Since November 2020, we support the elementary school "Baumgartsbrunn" in Namibia financially. The 200 students mainly come from scattered farms and unofficial settlements in the capital Windhoek. The majority of them belongs to the Damara ethnic group, one of the most disadvantaged ethnic groups in Namibia. During a visit in 2019, we got to know about the boarding school for the first time and learned that it is threatened with closure. The school itself is government-run, but things beyond the classroom, such as the boarding school, maintenance of the associated accommodations and other buildings, including food, are not funded by the government. In order to enable the children to continue attending school, PEN PAPER PEACE provides financial support to Baumgartsbrunn since 2020.

Education for a better future
School attendance in Namibia is compulsory. Nevertheless, 11% of all children cannot go to school today. Almost 30% of the pupils do not finish elementary school. This is mostly due to financial reasons: Many families cannot afford the necessary school materials, and in some cases the children have to work for the survival of the family. PEN PAPER PEACE would like to contribute to enabling all children to attend school. Because education is the key to a better future. Therefore we offer the children free school attendance in Baumgartsbrunn. The school functions as a boarding school so that children who live far away from the nearest school can also attend school. In addition, they are offered a safe environment on site, where they can play with their peers in their free time and do not have to work. Only local teachers teach at the school, currently six of them are female and three are male. The director has been very involved for many years and is committed to providing the best possible learning environment for the children.

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History of the Baumgartsbrunn Farm School
In 1972, the school was founded by Helmut Bleks when he noticed that the children of his farm workers could not read, write and calculate. In the following years, the school was enlarged more and more and financed by the Helmut Bleks Foundation, and later by the bürger:sinn:stiftung. In 2005, the school finally passed into state hands.

We are very aware of the problems of quasi-colonial power relations in the founding and management of the school until the recent past, and we are critical of them. The colonial entanglements of Germany and Namibia, especially until the end of the colonial period in 1918 "German South West Africa", bring with them a special responsibility for us as a German NGO. This makes it all the more important for us to enable local children to attend school and to live up to our responsibility by acting in a reflective manner and cooperating on an equal footing. For example, all pedagogical staff on site are Namibians.

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Accompanying educational materials
In order to accompany the partnership in Germany pedagogically and to create a broader awareness of the difficult German-Namibian history, we are developing accompanying decolonial educational materials for primary and later also for secondary education on our learning platform for Global Citizenship Education (in German).