(United Nations supervised elections will be held in Namibia this year. They have been supported?
Veldt land in Namibia
Veldt, long shot
Branding marks are prepared
Cattle in chutes
Children play volleyball
Back-track form tree top
Children are taught
Black teacher, close-up
Farmer (original sound German)
Back-track from windmill
Children make music
Children, medium shot
Children dance around fire
Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
Background: (United Nations supervised elections will be held in Namibia this year. They have been supported by the Constitutional Assembly that was victorious in the December, 1978 internal elections which have not been recognized by the UN. The liberation organization SWAPO has also declared its readiness to participate in the elections, if the plan for independence worked out by the UN remains unchanged. In the near future, the UN's special representative for Namibia, Finland's Martti Athissari will travel to South Africa for further talks. In Namibia itself, the population is preparing for independence. One example of how the Black majority and whites can live together has been given by a german farmer in the Khoma highland, west of Windhoek. He has founded a school on his farm and through this private initiative he is making his own contribution for equal opportunity.)
SYNOPSIS: Endless land - a picture from Namibia, a country, that at the start of 1979 is still waiting for its independence. It is estimated that nearly 6,000 farmers live in the southwest African land. This one came a few years ago from West Germany. He was a businessman in the Ruhr industrial area before he decided to become a farmer in Namibia. The ex-manager, busy trying to build his own livestock raising farm, quickly recognised the social problems of his new home.
His farm - Baumgartsbrunn - is in the Khoma highland, west of Windhoek. A lonely region, far from industrial areas. There were no schools for the children of the people living here, especially the Black majority.
An unsustainable situation, which the new farmer ended with his own initiative: he founded a school, which is now officially recognised.
The wife of the farmer, himself and Black teachers give the children lessons in reading, writing and arithmetic.
In the school, high value is placed developing manual skills. The German farmer has made this school a symbol for coexistence between Blacks and Whites. How does he see his own future?
"We will stay in this country whatever happens. We love this country. We have made something here, we feel obligated towards our friends, Black colleagues, our school and the children. We will stay here in any event."
For the German farmer, the school is his personal contribution toward what he considers a mandatory goal: equal opportunity. He is sad that more has not been done to prepare the Black majority for independence and, thus, the business of self-government. Here in the Khoma highland, his initiative has become, in the truest sense of the word, a lesson: six other farmers have followed his example by also founding farm schools.
The money for the farm school, the teachers' salaries, furnishings , books and materials comes from the Ministry for Bantu Education in Windhoek. The farmer is obligated to provide and maintain the school campus. He is also responsible for feeding the teachers and students. Few of the children - at the start the school had 16, today 85 - can commute to and from the school because of the distance of their homes.
The school is modeled after the so-called "Waldorf" school, in which the usual grading and selection of talent is rejected and special value is placed on developing musical and manual skills. The farmer would like to expand his presence. But the needed credits will only come when he declares himself ready to exchange his German passport for a South African one. So far, he has refused to do that because, he maintains, Namibia will soon no longer belong to South Africa. He hopes that United Nations supervised elections will bring Namibia a democratic system.