OMUTHIYA - For the first time in more 20 years of its existence, a Tsumeb-based orphanage has slashed its intake by 39 from a total of 65 children under its care.
The Tov HIV/AIDS Orphans and Vulnerable Children Organisation says it is facing an uphill battle, as it struggles to make ends meet to cater for the growing number of vulnerable children. The organisation is only able to accommodate 26 children at the moment. They provide shelter to vulnerable children living with HIV/AIDS, including orphans. It further runs a kindergarten and has a school scheme, whereby it enrolls those children in school and pays the related fees.
The organisation has been operational since 2001, starting with a pre-school with three children. Caretaker Reverend Edward Amadhila said the decision to remove 39 children from the facility was a difficult one. “We are facing a global pandemic of Covid-19, and many of our donors have pulled out or reduced the rate of assisting, therefore this made it very difficult for us to maintain 65 children.
That is why we took this drastic decision though painful to only remain with those in school and in critical grades,” he stressed.
He said six children, including three San girls, are in grade 11 while the rest are in grade 7. “Our only survival now is on the chicken project we are running whereby we sell eggs, that is where we are generating income to feed and take the kids to schools, including the donations from Good Samaritans and donor house on rent. The remaining is what we are trying to save in order to assist the six learners if they make it to university next year,” added Amadhila. In addition, he said, as much as the road ahead is rough, the centre wants to increase its carrying capacity of chickens to produce more eggs in an effort to raise more funds. “We have also realised that some of our customers are from Grootfontein and Otavi, therefore if we continue supporting and this venture materializes, we might in the future look at housing vulnerable kids from those towns, due to their unwavering contributions.
Therefore, I wish to state that, the more the community support, this means they are investing in the future of the learners who might also help others.”
He said the number of exit learners is quite high as opposed to one or two in previous years, thus the centre cannot fully commit, as it has no capacity.