Who we are

Our staff consists of permanent teachers, a manager, a secretary, a bus driver and several volunteers. We currently have a permanent staff of four teachers and several part-time teachers. Additionally, we have had Peace Corps and World Teach volunteers in the past and since 2011, the German “weltwaerts” program supports us with one-year volunteers in our Music and Sports department.

The MYO Board of Directors consists of five voluntary members who are responsible for overseeing finances, operating concerns, and generally setting strategic direction.

Board Members

Robert Myres

Rob founded MYO after living and working as a volunteer in Namibia in 2003, where he developed and implemented multiple youth development programs in Arandis. He returned to Namibia several times each year for the first few years of MYO operations before enlisting strong local support to assume operational responsibilities. Rob remains active as an MYO Board Member and returns every year to visit and attend to MYO matters. He lives in Columbus Ohio with his noble dog Mandela.

 

Vera Leech

Vera Leech is a Trustee and Board Member of Mondesa Youth Opportunities Trust, having first become involved with the Trust in 2008. Education is important to Vera – she is a teacher, who first qualified in Zimbabwe and she has now been involved with education for over 40 years. Vera majored in English which has served her well – the continent of Africa is in desperate need of experienced English teachers who are committed to their work. She and her husband Michael immigrated to Namibia 35 years ago, and they have loved this country from the first moment. Here they have lived happily with their two children, loving the land, the people and the lifestyle. They believe that Namibia is one of Africa’s jewels. Vera is proud to be a part of the MYO story and believes in the power of reading. Namibia has a poor reading culture and Vera encourages the teachers to promote the power of reading as it is the key to all learning.

 

Elron B. Awase

Born and raised in Namibia, Elron is an engineer and entrepreneur specializing in the country’s energy sector since 2003. Elron joined the board of directors as a strategic advisor in 2009 for Mondesa Youth Opportunities (MYO), an after-school program in Namibia dedicated to high achieving youth from underprivileged communities. Elron earned his MBA at New York University in 2015 and continues to be passionate about further developing the energy industry across Southern Africa and providing opportunities to the next generation of Namibian leaders.

Lynne-Lindsay Payne

Lynne Payne is a retired headmistress with a long line of teaching credentials and great ability in the field. Her energy and enthusiasm are valuable to MYO and her input is greatly appreciated.

Gundula Visagie

Gundula Visagie is a primary school teacher and is involved with many aspects of the community. She is an important member of our board, helping and guiding us in many ways

Every Donation Helps

Mondesa Youth Opportunities is a registered trust in Namibia and an IRS 501(c)3 approved non-profit in the United States. MYO relies exclusively on donations from individuals or businesses to sustain our operations.

MYO operates extremely lean and with complete transparency. We post our P&L on this site and you will see that approximately 98% of our expenditures are spent right at our school on goods and services that directly serve our core mission. We do not reimburse overseas board members for trips and we do not pay for professional services out of donated funds except for our bookkeeping services in Namibia, which is a requirement to maintain our trust status in the country.

Please consider a recurring donation in a monthly amount that is sustainable so we can continue to offer our services to these disadvantaged youth who deserve the opportunities that only a quality basic education can provide.

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