Staff Reporter Windhoek As the first cock crows signalling the start of a new day, Herman Peterson is already up having his first cup of coffee. The caffeine boost will provide the necessary energy for Peterson to execute his duties seamlessly. By the time the sun starts rearing its head and its first rays begin to light the horizon, Peterson is already at Hope Village in Katutura’s Goreangab location to begin his work. For the past eight years he has been a driver for the village, with his main duties being that of ferrying the children to and from school. In 2013, Standard Bank and its subsidiary Liberty Life Namibia donated a brand-new 21-seater Fiat Ducato Bus worth N$365,000 to the Hope Village orphanage. The bus has been a godsend for the orphanage as it not only serves as a means of transport to and from school, but for other activities such as road trips and school tours, as well as transporting the ailing to hospital.As a corporate social investment project, Hope Village has been near and dear to Standard Bank since 2008 because of all the work they do with orphaned and vulnerable children. “When I initially started driving and picking up the kids from school eight years ago, we had a much smaller bus which required me making between four or five trips in the morning, and the same number in the afternoon. However, since Standard Bank donated our current bus things have become much easier,” Peterson gleefully remarks as he buckles up for his first round of pick-ups. Having mastered the shortest routes to all the schools, he makes his first trip from Goreangab Township by way of Otjomuise Road, Florence Nightingale Street and into Bismarck Street that takes him to his first stop, Combretum Trust School, where two of the children from the Village attend high school. His next stop is Eros Primary School, followed by M.H Greef Primary School and Moreson Special School in Khomasdal. Although some of the children have to be left behind to be picked up during the second trip, they are all excited to see Peterson and recount their days to him. With the health and safety of the children always at the forefront of his mind, he has made it a point to always drive carefully, and thus has never been in an accident before. However, he lamented that a lot of drivers, especially taxi drivers, are reckless and always put the lives of the children at risk. “This bus has made a big difference for the kids. The old one was in a dilapidated condition, but now they are comfortable and happy. These days I only make four or five or six trips per day. Although I have my own children it pleases me to see that Hope Village children are taken care of and have people who care about them.” He added that after he drops off the children at school, he uses the bus to run errands for the Village, such as picking up groceries or taking the sick to hospital, adding that they would be in a predicament without the bus. He currently transports 52 children, from Grade 1 to 12. “We have faced a few challenges, and with the number of children we will need a bigger bus but we are grateful for what we have and thank Standard Bank for always supporting us,” Peterson concluded.
New Era Reporter
2017-08-24 11:22:45 2 years ago