The founder of the Megameno Orphanage in Windhoek’s Shandumbala area, Maria Shaalukeni is appealing for assistance to settle their municipal debt of N$60 000. The water bill has been outstanding for years.
Shaalukeni was speaking at the donation handover of N$15 000 by local fishing company Ngodima Investments to the orphanage. She told Youth Corner the orphanage also struggles to pay for electricity, which they purchase in pre-paid units “We only depend on donations from sympathisers, and we are afraid the water might be cut off (again). I am pleading to the public to assist us with the little they have so we can settle this debt,” she said.
Their water supply had been cut of a couple of times in the past, but arrangements were made with the municipality to have it restored. She said water usage at the orphanage usually ranges between N$1 000 and N$2 000 per month, whereas their electricity costs about N$1 000.
The Megameno Orphanage is home to 26 children, with the youngest being six months old. Established in 2002, the orphanage has catered to over 300 children. However, Shaalukeni said she has been taking care of orphans and vulnerable children way before the shelter’s official opening.
“I have provided a safe home to many children and some are already in universities. Although I do not receive a social grant and neither do some of the children at the orphanage, I make sure all my children have all the necessities and get proper education. All I want is a better future for the Namibian child,” said the 65-year-old. She urged young parents not to abandon or dump their children.
“If they don’t want their children, they can come and leave them with me. I will take care of them and provide them with a loving home.” In addition, Shaalukeni is seeking assistance to establish a vegetable garden to produce nutritional vegetables for the children, and engage them in producing food from a young age.
“The garden will enable us to sustain our operations in difficult times.” In order to raise more funds, Shaalukeni and her children will be hosting a “braai party” on the 3rd of September 2021 at the orphanage. “We are requesting people to come support us and help us generate more income to settle our debt.”