Learners gifted Panda Packs by China

By Maria Hamutenya

THE China Foundation for Poverty Alleviation (CFPA) will donate 40,000 Panda Packs (school bags with stationery) to local children in at least five regions of Namibia this year, the Foundation’s vice president Xingzui Wanga has said.

Wang was speaking at an event at Tobias Hainyeko Primary School in Katutura’s Okuryangava informal settlement that was also attended by Deputy Minister of Education Anna Hipondoka, Chinese Ambassador Zhang Yiming, Khomas Governor Laura McLeod-Katjirua and Windhoek Mayor Muesee Kazapua, amongst other officials.

“Today I am proud that CFPA is donating 40,000 Panda Packs to the Namibian children in at least five region in 2019. Tobias Hainyeko Primary School will be the first school to receive the Panda Packs,” Wang said.

Initiated by CFPA and partnered with Alibaba Philatrophy, the Panda Pack project is an international initiative that aims to improve the basic learning conditions of primary school students in need in beneficiary countries. It also serves to assist in comprehensive education.

The project is funded entirely by ordinary Chinese people and in Namibia dedicates itself to convey Chinese people’s kindness, to encourage people-to-people connectivity and to deepen the friendship between China and Namibia.

Wang noted that last year, CFPA donated 10,000 Panda Packs to Namibia which were given to students, teachers and government officials.

“Those Panda Pack were delivered to 13 primary schools in five regions. After the successful pilot project in 2018, CFPA officially launched the Panda Packs Project in February 2019. Starting in 2019 and in the next three years, CFPA will be donating at least one million Panda Packs to at least 10 countries in Africa and Asia, including Namibia, Uganda, Ethiopia, Myanmar, Nepal, Cambodia and Mongolia,” Wang said.

Meanwhile, Ambassador Yiming said that he hopes the gifts go a long way to helping the learners realise their potential. “I hope that Namibian students can enjoy this gift from thousands of miles away and continue to study hard and finally realise their dreams one day,” Yiming said.

He further noted that in March, President Hage Geingob and his Chinese counterpart, Xi Jinping, agreed to elevate China-Namibia relations to a comprehensive strategic cooperative partnership.

“Deepening educational and cultural exchanges and cooperation is just the key to promote the heartfelt relation of our two peoples. Up to now, the Chinese Ambassador Scholarship has been set up in 35 schools in 14 regions and benefited more than 600 Namibian outstanding learners.

“This year, six young excellent Namibian applicants were admitted to Peking University, China’s most famous university, ranking first amongst all countries in the world.

“As long as you cherish today’s learning opportunities and keep working hard, I believe that in the near future, many of you will also win the Chinese Ambassador Scholarship and even Chinese Government Scholarships to study in China,” Yiming said.

He added that he believes many of the learners can become outstanding scientists, politicians, entrepreneurs, athletes, teachers and doctors, amongst other professions for a better Namibia.

“There are countless possibilities in the future for your life. I sincerely hope that you will grow up healthily and study hard. I believe you will inject new momentum into the bilateral friendly relations and become goodwill ambassadors.”

He said his country would launch more support programmes in the fields of education, health and poverty alleviation, as well as contribute to building a shared future for China and Namibia.