Ricardo Roos: Blooming Despite Hardship

13 Feb 2014 18:20pm
By Paulus Shiku

KEETMANSHOOP, 13 FEB (NAMPA) – Poverty is spurring one young man from Keetmanshoop on to study hard, finish university and earn his own money in future.
Ricardo Rodney Roos, 21, says many of his peers do not know that they are the only ones who have the ability to better their lives, and that no one else can do it for them.
“Sometimes we get opportunities but we waste them. There is no improvement in the living standards of young people in Keetmanshoop, and we need to change that,” he said in a telephonic interview with Nampa recently.
Roos is currently a student at the University of Namibia (Unam)’s Neudamm Agricultural College, where he is in his third year of a four-year Bachelor of Science in Agriculture, specialising in Animal Science.
He is one of a few students who managed to continue their studies despite the odds being stacked against them.
It is exactly this lack of money which brought Roos’s determination to succeed in life to the fore late last year.
He holds a study loan from the government’s Students’ Financial Assistant Fund, but it does not cover all his finance needs - the loan only covers 45 per cent of his accommodation at that college.
By the end of his second year, Roos still owed about N.dollars 5 000 towards his accommodation bill, and failure to pay that would have resulted in him being unable register for his third year of studies.
Desperate to register, the young man approached senior officials in the Directorate of Education in Keetmanshoop to solicit funds to settle the monies owed and to enable him to register for the 2014 academic year.
His path crossed with Deputy Director of Education in the //Karas Region Celi Mostert, who together with others who are also passionate about education, sent out emails to companies and individuals, requesting them to help this brilliant student.
Local businessman and owner of Kismic Trading, Nico Kisting responded, and gave Roos the money to proceed with his third year.
Kisting told this agency that he was impressed by Roos, and also gave the youngster a brand new laptop to use for his studies.
Both Mostert and Roos thanked Kisting for his assistance, and encouraged him to continue helping those in need.
“There are indeed angels on earth although we just expect them to be in heaven,” Mostert said, referring to Kisting.
She then encouraged learners in this town to be serious with their studies in spite of financial setbacks which they might be facing.
Mostert noted that Roos does not allow his circumstances to determine his future.
With his debts settled, Roos is back on track to fulfil his dream of working in farm management or teaching animal science.
Where he comes from, many learners neglect their studies and focus on alcohol, drugs and crime, while some girls fall pregnant before completing Grade 10 or 12.
While at the St Therese Junior Secondary in Tses, Roos was one of the best-performing learners, completing Grade 10 with 34 points, before moving on to the Suiderlig Senior Secondary in Keetmanshoop, where he passed matric with 40 points and a C symbol in English in 2010.
The following year he enrolled at Unam in Windhoek, but unfortunately failed as he had fallen prey to something which has seen many fail before - a busy social life.
However, he picked himself up, returned to working hard and passed his first year.
His second year required him to move to Neudamm, where he did Basics of Food and Crop Science modules before specialising in Animal Science this year.
Roos's father passed away some years back and his mother is unemployed. He was raised by his grandmother at Tses village, situated 80 kilometres north of Keetmanshoop.
He is the oldest of five children in his immediate family.
“My siblings are also motivated like me, especially my brother - he is one of the best Grade Seven learners at Nowak Primary School in Tses,” a proud Roos said.