OKAHANDJA - Being the only hope and inspiration for many orphans and vulnerable children, Ileni Tulikwafeni community centre has halted most of its projects due to the negative impacts of Covid-19.
Due to these severe economic challenges, the centre is unable to carry out most of its core functions.
Ileni Tulikwafeni community centre started as a soup kitchen for 90 children under a tree and with the resources of a single individual Kaunapawa Phillemon in 2003.
The centre offers lunch, three times a week to orphans and vulnerable children all from Okahandja’s Five Rand location.
Phillemon said they aim to provide the best possible support to everyone affected by the HIV/AIDS pandemic, the men, women, orphans, and vulnerable children.
The centre serves people living with HIV/AIDS, orphans and vulnerable children so that they may live their lives with pride and dignity, without the stigma of being poor, sick, or unloved.
Although she said the centre serves over 1 000 needy children, they now face some serious challenges because most of their projects have been affected due to Covid-19.
“The number of children is increasing daily. And with this Covid-19, most of our projects are on hold,” she noted.
Some of the projects that were affected by Covid-19 include home-based care, support group meetings, and kids club.
The centre has other income-generating projects such as a poultry farm, garden and brick making.
She, however, said the brick making project came to a standstill since the outbreak of Covid-19. She is hopeful that the project will pick up shortly.
The centre also has a support group where people living with HIV/AIDS are encouraged to take their medication.
“We share ideas, motivate and encourage each other on how to take medication on time and adhere to treatment,” she noted.
Some donors have since come on board to assist her to meet the needs of vulnerable children.
She is calling on any Good Samaritans to help the centre where they can to ensure the soup kitchen and other programmes are kept afloat.