Paying it Forward: The MakVeto School Financial Assistance Program is off to a great start

Some of the 2011 MakVeto School Financial Assistance Program Scholars in their new school uniforms.

Some of the 2011 MakVeto School Financial Assistance Program Scholars in their new school uniforms.

When we helped Erasmus and Ludwig open the MakVeto Sister Shop in 2009 in the West Caprivi Region in northeastern Namibia, we anticipated that by providing a source of bicycles, we would be helping the local community gain access to health care, education, employment, and market opportunities. A year and a half after the shop opened, it is abundantly clear that MakVeto is achieving these goals and improving the lives of people all over the Caprivi Strip.

This Spring, Ludwig and Erasmus decided to take their goal of public service one step further. They kicked off the MakVeto School Financial Assistance Program, supporting twenty-one 8th-12th graders. Students in the program received assistance with tuition, textbooks, uniforms, shoes and school bags. As you can see from the photos of the area surrounding MakVeto, the bike shop is located in a very remote, rural place; the closest school is over five miles away.

Young minds, ready to learn.

Young minds, ready to learn.

Due to lack of funds for tuition, uniforms, and textbooks, combined with exceedingly long walks to and from school, many students in the area are forced to drop out before graduating from high school. Now with both financial assistance and access to bicycles from MakVeto, the children of this community have found new support in their effort to complete their education and find a path to a better life.