The One Economy Foundation had its third and last fundraising gala dinner at Droombos last week. Under the theme ‘celebrating transcendence’, on behalf of First Lady Monica Geingos and President Hage Geingob, who was a guest of honour at the event, the gala was also attended by several dignitaries. It highlighted the importance of cross-sector collaboration, public-private partnerships and silo-busting as critical success factors in tackling social issues and effecting transformative change.
A fun-filled evening, the event was an experience for the books filled with exhilarating entertainment and networking. The One Economy Foundation has changed the trajectory of its beneficiaries’ lives. The foundation was established as a Section 21 non-profit organisation, and its heartbeat is to actively ‘build a bridge’ to inclusivity for as many Namibians as possible.
CEO Sem Uutoni remarked that “through the One Nation Fund, we have been able to provide financial support and mentorship to 46 micro entrepreneurs, providing them not only with funding but also with business tools to empower self-sufficiency”.
Meanwhile Dr Veronica Theron emphasised that “Break Free's sexual gender-based violence [SGBV] pillar strives to transform survivors' lives through psychosocial support services. For a country whose social fabric is under threat owing to the continuous occurrence of violence, this campaign plays a critical role in restoring and safeguarding our community's identity, safety, and unity”.
The foundation exists to facilitate the full social and economic participation of identified communities to break aspects of the poverty cycle by highlighting the root causes, maximising the potential of as many Namibian people and to strengthen those who are already on track to become better.
The event was also attended by two TIP(Talented Individual Programme) beneficiaries Sarafia Ewalistus, a high school learner, and Kain McNab, an ex-convict, who both shared their impact stories.
"It's not just money, you're investing in our future. With your ‘yes’, you have made it possible for us as TIP beneficiaries to build our confidence, resilience and allow us to overcome our socioeconomic challenges,” Ewalistus remarked.
“The importance of a programme such as this is that it reiterates the sentiments that Namibia is cared for, not alone, and that you believe in us. It may seem simple, but with your investment, you are changing Namibia one learner at a time,” she concluded.
McNab epitomises the principles of the One Economy Foundation, which seek to provide enabling opportunities to those who might otherwise not have the opportunity to excel.
Geingos, in a fireside chat, said: “One Economy will outlive us. We value partnerships and investments, and emphasising that it’s about the beneficiaries”. She further highlighted that "when we say we are helping someone; we must do for them what we would do for ourselves. I don’t know what we want to become in Namibia if we do not help each other. Which is why the One Economy Foundations tries to give a fair opportunity.”
She added that what the foundation is trying to do is bring the first and second economies together, because it makes business sense, social sense, and moral sense. She concluded by thanking those who do the real work.