The Gondwana Care Trust runs a School Bag Project every year, during which vulnerable children across Namibia receive sponsored stationary, a few treats and sustainable food stuffs. These are placed into a reusable bag.
The Gondwana Care Trust administers the donations and funds and ensures that each bag is given to a school child who has been registered for the project through a school or charity organisation. The bags are handed out the end of the year for Christmas, so that the children may start their school year with a basic stationary kit and bag. In Namibia, the school year starts in January.
The school bags which will be donated at the end of the year, can be purchased throughout the year at all the Gondwana lodges (N$200.00 each) as well as at The Narrative Namibia online store.
Are you interested to see how the donation process works? Just keep reading and you will see that every school bag arrives at the recipient's door by personalised means.
Schoolbags prepared with love, received with joy
Dgini Visser, one of the trustees of the Gondwana Care Trust, coordinates the School Bag Project and explains:
“The School Bag Project started a few years back, and about 3 years ago we started to formalize the project: Instead of packing goods in a box or plastic bag, we decided to have a material bag made which could be reused by the children as a school bag.
Schools, hostels, orphanages and OVC Centres always send us their lists by September / October. The list must include: The name of the child, gender, age, grade / school year, and any special needs so that we can pack and personalize the bag. The Gondwana Care Trust supports a few schools for children with special needs and it is important to be aware of these needs so that we can pack the right toy and stationery kit for the child.
Each bag has the child's name written on and according to the age and gender, a toy is added to the bag. We have a basic stationery kit included, which comprises of pens, pencils, crayons, ruler, eraser, plastic folder, an exercise book, and for older grades we include a calculator and a math kit if we have.
For the younger children, we include a colouring book and a reading book with a message in the book such as:
Well done on your school year and Merry Christmas.
Lots of love from the Gondwana Care Trust."
For the older children, we include a roll on, body lotion, toothpaste and toothbrush, soap and a small towel. We add sweets to all the bags because Christmas is not the same without some sweeties.
Once the bag is filled, we send the bags to the schools or organizations. All recipients must send us pictures of the bags being handed to the learners. In most cases, we have ambassadors from our lodges or Windhoek offices who will be present during the year-end ceremony or Christmas party.
Depending on the support we will get this year, we would like to add a food parcel to the Christmas gift, as we did in 2019 and 2020. For the past two years now, we have added some maize, sugar, canned fish, and donations that we either receive from suppliers or buy through the sales of the bags.
The Gondwana Care Trust has very limited funds at this point and the School Bag Project has suffered greatly from the lack of tourism. The “Christmas Bags” are sold in all the Gondwana lodges’ curio shops. The guests contribute by buying the bag for N$200.00 only, so that we can produce the bag and purchase the basic stationery kit as early as from April or May.
Since the tourism industry has been negatively impacted, we have only been able to start the production of the bags in May and have only managed to produce a thousand bags. Thus, The Narrative Namibia online store made provision to support us in ‘selling’ bags.
Many students have not returned to schools due to lack of funds in 2021, so more than ever, in order to encourage children to attend schools and pursue their education, we would like to distribute as many bags as we can at the end of the year.
We have distributed 2378 bags in 2019 and 2554 bags in 2020.
Please help us match or even distribute more bags in 2021! In these difficult times, more children need help than ever before.”
Do you want to get involved?
Support the project by ‘buying’ and donating a bag online
or at any Gondwana Collection property for a mere N$200.00.