• August 15th, 2020

NGO empowers Hardap community

Hilma Hashange

The inhabitants of Omomas in the Hardap region are striving to become self-sufficient with the help from Pro Namibian Children.
This non-governmental organisation has established a community gardening project in the hopes of improving food security amid the Covid-19 pandemic.

The community garden, established in 2016 at the local school, aims to provide a healthy meal for learners and staff and enables garden training for learners and the community to enable them to have their own garden one day.
The organisation offers free agricultural training to the community members who want to improve their gardening skills and gain more experience on how to sustain their gardens. The trainees attend a week long training and are given both theory and practical classes. 
 “Upon completion of the training course, the trainees will be presented with a detailed manual, an official certificate of qualification and an agricultural starter pack to initiate their own community garden and use their freshly acquired skills to uplift the community out of poverty,” said project manager Ernest Sirefwe.

Anna Paulus, a young trainee said it is a privilege to attend the training and is eager to learn. “I did not know how to plant seeds, I learned all of that here at the training. I also found out about the different compost that one can use,” she said. 
Paulus, who dropped out of school in grade 10, said she is still busy raising funds for her to go back to school and learn further. 
She said she decided to join the training in order for to start her own garden and eventually sell vegetables to make a living. Paulus, who suffers from Clubfoot, a condition that affects the ankles, said although she gets a grant of N$1 300 for her disability, she intends to raise more money to be able to afford consultations at the doctor for her ailment.

Another trainee, Petronella Visagie, a retired teacher from Duineveld, a settlement in the Rehoboth rural constituency, said she wanted to attend the training because she wants to impart the knowledge of how to take care of a garden to her fellow inhabitants. 
“I want to teach my community how to plant, how to look at the soil. The most important thing we learned here is how to look at the climate, if you know about the climate, you can help your family and your community to start eating healthy food and not pay a lot of money, you can plant in your own yard and have a community garden and have fresh vegetables every day,” she said. 

Rehoboth rural regional councillor, Riaan McNab, on behalf of the Omomas residents, thanked the organisation for providing the community with the garden. “We are so much grateful, as a country we are struggling with food sustainability and the start of this project in Hardap will boost our communities and will change the lives of our people and put bread on their table. We will make sure that the project reaches its intended purpose,” said McNab. 

Apart from offering the community with a garden and training them, the organization has also established a soup kitchen at the local school that provides one meal to all children and pensioners in Omomas. They also provide free masks for the trainees as well as those that benefit from the soup kitchen.

Staff Reporter
2020-05-22 10:49:32 | 2 months ago

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