The University of Namibia Foundation has a new leader. The charitable trust recently announced that Ms Bernadette Bock was appointed as director, effective 1st of March 2021. She replaces Ms Lorna Mbwale who has retired after 11 years as director.

The Foundation is the entry port for all gifts, donations, sponsorships and other support to the University.  It also exists for the purpose of securing and administering private resources.

Ms Bock, who hails from the private sector, brings a wealth of experience to the University’s independent partner. Her experience is rooted in strategic planning, resource mobilisation, organisational management, project design, and Small & Medium Enterprise development.

In an interview with Forum Online, Ms Bock expressed her excitement to join the team and intends to optimise the Foundation to its full capacity.

“Change can be perceived as a difficult journey, but I always like to look at new beginnings as an opportunity to optimise the value of the institution.

“In this case, the value the foundation can bring to the university as its client,” said Ms Bock.

Inclusive approach to fundraising

Since her appointment, the new director has hit the ground running with plans to change the perspective that people have towards philanthropic enterprises.

“The Foundation doesn’t just exist to receive funds but to aid in the development of economies. This change in perspective is crucial because it looks at aid as an investment opportunity,” she pointed out.

She further mentioned that her goal is to ensure people understand that investing in education and research may not have immediate and tangible goals, but long-lasting impacts.

This year, the Foundation aims to incorporate a more inclusive approach to fundraising which will give everyone an opportunity to invest in the power of education and research.

“UNAM has been doing a great deal already. Though, I would like to work hand-in-hand with the university and create investment opportunities for benefactors, staff and students.  Every cent counts and is appreciated,” she emphasised.