Former primary teacher gets Commonwealth Point of Light award

10 Apr 2018 06:50am
WINDHOEK, 10 APR (NAMPA) - A former primary school teacher has been named the 42nd ‘Commonwealth Point of Light’ for her service in improving the health and educational attainment of young people in Namibia.
Ursula Matzopoulos, who currently volunteers at the Physically Active Youth (PAY) after-school club, is the recipient of the award, which recognises outstanding volunteers in all 53 Commonwealth countries who are making a change in their communities.
A media statement issued Monday by the British High Commission’s Public Relations Officer, Hans-Christian Mahnke said Matzopoulos was awarded in Windhoek on 27 March by the United Kingdom’s High Commissioner to Namibia, Kate Airey.
PAY uses educational games to improve the literacy and mathematics skills of local children from disadvantaged backgrounds.
Since 2015, Matzopoulos has led extra-curricular tutoring, helping over 150 pupils aged 12 to 13 to achieve twice the national average pass rate for end-of-year examinations.
“She also encourages young people to continue their education, with 80 per cent of children from the programme enrolling in secondary schools,” the statement said.
Matzopoulos was quoted in the statement as saying it is wonderful to receive the award not only for herself, but to get recognition for all the volunteers of PAY who ensure that children get a good start in life.
“It is not always easy and we rely on the kindness of so many people and organisations to keep PAY going,” she said.
The statement further noted that Queen Elizabeth ll - as Head of the Commonwealth - in the lead-up to the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in London from 19 to 20 April, is thanking inspirational volunteers across the Commonwealth nations for the difference they are making in their communities and beyond.
“By sharing these stories of service, the Heads of Government meeting will celebrate inspirational acts of volunteering across the Commonwealth and help inspire others to make their own contribution to tackling some of the greatest social challenges of our time,” it said.