Otjikondo: our first partner school
Otjikondo Village School in Namibia is an incredibly special school both in terms of its capability and its ethos. Hazel volunteered at the school for a year in 2001/2, followed by her brother Peter. The school was also the beneficiary of Hazel’s charity fundraising for her successful climb of Mount Kilimanjaro in 2003. The Trust has continued and built on this strong relationship with the Scott Aiton family and it became our first “partner school”. Hazel’s Footprints Trust sends £10,000 each year to Otjikondo.
We’re proud to support the magnificent work that Otjikondo School does, supporting the education of so many so successfully, and we will continue to do this in the future.
About Otjikondo Village School
Otjikondo Village School is set in a beautiful corner of north-west Namibia, 80 kilometers north of Outjo in the Kunene Region, and it comprises a farm and, also, a boarding school for about 240 children between the ages of 6 and 14. The school’s motto is ‘One Step Forward’ and over the years it has become one of the finest educational hubs in the area.
The school was established in 1990 by husband and wife team Reiner and Gillian Stommel and ever since it has run with increasing levels of success. Reiner sadly passed away in 2022.
The school village comprises nine classrooms, a staff room and four boarding houses accommodating the children. Other buildings in the school village include a hall, dining room and kitchen, sick bay, workshops and other accommodation in which teachers, staff and volunteers reside. There is also a school garden and various playgrounds and sports’ fields.
Hazel, the Trust & Otjikondo
Hazel spent 12 months on a gap year at Otjikondo, volunteering at the school. It was hugely successful, for the school and for Hazel, as you can read in Hazel’s journal. Afterwards, at Durham Uni, Hazel decided to join the Durham University Charity Komittee (DUCK) 2003 expedition to Kilimanjaro and she spent months raising money for improvements to the school. When the Trust was formed in 2005, one of the key motivations was to continue Hazel’s support for the school. This has been captured in one of the Trust’s core aims:
To promote the charitable purposes of the Otjikondo Village School Foundation, Namibia, through the provision of an annual donation
Happily, our fundraising success has allowed us to do this. We sent £5,000 to Otjikondo every year between 2005 and 2011 and since then we have sent £10,000 each year. They have built a new medical block, a science classroom and a learning support classroom. We’ve also been able to improve their sports equipment. The funds go towards a variety of operational running costs each year.
As well as direct grant funding, the Trust has also supported the school indirectly. We have provided grants to lots of Footprinters as they set off for a year’s volunteering at Otjikondo.
Otjikondo in the time of Coronavirus22nd February 2021
Hazel’s Footprints sends £10,000 to Otjikondo School in Namibia every March, to mark Hazel’s birthday. Otjikondo is very close to our hearts so it’s always so rewarding to hear how…
The end to an incredible journey! Rachel Azzopardi, Otjikondo2nd July 2020
Rachel Azzopardi travelled to Otjikondo School, Namibia, supported by a Footprinter Grant. The pandemic brought her experience to an abrupt end, sadly. Here she tells how it felt to be…
Katy Watters reporting on a year at Otjikondo cut short24th June 2020
Katy Watters went to Otjikondo, Namibia expecting a full on year. It was cut short by the pandemic, but it’s pretty clear she got what she came for! Well done.…
Izzy Richards on her last weeks at Otjikondo7th October 2019
Izzy Richards completes a fabulous year at Otjikondo School in Namibia where she has volunteered teaching children for a year. She wrote to us before she set off, after her…
Katy Watters on Project Trust training for Otjikondo7th August 2019
Finding Project Trust Nine months ago, it would have been difficult to imagine that I would even come close to spending an entire year overseas. I went on a Project…
Rachel Azzopardi's thoughts as she heads to Otjikondo28th July 2019
Rachel Azzopardi has been awarded a Footprinter Grant to head to Otjikondo School in Nambia for the 2019/20 academic year. Otjikondo School is very special to Hazel’s Footprints as this…
Izzy Richard's Second Term at Otjikondo25th April 2019
Parents’ Day Project We’ve spent most of this term getting ready for the Otjikondo’s annual “Parents’ Day”. It’s a day where parents and guardians of everyone in the school are invited…
Izzy Richards: First Term at Otjikondo2nd February 2019
So here I am, very nearly 3 months into my gap year, and what a 3 months it has been. It is very easy to say there is never a…