Welwitschia – Education Initiative for Namibia was founded in 2012 by young, committed Germans who had previously lived and worked in Namibia for a year as part of the “weltwärts program”. Right from the start, the aim and motivation were to contribute to improving the educational situation in Namibia. During our one-year engagement in Namibia, we have seen where structural shortcomings exist in the Namibian education system and how the potential of an initiative like Welwitschia e.V. can be developed in this context.

After completing our first project, the award of 10 NAMCOL scholarships to students of a partner project in Okahandja, we found that the project was unsuccessful. However, important findings were drawn from the misery. Many scholarship holders did not have the necessary motivation to pass NAMCOL. We evaluated the cause and found that many students do not know what they want to do after school or how they can achieve it. The reason for this is a lack of information.

In 2013 we therefore founded the “Nam Career Service” on Facebook to reduce the information deficit and thus increase the self-motivation of the students by demonstrating the diversity of training opportunities and chances in Namibia. Meanwhile more than

16,000 young Namibians use our service. This consists of the distribution of information on training and study opportunities, scholarship programs, internships and further education and training opportunities. Furthermore, within the framework of the “Nam Career Service” it was found that the application documents of many young Namibians are inadequate. The “Application Guide” developed by us is just as well received as our free CV advice, as the more than 10,000 downloads prove.

The renewed stay of one of our members in Namibia at the beginning of 2014 was used to try out a new format. In application trainings, young Namibians are shown what an appealing CV or a convincing cover letter looks like. They will also be prepared for their next interview. The feedback from the participants was exclusively positive. Some were even so convinced of Welwitschia e.V’s workshops and other projects that they wanted to get involved themselves.

As a result, in March 2014 the interested parties founded an independent organization in Namibia, which carries out application training and other projects independently under the name “Welwitschia – Education Initiative Namibia”. The Nam Career Service is jointly managed by the two organizations. Special attention in the close cooperation between the associations in Namibia and Germany lies in the independence from each other.

In November 2015, the two organizations published the “Nam Career Guide” in Namibia, a guide for students showing the way from school to their first job. This guide is distributed free of charge throughout Namibia.

Welwitschia Germany now sees itself more as a supporter and consultant of Welwitschia Namibia, since the conviction prevails that Namibians know best what is to change in the country and how the educational situation and the transition to the labor market can be gradually improved.

This concept makes our organization particularly attractive in comparison to others in so-called development cooperation, in which German, European or American perspectives dominate our actions.

For this reason, the two organizations focus on their core areas of

expertise: In Namibia on job application training and career counselling, in Germany on education and public relations to change the stereotyped image of Namibia and the African continent.

In Germany, we are now increasingly building on our presence in individual cities through regional groups. The first regional group was founded in Tübingen in April 2015.