Tsumeb, Namibia

Tsumeb, Namibia

Chesterfield's fourth twinning link is with Tsumeb in Namibia.

It was formalised in 1993. A miner’s delegation from Namibia visited Chesterfield in the mid-1980s. It included some people from Tsumeb, who made a good impression on Chesterfield people.

There was already interest in making a north/south link, with somewhere in southern Africa. After several years spent considering the alternatives, it was decided to make a formal link with Tsumeb.

From the beginning, the link has been based within the local community. Currently teachers, college lecturers and church people are actively supporting the link, through the Chesterfield Tsumeb Association, a community-based voluntary group. This association arranges a programme of talks, social events, stalls and fundraising African meals throughout the year.

Funds are collected for work in Tsumeb, through the Chesterfield Tsumeb Trust, a registered charity.

Projects have included a sports training project, to assist teachers in Tsumeb to introduce sporting skills to young children, using funds collected in Chesterfield, and support for the Women and Children's Centre in Tsumeb.

Mutual understanding, rather than an aid-based relationship, is the aim of this twinning link. Correspondence links between schoolchildren and adults, using English (the official language in Namibia) will assist this process. Chesterfield Borough Council and Tsumeb Municipal Council are now able to communicate using email.

The local authority link includes a capacity-building relationship benefiting both councils, by exchanges of technical experience and expertise. Funds from the Commonwealth Local Government Forum were used to share Chesterfield's knowledge of running its open-air market with Tsumeb Municipal Council, to develop its own market.

Several Chesterfield people have been able to visit Tsumeb, bringing back educational materials and personal experience which has been used to give talks to local organisations. Occasional visitors from Tsumeb are able to come to Chesterfield, despite the high travel costs.

In 2009/10 Councillor Adrian Kitch and his wife allocated 10% of the funds raised for their mayoral appeal to projects in Tsumeb including the Women and Children's Centre.

Last updated on 29 April 2021