Katarina Uupindi and Emmency Nuukala
A struggling and unemployed mother of four said she had contemplated taking her own life and that of her children in the past in order to escape poverty.
The 41-year-old Anna de Koker was gifted with a new home last week after members of the community mobilised resources to build the family a shack in the Havana area.
De Koker was on the verge of being evicted from a shack that she and her five children were living in, over outstanding rent. “I suffered a lot and I sometimes thought I should kill my children and myself. What was my purpose on this earth?” she said in tears.
She added that the fathers of her four children are absent and do not support any of the children. “I have suffered a lot, I am grateful for this gift,” she said.
Her fifth child, who was 11 months old, sadly died last December due to malnutrition and other complications.
Her surviving children aged 22, five, four and two survive on handouts, parcels from the food bank and assistance from friends and the community.
Though the assistance keeps her family going monthly, it is not sufficient to sustain all their needs.
Community members came to her rescue after she defaulted on her rent of N$250, by building her a one-bedroom shack. The efforts to raise the money was led by community activist Elifas Nghitomoka and Victoria Shikesho.
The members of the community collected N$3 000 which was used to buy corrugated iron sheets and wooden poles to build her a new home. The remaining funds were used to buy food, two blankets and other needs to sustain the family.
“People are really coming out in numbers to help out. We should be able to give out the little that we have and not have people suffering in our communities,” said Nghitomoka.
Shikesho said they used the power of social media to reach out to the community in order to assist the destitute family.