A group of young Namibians from the Eke Ndi Yandja Ondi Serwa Ondaya Project have taken it upon themselves to rehabilitate ward seven of the Katutura Intermediate Hospital for hospitalised learners.
Eke Ndi Yandja Ondi Serwa Ondaya is an Otjiherero phrase, which means ‘A hand that gives is one that is blessed’.
Revamping was completed this week.
“The school needed basics such as stationery, toys and learning material but upon visiting it, we came to the realisation that the team can create a new and conducive learning environment for the learners and their teacher [Emgard Ngeama],” explained the project founder, Orcha Kaevarua who works with another founder Bianca Mungunda.
The school caters to children between the ages of five to about 15, who due to various illnesses or injuries are required to stay in hospital for a certain period.
Ensuring these learners do not fall academically behind, they are taught the syllabus from where they left off at their respective schools.
Kaevarua said there was little for the children to look forward to between spending time at the hospital for check-ups and often being away from home, therefore, the team thought of making sure the learners walk into their classroom excited and able to shift their minds away from their current circumstances.
“These learners typically spend a few days to several months in the hospital before returning home. We strongly believe that the environment one is taught in determines one’s learning experience,” he added.
Various sponsors made the revamp possible.
“The team made some changes like painting the classroom, providing curtains, toys, stationery and learning materials, as well as a fridge, kettle and microwave for the teacher. We have completely revamped the classroom to make it a fun, yet safe learning environment,” detailed Kaevarua.
The other hospital school in the city is at Windhoek central hospital, which is dedicated to cancer patients.
Teacher Emgard Ngeama was emotional when her refurbished classroom was handed back to her.
“Due to Covid-19, we do not have enough room and space to practice social distancing. The class looks good,” said the educator, who has more than 30 years of teaching, specialising in learners who are visually impaired.
Ngeama said since the beginning of the year to 30 April 2021, about 130 learners from across the country have gone through her doors. She teaches English, mathematics, environmental studies, social studies, and arts and crafts to grades zero to seven.
“The longest these learners stay is about a week and then discharged, but it depends on their issues; some have broken legs, arms and so forth. I have 15 in the class right now. Those with severe conditions - I make sure that I gather the necessary notes and give them to their parents, since they can’t physically attend the classes,” shared Ngeama.
Ngeama stated that a hospital is not a good environment for any child and they need extra love and care. She pleaded to good Samaritans to assist in getting the young ones some toys and clothes, stationery like colouring books, pencils, crayons and even facemasks.