OMUTHIYA – Tov, an HIV/Aids Orphans and Vulnerable Children’s Organisation, has made an unprecedented decision to shut down its kindergarten at Tsumeb due to lack of funding.
The kindergarten has been in operation for nearly 17 years.
The kindergarten was established in 2001 and it mainly catered for the impoverished children within the copper town. The head of the centre reverend Edward Amadhila said Tov had to take the difficult decision because the kindergarten was eating up funds meant to supply for orphans and vulnerable children, which is the organisation’s core activity.
Amadhila added the organisation’s survival is dependent on individuals, especially international donors.
“Unfortunately this year, after 17 years, we have to say good bye to Tov Kindergarten. It was not an easy decision, but we have to take that decision. Tov core business is to take care of the orphans and vulnerable children in our community. Our mission is to improve the living standard of orphans and vulnerable in our community, therefore we can no longer sustain the kindergarten due to diminishing funding. For now we will focus on our core business,” he stated.
Furthermore, he said, the beneficiaries’ list of orphans and vulnerable children will be reduced in order to sustain the organisation because if it continues on the current state, it might close down for good.
“The biggest challenge is that, there is no possibilities for funding kindergarten in Namibia, thus we have to suck funds for materials and salaries of the teachers from the organisation’s coffers. We started the kindergarten because we realised a lot of kids were roaming the streets as they could not afford to pay fees required at other crèches. Thus we wanted to lay a solid educational foundation for them,” stressed Amadhila.
About 50 pupils were attending at the kindergarten, although Amadhila said they managed to place most of them at other crèches within town.
He hinted that, once funding is available, the kindergarten can re-open next trimester, adding “there is no meaningful development without funding.”
“Tov benefited from foreign funding and most importantly from capacity building organizations. These experts were able to train us and provide free business advise to small organizations like Tov. Unfortunately, with global financial downturn situation, most of these organizations were forced to withdraw from Namibia. Our own situation at home is not different with the economy that is not growing since the second quarter of 2016, we are all forced to cut our spending and the Tov Kindergarten is not our core business,” reiterated Amadhila.
In addition, he expressed dismay at private businesses for their unwillingness to provide support to kindergartens. “Companies are choosing which sectors to support, while kindergartens are also very important as they set the path and provide a foundation for the upcoming children. Therefore i plead for assistance from them. Three classes now lie idle, and it would be best if someone could come on board to render support, either by paying for teachers’ salaries, material, water and electricity bills,” pleaded Amadhila.