Michigan State University alumni creates library to foster education and break the cycle of poverty in Namibia

April 25, 2023 - Brandon Drain

Auguste ShikongoAuguste Shikongo, an alumna of Michigan State University's School of Social Work, is on a mission to bring literacy and education to her home country of Namibia. Shikongo's passion for education and desire to give back to her community has led her to create a library and community learning center, with the hope of breaking the cycle of poverty in her area.

Shikongo, who grew up in a small village in Namibia, knows firsthand the challenges that come with living in an underprivileged community. "Most of the parents in that area don't know how to read or write and are not able to assist their children with schoolwork," said Shikongo. "Access to education and resources is limited, and it's a struggle for children to even have the chance to pursue higher education."

Despite these obstacles, Shikongo was able to attend college and earn an MSW from MSU’s School of Social Work. She credits her success to the support of her family and community, as well as her own determination to break free from the cycle of poverty. "I destroyed that poverty cycle within my life and my family's as well," said Shikongo.

Now, Shikongo wants to provide that same opportunity for the children in her community. Her growing library and community learning center will serve as a place for children to access books, educational resources and technology. Shikongo hopes that by providing these resources, she can help children gain the knowledge and skills they need to succeed in life.

"I want the children to have access to the resources they need, so that they can become successful, gain employment and gain economic independence," said Shikongo. Her goal for the students to go on to college and find a way to give back to the community in their own ways.

Shikongo's library and community learning center is still in the developmental stages, but she, and the community, are optimistic about its potential impact. “They are really on board with the initiative,” said Shikongo. “They are very excited!”

Auguste Shikongo's story is a testament to the power of education and the importance of giving back to one's community. Her determination to break the cycle of poverty and provide access to education for children in her community is the hallmark of an admirable goal.

For more on Shikongo’s mission, click here: Auguste Community Aid Project - Auguste Community Aid Project