RKK supports Julia Handjene with an education grant
Visit to Julia at her school in Ongwediva in northern Namibia, March 2010
Accompanied by Carl Williams and Ndajoina Shalumbo from RKK Namibia, RKK’s Managing Director Ole Imsland paid a vist to Julia Handjene in Ongwediva, northern Namibia.
We met Julia at Gabriel Taapopi Secondary School in Ongwediva where Julia is a Grade 10 student (12 grades altogether). Julia has 41 classmates and is very happy at school, where she gets good results. At this school there are several promising athletes Julia trains with, in particular her close friend Claudia with whom she has participated in a number of competitions at home and abroad. Julia and Claudia are Namibia’s best junior contestants in the 800 and 1500 metre races.
We met the school’s headmaster and some of Julia’s teachers before driving north with Julia to visit her family at their Homestead in Ohalushu.
We had a warm reunion with Julia’s mother, whom we met last year in Windhoek. The family lives very simply but in a beautifully fertile area where they grow vegetables, keep domestic animals and are fully self-supporting.
We were able to see this time where Julia had grown up and how her family lives.
We also took the opportunity to discuss Julia’s plans for the future and how we can best help her to achieve her goals in both sport and education. We promised to visit her mother and keep her regularly updated. While Julia attends school in Ongwediva she manages to spend some weekends at home but otherwise lives in the student hostel beside the school.
RKK supports Julia Handjene (16) with a 4 year-education grant.
Julia Handjene from the Omahenge region in the north of Namibia is a promising medium-distance runner from Namibia. Without having taken organized training she participated in the Namibian School Championship in January this year, and won both 800 m and 1500 m. In April she participated in the Athletic Games in Pretoria in South Afrika and took the second place in the 800 m race. Further she participated as one of the two Namibians in the 6th World Youth Championship in Italy in July and got the 3rd place in her class in the 800 m race with 2.09.83. She was the only one who ran barefooted.
RKK has a tradition of supporting young female athletes, and at the ceremoni in Windhoek on September 29 our support to Julia attracted much attention. The Minister of Sports, Willem Kondjore, and director Dr. Vetumbuavi participated from the Ministry of Sports. Julia's advisors, Agnes Samaria and Frankie Fredriks who is the President of the Namibia Athletics Federation were also present and told about their work with young athletes, and about Julia in particular. Mrs. A.Tjongarero, President i Namibia Olympic Committee, was also among the participants.
But the guest of honour at this social gathering was of course Julia Handjene with her mother, Cecilie Haimbody. Cecilie Haimbody signed a 4-year agreement on behalf of Julia. The agreement secures for Julia college education as well as support in personal development and focusing on her sports career. There are big expectations towards Julia from the Namibian side, and of course from our side in RKK.
Julia comes from a family with 7 children. Her mother is unemloyed and her father works at an institution. Julia lives with her mother in Omahenge Village, and is takes her 8th year studies at the Omuve Junior Secondary School. Julia works hard at school, she is responsible and very talented.
Her talent in sports is running. Her training consists of daily running early to school, and also to bring water from a place located at 10 km from home. She get her strength from helping around the house as well as from work at the local mahangu fields.
Sports have become her passion and her rise to fame came through a sports competition and championship at the Namibia National Athletics School .
Julia suprised everybody when she, barefooted, managed to get herself qualified to participate in the World Youth Championship in Italy in spring 2009. She won silver in the Southern Africa Youth Championships in Pretoria in 2009, as well as gold both in 800 m and 1500 m at the Nations Schools Championships in Windhoek.
The RKK education grant was awarded in Windhoek at a speicial ceremony on September, 29th, 2009. The grant was handed over by RKK representatives present at the ceremony as well as by national representantives from the authorities and sports organizations.
Julia has been nominated for this year's Sports Award in Namibia. She is included in the nominees for the Sport Award in the class Junior Sportswoman of the Year in Namibia. There are 5 nominees in each class and Julia is competing against a golfer, a hockey-player, a swimmer and a gymnast. The awards will be announced at an arrangement in Windhoek on 30. October 2009. We're cheering for Julia.
Photo: Carl Williams from RKK, Julia Handjene and Silje Bolset from RKK. Behind: Ole Imsland from RKK and Hon. Minister Mr. Willem Kondjore
Photo: Ole Imsland from RKK, Julia Handjene and her mother Mrs Cecilie Haimbody
Present at the grant award ceremony were:
- Hon. Minister Mr. Willem Kondjore
- Director Dr. V. Veii
- MTC Mr. M. Geraldes
- MTC. Mr. I. Hamata
- President of the Namibia Athletics Federation Mr. F. Fredericks
- President of the Namibia Olympic Committee Mrs. A. Tjongarero
- Administrator of the Namibia Sport Commission Mr. R. Mugane
- Administrator of the Namibia National Sports Union Mr. S. Dyker
- Deputy Director Community Sport Mr. Kaanyuka
- Mother of the athlet: Mrs Cecilie Haimbody
- Athlet: Julia Handjene
- Coordinator Ms. Agnes Samaria
- Coach / Master of Ceremony Mr. Letu Hamhola
- 11 persons from the RKK Delegasjon
- 10 persons from the local press and Media & NBC
Photo: Coordinator Ms. Agnes Samaria, President of the Namibia Athletics Federation Mr. F. Fredericks, Julia Handjene, Silje Bolset from RKK, Ole Imsland from RKK and Mrs Cecilie Haimbody (Julia's mother)
Top left: President of the Namibia Athletics Federation Mr. F. Fredericks, Director Dr. V. Veii
Top right: Mr. F. Fredericks, Julia Handjene, Coordinator Ms. Agnes Samaria
Below: RKK Managing Director Ole Imsland and Hon. Minister Mr. Willem Kondjore