From volunteer to professional ChangeMaker31.03.2014
ChangeMakers: Namibian Ambrose Trust Mutongomanya was inspired by his experience of volunteering within para-sport to make a difference through his company when in full-time work.
I discovered the passion children and young people have for sport and immediately realised we could equally benefit from the passion they had in order to help them with their education.
In 2004 as a student at the University of Namibia I joined a growing non-governmental organisation - Physically Active Youth (PAY) as the very first volunteer. I volunteered for six months before becoming a full time administrator. After a year in that position I realised how fulfilling it is helping young people from troubled backgrounds by encouraging them to understand that they are the same as others.
I embarked on a volunteer programme, training and managing them and working with the two biggest universities in the country to recruit more. As a full team we managed to change so many lives through sport.
I discovered the passion children and young people have for sport and immediately realised we could equally benefit from the passion they had in order to help them with their education. Students that teachers had given up on academically did extremely well, some went as far as studying medicine, engineering and other white collar professions while others pursued sport and are making headlines, which is quite fulfilling to me.
Following leaving the PAY programme I found an opportunity to once again be part of developing para-sport in Namibia through my company.
We helped to develop a strategy for the Namibian Paralympic Committee to ensure it has all that is needed to operate legitimately. As a consultant I also helped to apply for the Agitos Foundation funding from the Grant Support Programme which was successful.
In my view we should all understand that we all have needs, and whoever is in a position to contribute towards development should do it with a willing and open heart. It is amazing how para-athletes can achieve more than other people may think.
To mark the United Nations International Day of Sport for Development and Peace, the development arm of the IPC, the Agitos Foundation, is publishing stories where sport has helped to change lives or societies as part of the ChangeMakers campaign.
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