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Government support needed to uplift OVCs

2021-09-29  Paheja Siririka

Government support needed to uplift OVCs
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The support of orphans and vulnerable children by the government and other key institutions with small projects in Namibia can change the livelihoods of the future cohorts of leaders.

This is one of the reasons why Aron Mundanya (27) has embarked on a journey to somehow meet the government halfway by establishing the Mukwe Orphans and Vulnerable Children Support Services in the Kavango East.

“This is a community project that aims to generate resources through fundraising initiatives, community partnerships and use of those donations to make an impact in the lives of children,” Mundanya told Youth Corner.

One of the reasons he is passionate about is due to his upbringing which is from a destitute background and that is why he is on this quest to try and make children feel safer, cared and provided for.

“Having grown up in harsh conditions like from walking very long kilometres on an empty stomach to attend school and sometimes sleeping on an empty stomach was undesirable,” recalled Mundanya.

He added: “Seeing our female schoolmates falling pregnant and not returning to school, ending up abusing alcohol is what made us take this upon ourselves to change the lives of the children in our community by creating this space for vulnerable children. They will get mentorship, something to eat, cloth and other benefits that we are trying to incorporate.”

Mukwe OVCs also gives out school uniforms to orphans and vulnerable children in school who are performing extremely well and have established centres where they have feeding programmes for those who can’t afford to have a meal or two a day, depending on the availability of food.

The final year social work student at the University of Kwazulu Natal in South Africa added that being outside Namibia enabled him to learn more about the lives of children and how they should be treated and form part of communities, thanks to the African Pathfinder Leaders Initiative (APLI Namibia), for linking him with fellow youths from different corners of the continent.

APLI provides relevant and throughout leadership development opportunities for young people that will empower and enable them to be active contributors to socio-economic advancement in their communities.

Mundanya called on Namibian youths to fight for our future together and unite in tackling social issues such as poverty, inequality and lack of access to necessities, after all, it takes a village to raise a child.

Since 2003, responsibility for OVCs has come under the remit of the gender ministry. All of the Namibian governments’ activities on OVC are guided by the National Strategic Plan on HIV/AIDS Medium Term Plan III (2004-2009) (MTP III). 

Food aid is just one of the activities to support OVC and is considered an interim measure to deal with the chronically food insecure.

2021-09-29  Paheja Siririka

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