In the shade of the majestic acacia trees of central eastern Namibia stand the buildings of one of the happiest places of learning in Africa. This is the home of Hunters Namibia Safari’s Private School, which is sponsored solely from the proceeds of trophy hunting safaris undertaken by this company.
In the world of sport hunting there is often an emphasis primarily on the size, number and trophy criteria of the animals taken. There is so much more going on behind the scenes, however, that it is gratifying to look beyond the usual common values, to appreciate what hunters and the sport of hunting can and do contribute to our world.
SCI members are well aware of the many valuable programs offered in conjunction with this organization: Sportsmen Against Hunger for example, as well as various excellent educational programs, both at the national and local levels.
Less well known are some of the more oblique ways in which hunters’ fees and the sport of hunting can benefit the less fortunate among the world’s people. One shining example of this is the tiny school on the vast Kalahari Desert lands of Rooikraal, the safari ranch of Joof and Marina Lamprecht, located near Omitara, Namibia.
If it were not for the existence of this school, many young local children would not have the privilege of returning home to their parents at the end of every school day, but would have to attend boarding schools several hours away in the city, returning home only for long holidays. The quality of the education that is available to them is also, sometimes, sub-standard.
I feel that no words can describe this little treasure more clearly than those of Marina Lamprecht, who, along with her husband, P.H. Joof Lamprecht, has envisioned, founded and funded the school: “The high standard and style of education offered by our private school is unique, with an enrollment of only twelve learners with one teacher as well as two teaching assistants. The ages of the children range from the preprimary group between the ages of 5 and 6 and the primary school group aged 7 to 12. The morning begins with the children, in their neat school uniforms, hoisting the Namibian flag and singing the national anthem. Bible studies and prayer are followed by a busy morning of learning. Subjects offered include English, Afrikaans, Social Studies, Craft & Technology, Mathematics and Natural Science presented in accordance with the guidelines of the of the Namibian education curriculum. This school prides itself on the outstanding mathematics results which have led to the learners being accepted by top high schools in the city, where they have gone on to achieve truly excellent all round results. Mid-morning the children receive a wholesome breakfast and have play time on the jungle gym, trampoline and by going on imaginary safaris on the brightly painted old ‘hunting truck’ which has found a resting place in the lovely school garden. They also participate in fiercely contended games of soccer and basketball. Their numbers do not allow for full teams, but the tiny teams play with great enthusiasm! Field trips, which include game viewing drives and outings to the coast as well as the city, are undertaken as often as the learning schedule will allow. The children show visiting trophy hunters their individual vegetable patches with great pride, and all are encouraged to taste the delicious crisp radishes, peas and other garden produce. The children are also happily involved in various needlework, cookery and woodwork projects. My husband Joof’s vision, when establishing the school, was to offer these rural children a top quality education as well as a special caring environment in which they could be encouraged to develop to their full potential.”
A short visit to this special place of learning leaves you convinced that Joof, Marina and the small dedicated teaching staff have achieved their goals and so much more. This little school, known to so few but educating so many of the Namibian citizens of tomorrow, is a perfect example of trophy hunting benefiting the local community in a very effective way. For more information on the Hunters Namibia Safari’s Private School you are invited to visit their web-page at www.huntersnamibia.com or contact Joof Lamprecht at firstname.lastname@example.org.