Monica has a bleeding heart

The extraordinary charitable activities and pledges initiated this week by First Lady Monica Geingos – through her One Economy Foundation – deserve a standing ovation.

The Foundation, after a robust vetting process, selected 25 children from vulnerable backgrounds – who would be placed in top schools on a fully paid scholarship – in pursuit of their life dreams.

Geingos has a ‘bleeding heart’ because with this charity drive, she empathised so strongly with the suffering of others. She has adopted what former US President Bill Clinton so succinctly phrased: “I feel your pain.”

There isn’t a lot of charitable interventions on record that match what the First Lady’s Foundation has done so far, with more than N$3 million pumped into scholarships announced this week.

The First Lady further made a commitment to bequeath 50 percent of her N$60 million wealth into the Foundation to assist in the education of children from destitute backgrounds. This transaction would take place once she passes on, eventually, she said.

US First Lady Michelle Obama co-founded Joining Forces, a national organisation whose mission is to help military families.

Among its many empowerment initiatives, Joining Forces is working to find jobs for military spouses and is improving the education options for military children, who are frequently on the move.

Obama’s determination to improve the quality of life of veterans and their families follows in line with benevolent First Ladies who preceded her, including the likes of Eleanor Roosevelt – who met troops heading off to fight in World War II, and Hillary Clinton – who advocated for the rights of older unadopted children.

Geingos is, therefore, following in the footsteps of global giants, who served in the same role as herself and has executed her mandate with finesse.

Poverty is a glaring reality in our country and anyone who lifts a finger to help mitigate this scourge must be applauded. This is particularly so for those who have no legal mandate to help the poor – Geingos included.

A society that spares a thought for its most vulnerable members is what we must turn Namibia into. We must emulate Geingos’ good example and hold each other’s hand, as we march towards the economic liberation of our country. Simply put, we must learn and embrace the culture of walking each other home.

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