A group of children of the liberation struggle who reside at Ndilimani farm outside Windhoek are seeking psychosocial support through Swapo.The group spokesperson, Albertina Ekandjo, explained they have been waiting for job placement for a long time and they are currently facing social problems. “As we speak, people have lost peace. Last week, they were fighting over a mahangu meal; things that never happened before for the past six years we have been here,” she said.
She said poverty is now dominating their lives – and most of them do not have supportive families, as their parents died during the liberation struggle. “We are facing many problems and no one is supporting us. We lost another colleague on Saturday. She tested positive with Covid-19 but we are still waiting for the real cause of death to be established,” she explained.
She said, since their arrival at the farm, more than 12 of their colleagues have died – and they have never received counselling. They now suspect the loss and the hardship they endure affected their mental health.
“Poverty is the key factor. People are angry because of poverty. Imagine waking up without basic needs for close to a decade. Life will frustrate you, especially when you have no parents,” she said. Ekandjo said they feel Swapo has entirely neglected them, as they no longer receive responses to the letters they have sent to secretary general Sophia Shaningwa.
Shaningwa, however, said she can not comment on the matter, as she was attending to Swapo campaign duties in Katima Mulilo. The executive director of the party, Austin Samupwa, also referred all the queries to party spokesperson Hilma Nikanor, whose mobile phone went unanswered.
Meanwhile, three party members Fransina Kahungu, Castro Ileni and Oummy Gotlieb donated food to the group after learning about the latest death. “We are here to give you sympathy that you are not alone in this. The reason why you are fighting among yourself is because of the problems you are experiencing daily,” Kahungu said.
She echoed the need for psychosocial support for the group. “We are here to console you. We know she will not come back but we want you to be strong. This is a difficult time that we are losing so many lives due to Covid-19. It is a time of sorrow and sadness. This is the time we need to support each other but not fight among ourselves,” she explained.
Kahungu further commended members of the group who ventured into gardening, selling firewood and making beads. “Those who are selling firewood, making leather products and making beads jewellery are doing a great job and that will help to minimised stress,” she said.
There are 76 struggle kids at the Ndilimani farm, who are unemployed.