19 young ‘Namibian Ambassadors’ return from Germany

My German exchange family made me feel so welcome and at home. They are like my second family now and I am already looking forward to the visit of my exchange partner in June.rdquo; The 19 exchange students, who have recently returned from their exchange programme, were all equally enthusiastic about their stay. The Ambassador of the Federal Republic of Germany, Christian Schlaga, and representatives of the Association of German School Societies in Namibia (AGDS), invited the learners on 16 February 2017 to relate their experiences.

For several years now, the AGDS, in partnership with the German Cultural Relations Abroad (VDA), has made the ten-to-twelve week stay for Namibian youth in Germany possible. The 19 students, all of them ambitious learners of the German language, were hosted by German families and attended their exchange partners' schools for the duration of their stay. Assuming the role of ambassadors for Namibia, they contribute significantly to overcoming mutual prejudices whilst building German-Namibian friendships. The current group returned from Germany in mid-January, enriched by many impressions as well as excellent German language skills. In exchange, the Namibian learners will host exchange partners from Germany from June to September, who wish to get to know Namibia and its people.

Ambassador Schlaga was impressed by the German language abilities of the learners and expressed his satisfaction with the success of the exchange programme: This exchange programme, extending over several weeks, is one of the best opportunities for the young people to delve into the German language whilst experiencing daily life in Germany at the same time. The new friendships contribute significantly to the Namibian-German friendship. The additional German language skills enable many of the learners to complete one of the official language certificates (i.e. the DSD exam) and perhaps later study in Germany.

Mbeu Kaumonika from the Deutsche Houml;here Privatschule (DHPS) also reported with enthusiasm about his stay in Germany: I learnt such a lot about Germany and its people. My host family was very interested in culture so I even got to see the opera 'The Magic Flute' by Mozart - this was a definite highlight.rdquo;

The learner exchange programme has been supported financially and logistically by the German Embassy for several years. This year's exchange was supported with N$ 58 000. This specifically enables youths to participate whose parents would not be able to afford to send their children overseas otherwise.

Source: The Embassy of the Federal Republic of Germany - Windhoek.