approached me. “I appreciate having the opportunity to inspire other kids like me, to be proud of who they are. I know what it feels like to be bullied, and it’s not cool. If you are being bullied, speak up so that together, we can beat the bully,” he adds. As part of the initiative, Cartoon Network, the leading children’s TV channel available across Africa, will be collaborating with Childline and SaveTNet Cyber Safety, two non-profit organisations that will work collectively to assist children exposed to all forms of violence and create a culture of children’s rights in Africa. These leading platforms already provide immediate advice and support for children and young people in South Africa who are subjected to any form of bullying and violence. Together, Cartoon Network, Childline and SaveTNet will spread the CN Buddy Network anti-bullying message, providing professionals and children with tips and advice on how to tackle the topic. Another great initiative of the campaign is the dedicated online platform that children who are affected by bullying – whether directly or indirectly – can immediately access professional advice and relevant tips through videos and support tools online from June 23 at http://Cartoon. com.Africa.com/beabuddy. The site aims to inform children about bullying and what they can do to prevent it in a way that is relevant to them; empower children to speak out against bullying and to be aware of their own actions, while providing contact details for Childline and SaveTNet for immediate help, support and relief. Leading by example… Paralympian Ntando Mahlangu has teamed up with Cartoon Network to launch the 2017 anti-bullying campaign premiering on June 23. Teams vie for Critical Thinking trophy Ngaevarue Katjangua Windhoek Fourteen teams will compete for the coveted trophy in The Namibian newspaper Critical Thinking Competition in Rundu, Kavango East Region, from June 15-18. The newspaper in collaboration with the Ministry of Education, Arts and Culture officially launched this year’s competition last Wednesday. The organisers have renamed the Critical Thinking Completion, initially launched as Namibian Public speaking and debating competition, in appreciation of the logic and critical thinking, which moves the world forward. Editor of The Namibian Tangeni Amupadhi emphasised the importance of logic and critical thinking as the driving motive behind the renaming of the debating competition. “We realised that is all about logic and critical thinking, because without logic and critical thinking, the world would move at a snail’s pace. I can assure you that. “In fact, I think if we can convince the ministry we should move towards a stage where we have a subject, probably called Logic and Critical Thinking, in every institution of higher learning,” Amupadhi said. The Ministry of Education, Arts and Culture’s representative, Florence Kauami, says the debate should be more than an additional or optional activity. “I want to make it clear that debating is not an extramural activity, but a cocurricular activity which compliments the syllabus, and different subjects’ syllabus prescribe debating as a teaching/learning activity,” Kauami added. Power Pad Girls host quiz night Sabina Elago Windhoek Help keep the girls in school by sharing your African cultural knowledge at the Quiz Night with the Power Pad Girls tomorrow night at the Franco-Namibian Cultural Centre (FNCC). The quiz aims to enable the Power Pad Girls to continue to provide pads to schoolgirls, primarily in rural areas, along with comprehensive education. FNCC’s communication officer, Alexandrine Guinot, says thousands of Namibian schoolgirls miss an average of three school days a month because they can’t afford menstrual pads. “The ‘Power Pad Girls’ project is fighting this problem by providing the girls with free re-usable pads. Join us for this fun event that will also help an important cause. All proceeds collected on the night will go towards The Power Pad Project,” Guinot said in her invitation. She says the quiz will focus on general knowledge, pop culture know-how and knowledge of African aspects. “There will be three rounds of questions, ten questions per round and a bonus question worth five points and the teams will have a maximum of six people per team,” Guinot explained. Entrance fee is N for adults and N for students. The quiz starts at 18h00.
