The Centre is part of the Catholic Aids Action network in Namibia and Windhoek, right in the middle of Namibia, is the nation’s Capital.
The Bernhard Nordkamp Centre is part of Catholic Aids Action and occupies premises in Katutura owned by the Catholic Church in Namibia. It regularly serves as a haven for over 250 children. The BNC objectives are to provide these children with a balanced programme of activities which will meet their individual needs, but above all, will equip them to be positive, well educated and contributing adult members of society. To achieve this, the Centre has provided sporting, cultural, social and hand craft opportunities for its children. To date, the Centre has operated its educational programmes in an ad hoc manner, driven largely by the commitment and skill of the volunteers available. This provides no certainty for the Centre and no continuity for the children.
During the last year, as the Centre has helped enrol children in local schools, it has become evident that their success as adults requires greater emphasis on succeeding in their academic lives. Their sporting and cultural achievements now need to be repeated in the classroom. To do this effectively, the Centre cannot rely solely on itinerant volunteers. Even though its Director, MaryBeth Gallagher has a wealth of knowledge and experience in the field of Elementary Education, she cannot provide overall leadership as well as the teaching for the wide range of activities in which the children are engaged on a daily basis at the Centre.
So the BNC’s primary mission is to facilitate education as a means of combating the very eroding effects of poverty. That must be one of the most important building blocks in developing healthy, positive and enthusiastic children firmly rooted in participation in quality education. To move ahead to the next level of providing a balanced and wide ranging skill set to equip these children for their future lives, it is vital that the Centre introduces a positive and proactive educational component which supplements the children’s school programme and further provides an environment in which homework and study are paramount. For most part, their home environments do not enable any form of quality learning.