By Confidente Reporter
THE Association of Diplomatic Spouses in Namibia (ADS) successfully held its eighth International Food and Crafts Bazaar at the Franco-Namibia Cultural Centre (FNCC) recently in the capital.
A record number of 19 stalls representing cuisines and crafts from more than 21 countries took part in the bazaar. Diplomatic missions of Spain, Kenya, Nigeria, Turkey, Indonesia, Ghana, Portugal, Russia, Egypt, China, Malaysia, India, USA, France, Botswana, and Angola participated as well as SACU, and the Ethiopian Table Restaurant.
The ADS stall sold international cuisines and refreshments donated by its international members and the Embassy of Zimbabwe as well as the High Commission of Zambia. Eight Namibian crafters also participated at the bazaar.
This year, close to N$90 000 was raised and donated by the stalls to the ADS charity fund which will be distributed to selected and deserving organizations that benefit ‘women empowerment’.
The Embassy of Russia received the biggest contributor award after donating more than N$30,000, which is the highest amount ever donated in the history of ADS International Food and Crafts Bazaar in Namibia. The High Commission of Kenya and the Embassy of Spain came second and third, respectively.
In her welcome speech, ADS President, Ida Alina Salleh said that the selection of the ‘Women and Young Women Empowerment” theme by the ADS for 2018 is due to the multifaceted role that women play in contributing to a nation’s economic and environmental status as leaders, workers and role models in society.
“The ADS cements our commitment and solidarity with the people of Namibia now and for the future, as the fate of a nation can be determined by the level of education and through the empowerment of women.” Salleh said.
She also lauded the foreign missions in Namibia for their support of ADS fund raising efforts.“I commend the ADS missions’ role in practicing and demonstrating the important aspect of social and cultural diplomacy which made it possible for the ADS to organize the international charity event for the eighth consecutive year.”
In 2017, N$100 000 of the funds raised through the ADS International Bazaar and the ADS Gala Dinner – was pledged to the building fund of Mammadu Trust, a centre for orphans and vulnerable children in Otjomuise to reflect that year’s theme of ‘Welfare of Children’. The ADS patrons, Lieutenant General Epaphras Denga Ndaitwah, w h o is the spouse of by Namibian deputy prime minister and Minister of International Relations and Cooperation, Netumbo Nandi-Ndaitwah, in his opening speech commended the embassies and international organisations for working together to reflect the spirit of global goodwill.
“The bazaar provides a platform for Namibian crafters to market products and to make economic connections. [There is also an opportunity] to showcase Namibian talents and brings forward issues such as women empowerment that are crucial to Namibia while raising money to support programs that help women become more empowered”. Ndaitwah explained.
More than 1 000 people attended the bazaar and were exposed to exquisite cuisines and crafts from participating diplomatic missions.
Guests were also treated to cultural performances that range from musical performances from the ADS Trio, Russian and Indonesian traditional dances, Indian Yoga, Chinese Tai Chi and a martial arts demonstration from the US Embassy.
Volunteers from the Read Namibia coalition organized reading corners and reading passports for the children, while the Ambassador of France, Claire Bodonyi, the Resident Coordinator of the United Nations in Namibia, Kiki Gbeho and, the High Commissioner of Zambia, Stella Libongani spent time reading to children and discussing the importance of reading.
Other activities for children included face painting and bouncy castle, all provided free of charge.
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