Wednesday, June 7 2017 | NEW ERA YOUTH CORNER 13 With Sirkka ‘Siri’ Paulus Pinehas Nakaziko Windhoek Hard working, committed and conscientious are just some of the words that can describe the doer, Sirkka ‘Siri’ Paulus, a 24-year-old young woman who believes that everything is possible in life as long as one works hard. Siri was born in the humble environment of the small village of Epulangapi in the Oshitayi constituency of the Oshana Region and grew up in Ongwediva. However, during holidays she would go home to Oshitayi to stay with her mother and help her with household chores. Siri started attending pre -school at Ewaneno Kindergarten at Emanya in 1998 and in 1999 she moved to Micky Mouse Kindergarten in Ongwediva. Between the years 2000-2006, she attended lower primary school at the International Primary School (Ongwediva) and finished her Secondary Education at the Gabriel Taapopi Secondary School in 2011. Growing up, Siri faced many challenges; foremost among them not being confident enough to overcome the difficulties adolescents sometime go through. “I didn’t believe in myself, I never thought a village girl like me could actually make it far in life,” explains Siri. All the childhood struggles are now something of the past; Siri is now one of the youngest successful youth. She works as a call centre advisor at Mobile Telecommunications Ltd (MTC), responding to queries, managing complaints, and dealing with significant customers’ troubleshooting problems as well as providing general information. “This opportunity has given me an insight into how to have good communication skills, which is quite important in almost every aspect of our life, because one simply can’t have competence without clear communication skills,” she says. She sees her work as a great opportunity for her to start off as a fresh graduate. “This also gave me much knowledge about how to deal with clients.” “During my school years, I was part of an environmental club. It is a forum through which learners become involved in environmental activities and projects, which empower students to explore more into environmental concepts,’ she says. Another one of her challenges during high school was mostly trying to juggle between schoolwork and after school activities. “Not knowing which was more important, I was trying to keep up with the social life and school work, whereby trying to fit in socially distracted me from my school work.” She obtained her national diploma in property studies in 2014, and an honours degree in the same course last year at the Namibia University of Science and Technology (NUST). She says, during her years at NUST, she was part of the amazing NUST choir with which every midyear break they would go on a two-week motivational tour around the country. They would reach out to communities nationwide by giving motivational (speeches) talks to the youth and also give out donations. “I travelled almost the whole of Namibia because of the choir.” Siri describes her first step to towards finding a job as difficult, because one of the struggles she had at university was securing an internship. She says finding employment after graduating was hard, because of her lack of experience and the high unemployment rate, and most of the jobs were only on a contract basis. Her first job was as an intern at a property consulting company (Beniz Property) where she was an assistant to the property manager. “I learned quite a lot on property rentals and maintenance in the six months that I was there.” She worked in second job from 2015 until last year as a valuation data collector at the City of Windhoek, working on general revaluation of properties, which is done every fifth year. “I have been put in a perfect position to work hard and succeed. I am driven to be the best at what I do and I want to be somewhere where I’ll have opportunities to grow my skills, and take on interesting projects in the future,” Siri says. Apart from her current job, Siri is also busy working on obtaining her real estate agent license. “During my free time, I receive valuation training from valuers that are already in the market.” She lives by the quote “The world is my oyster. My natural state is to thrive. All you have to do is show up.” DHPS wins second prize again …in Inclusion Competition WINDHOEK Photo: Contributed Second time winner… The DHPS representatives and Inclusion-team members Hannah Reusch, Tatjana Metzger, DHPS principal Kristin Eichholz and Carola von Blottnitz are proud and thrilled to have achieved 2nd place in the worldwide inclusion competition for German Schools Abroad for the second time. The Deutsche Höhere Privatschule Windhoek (DHPS) – under the leadership of the “Inclusion team” – received a certificate for the second prize in the inclusion competition among German Schools Abroad, “Living and learning together”. The prize-giving ceremony took place in Berlin last Thursday. Four representatives of the DHPS, Carola von Blottnitz, Hannah Reusch and Tatjana Metzger together with vice chairperson of the board, Heilke Daun, received the price money of 5,000 € (about N$ 71,600) as well as a certificate. The DHPS received the award for its enormous efforts in inclusion projects, such as its partner cooperation at the Special Olympics World Winter Games; its DHPS Interact Club’s fundraising campaign “Run4Rio” to support Namibian Paralympics star Ananias Shikongo, and its own professional support centre as well as active inclusiveness amongst its employees. The school will use the amount to strengthen inclusion efforts at the DHPS and to actively live and learn together at the DHPS even more.