Some students studying in Cuba under the Cuban-funded scholarship say they face an ongoing issue in terms of inadequate monthly stipends paid to them.

The prices of goods and services have significantly risen, they say, making it increasingly difficult to make ends meet on the current stipend provided through the Namibia Students Financial Assistance Fund scholarship (NSFAF).

Currently, seven students receive a monthly stipend from NSFAF.

The stipend amount is set at N$2,000, which is slightly over US$130 per month.

Surviving in Cuba has become increasingly challenging due to the recent surge in prices of goods and services, primarily influenced by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Letters have been written to NSFAF and other institutions expressing frustration over the ongoing complaints, which students say date back five years.

In 2017, one awardee was given a contract to sign, agreeing to receive a monthly stipend of N$2,000 for the duration of her studies.

However, she says she was unaware of the cost of living in a foreign country and had no knowledge that the amount she agreed to was lower than that received by previous awardees.

This situation has created a burden for subsequent beneficiaries, who struggle to afford basic necessities such as toiletries and food.

Another concern is that in 2015, beneficiaries received approximately N$5,000 monthly, which the current students consider unfair in comparison.

One student who spoke to nbc News expressed equal concern about her health, saying she is unable to afford her medication. Often, she is compelled to purchase them from street vendors.

The students assert that the inadequate stipend has negatively impacted their studies.

The students claim that despite letters written to NSFAF dating back to 2020, the fund allegedly consistently rejected their requests for improved monthly stipends.

Photo Credits
Namibia Students Financial Assistance Fund


Celma Ndhikwa