Beukes makes international moves

Hope for restoration in a world of food wastage
The former Windhoek junior mayor, who is also a former Miss High School, has a passion for food and nutrition, and despises food wastage.
Precious Nghitaunapo
Reschelle Beukes, Windhoek junior mayor 2018/19 and Miss High School 2019, is currently an international transfer student at West Virginia University in the United States of America (USA).

Beukes has a passion for food, nutrition and sustainability, and despises food wastage. She mentioned that according to the United Nations' Food and Agriculture Organisation, 226.7 million people are starving in Africa.

“This breaks my heart. While I have at least one plate of food to eat each day, others in my country are going to bed hungry for the third time this week."

Hunger is a multifaceted problem that needs integrated, multi-sectorial solutions, she said. She added that nutrition and how to multiply food at its preparation stage are the answer. “People perish because of a lack of knowledge."

Beukes said so many diseases can be prevented, and malnourished babies due to uneducated mothers can be averted if nutrition was a more prominent topic of discussion.

“My interest in nutrition and passion for health led me to study human nutrition and foods,” she said.

All Beukes' efforts are being assisted by the Education USA programme, which is a free advising network which promotes US higher education to mostly self-funded international students from around the world by offering accurate, comprehensive and current information about opportunities to study at accredited post-secondary institutions in the USA.

Education USA, through its opportunity funds programme, offers support to outstanding prospective students living in marginalised and less-favourable social and economic communities to cover upfront costs of attending a university in the USA. This includes application fees, translations/certifications of educational credentials, standardised testing fees, US visa and settling-in allowance and travel to the US.

According to Tiffany Miller, public affairs officer of the US embassy in Windhoek, monthly information sessions are held virtually for students or learners who wish to learn more about applying to study in America.

“In-person consultations have been put on hold, but our embassy is happy to connect virtually through emails,” she said.

According to Beukes, her particular career path assists with expertise and knowledge to try and solve concerns affecting everyone and anyone.

“I consider myself a social entrepreneur; therefore, in everything I do, I try to make a positive impact on society. Help me make Namibia the healthiest country."

She further encouraged young people to take ownership of their dreams and also expressed her gratitude to the US embassy in Windhoek and the Education USA programme "who sponsored my visa and flight ticket".

“I am so excited to be part of the food system development lab where we actively pursue and advocate for the creation of a food system that builds equity between consumers and producers across Central Appalachia in West Virginia,” she said. This opportunity has expanded her view on what and how food systems work, specifically in the United States, and given her perspective on how to make them more sustainable, nutritious and resilient, Beukes added.

“I hope to take everything I learn and make a positive change in Namibia with regard to food production and sustainable farming when I come back home."