Namibia Semester

See development challenges first hand and collaborate to assist a nation to meet its goals.

Departure: Mid-June 2019

Application Deadline: April 1, 2019

Volunteer Commitment: $2,490

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Our Year Program in Namibia

6 Months (June – December) |
Shared Volunteer Housing or Host Family
Teach school subjects OR Serve in project-based roles in the government

Watch the 2018 Namibia webinar to learn more about the WorldTeach Namibia Year program and to hear directly from alumni about their experience in the field.

Serving in Namibia since 1991, WorldTeach is proud to continue partnering with the Namibian Ministry of Education, Arts, and Culture, a collaboration which has allowed us to send over 500 volunteers to the country since its independence. Over this span, WorldTeach volunteers have assisted the Ministry of Education, Arts, and Culture in efforts to improve educational outcomes and amend the residual inequalities that continue to persist from the the apartheid era.

Reforms to improve educational outcomes include making English the medium of instruction from Grade 4 onwards, as well as supporting learner-centered pedagogy. Namibia’s need for volunteer teachers is severe. Facing a shortage of qualified teachers, particularly those who can instruct effectively in English has left the Ministry of Education, Arts, and Culture in a difficult predicament. Making national progress is dependent on their ability to educate the newer generation. Moreover, with a growing youth population, Namibia’s education system is strained exponentially. As mandated by the Ministry of Education, Arts, and Culture, WorldTeach volunteers serve a crucial role in this context; they serve in posts that would otherwise go unfilled. While living and working conditions in Namibia can be demanding, the rewards of helping in the reconstruction of this invigorating new country far outweigh the lack of daily luxuries.

Country Overview

“Contrasting, beautiful Namibia,” sings the Namibian national anthem. Namibia is indeed a land of contrasts and beauty, both natural and cultural. The environment ranges from the densely populated, palm-dotted plain of Ovamboland to the arid hills of the central highlands; from the lush forest savanna of the Kavango and Zambezi to the dunes that roll the length of Namibia’s cold desert coast. And among its diverse population are pastoralists, subsistence farmers, and a growing urban middle class. More than eleven languages are indigenous in Namibia, and most Namibians commonly speak two or three. Nearly half of the population speaks Oshiwambo, and interestingly, while Namibia’s official language is English, very few claim it as their tongue.

A spirit of cooperation and coexistence characterizes Namibia. Today, just a relatively short time since gaining independence from South Africa in 1990, Namibia stands out as a country marked with remarkable progress and promise. This atmosphere of cooperation has allowed Namibia to concentrate its resources on basic needs, with education being a top priority, garnering over 20 percent of the government’s annual budget.

Your Role

There is a range of roles that you could fulfill as a Namibia Semester volunteer:

 

  • The professional role can be flexible around your skills and experience, as long as it can be related to education. Preferred areas of expertise by the Ministry of Education, Arts, and Culture are in: 
    • Teaching
    • Organizational development and implementation
    • Information, Communication & Technology
    • Social/child welfare services
  • The traditional teaching role as our year volunteers (see role description in Namibia Year Program)

Placement & Housing

The majority of our volunteers are placed at government schools in rural areas where there is a great shortage of qualified teachers. Occasionally, there are placements at private schools, as well as church-affiliated schools, both of which follow a Ministry-approved curriculum.

While you are likely to be the only WorldTeach volunteer at your school, there may be other WorldTeach volunteers in your town or region, or teachers with other international volunteer organizations (e.g. Peace Corps) at your school or nearby. Currently, volunteers are clustered in the northern, central, and southern regions of Namibia, but placements can adjust from year to year per the needs of the Ministry of Education and its schools.

You will live in government-provided housing that may be shared with Namibian colleagues and/or with other volunteers. In some instances, your school will identify a host family to provide your accommodation, which would include your own furnished room and cooking facilities. Occasionally, the Field Director will identify a more rural placement in need of a teacher without amenities. In such cases, the Field Director will contact you before finalizing this type of placement.

Finances

As a selected volunteer to our Namibia Year Program, you will receive a generous grant from the Kristin Linnea Skvarla Foundation. Volunteers’ contribution to the Namibia Year program – $2,490 – which is recouped to you throughout the experience – goes towards the following:

  • Monthly housing stipend
  • Monthly living stipend of 2750 NAD/month
  • Comprehensive orientation, mid-service, and end of service training conferences
  • Supplemental overseas health and emergency evacuation insurance
  • 24-hour in-country field staff support
  • Access to a remote teacher quality support
  • Pre-departure preparation and visa assistance if necessary
  • Alumni services and networking

Participants are able to successfully fundraise all or a significant portion of their program expenses. Please refer to our fundraising page for more information about fundraising possibilities.

Requirements

All volunteers in the Namibia Semester program must:
  • Be a native-level English speaker
  • Have a bachelor’s degree by the time of the program’s departure
  • Be between the ages of 21 and 74
  • Be highly flexible, mature, and have a genuine interest in teaching
For the professional role, volunteers must have some experience, formal training, or background in specific field.