Chinese volunteers at the Confucius Institute at the University of Namibia are imparting language skills to locals to promote cultural diversity and enhance interactions.
For Chen Nan, a volunteer lecturer at the institute, her job in Namibia is driven by an enthusiasm to educate.
In a new environment, according to Chen, the instructive methods for beginner students can be challenging and requires creativity and zeal.
Chen infuses learning materials, cultural elements and practical lessons to accelerate learning and language acquisition of students.
"Learning new language requires effort. I always encourage my students because it is important to give them the confidence they need," she said.
Yang Xingang, another Chinese volunteer lecturer at the Institute, said that teaching is further supplemented by diverse programs and activities, which touch on traditional Chinese cuisines, art, and dance.
"We also have a library, that exposes students to Chinese literature and culture through books and other content," said Yang.
Director of the institute Zhang Fan said the institute had trained more than 3000 students since its establishment in 2013.
As the interest for the Chinese language in Namibia develops, more locals are enrolling for Chinese language course through the institute.
Meanwhile, endeavor by the volunteer lecturers in imparting Chinese language skills have since exposed locals to a new culture and job opportunities.
Students are already reaping the benefits.
"My ability to speak Chinese language not only accord me the opportunity to land translation jobs but also to communicate and immerse in the Chinese culture," Dave Tjivara, a student at the Confucius Institute, said on Saturday.
Meanwhile, in efforts to robustly promote cultural exchanges between China and Namibia, the institute plans to offer the Chinese language as one of the subjects in Namibian schools.
The aim, said Zhang, is to expose more young people to the Chinese language and help them grab opportunities that come with it.
Patrick Simalumba, director of the National Institute for Educational Development in Namibia's Ministry of Education, Arts and Culture, said that the ministry received the request to scrutinize the proposal to ensure that it is in alignment with the national curriculum, and assessment instruments and feedback will be provided.
According to Simalumba, the anticipated introduction of Chinese language in the curriculum is set to benefit learners in Namibia,
"Being multilingual has many benefits for young people and adults alike."
"It facilitates personal development, the ability to embrace diversity, and exposure to new opportunities and growth," he said.
In the interim, for Chen and Yang, an objective is to enhance learners' language abilities to empower them for new opportunities.
"Learning a new language can open doors such as further studies in China and employment, given robust trade between China and Namibia," Yang said.
Chinese was established as an official language of the United Nations in 1946 and is celebrated annually on April 20.
Language Days at the United Nations aim to celebrate multilingualism and cultural diversity, according to the United Nations website.