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Children in Namibia face starvation, malnutrition and diseases such as HIV/AIDS. SOS Children's Villages provides essential support for struggling families, from food relief to medical care. We have worked in the country since 1985. … more about our charity work in Namibia

As thick as thieves!

Ivan, Olivier & Haufu have grown up together as SOS brothers
Ivan, Olivier & Haufu have grown up together as SOS brothers

Seven-year-olds Olivier, Ivan and Haufu are the best of friends. They are also SOS brothers at the SOS Children’s Village Ondangwa in northern Namibia. As thick as thieves, the three boys share a room and do pretty much everything together.

“We share everything and eat together too,” says Olivier. “Once when I was sick, I had to stay at home and I could not go to school with my brothers. I did not like that!” “Ivan and Haufu came back from school and immediately went to check his temperature to see if he could play with them,” laughs the boys’ SOS mother, Monika.

A difficult start in life

The boys haven’t always been surrounded by so much love and happiness however. Little Olivier in particular had a very tough start in life. When he was just a baby, his mother left him with his father, never to return. His father struggled to care for his young son and when Olivier became ill one day, he abandoned him at the nearest hospital.

Just three-years-old, Olivier was left all alone in the world. The hospital staff nursed him back to health and tried hard to find him a new home. With nearly 30% of the population living below the poverty line in Namibia, child abandonment because parents simply can't afford to care for their children is a real issue.

Luckily, a brand new SOS Children’s Village had just opened in Ondangwa, not too far from the hospital. The hospital staff quickly contacted the Village and explained the desperate situation Olivier was in. A few short weeks later and Olivier found himself living at the Village under the care of Monika, his SOS mother. He was quickly joined by Haufu and the two became fast friends. As time went by more children joined the family and today Olivier has nine brothers and sisters, including, of course, his best friends Ivan and Haufu!

Children playing, CV Ondangwa, Namibia
The Children's Village in Ondangwa, Namibia has been offering vulnerable children the chance to have happy, healthy childhoods since 2009

A bright future

As soon as he joined the Village, Olivier began attending nursery school. It was clear from the outset that he was very bright. He has continued to work hard and last year received the coveted maths prize! “I couldn’t wait to show Mama my award,” he says. “I want to be a doctor one day when I finish school.”

“He is such a clever boy, I am very proud of him,” says Monika. “But he is also very kind – the other day I found him sitting alone, thinking, and he asked me if I will be there when he finishes school. I said of course! He replied that the first thing he wants to do when he’s finished school is to buy me a bicycle.”

Until then, Olivier continues to spend every spare minute he has playing with his brothers and best friends, Ivan and Haufu!

We have been working in Namibia to give children like Olivier a loving home since 1985. Discover more about our work in Namibia.