Sponsor a child in Namibia
Namibia is faced with extremely high levels of both malnutrition and disease. Adults and children die every day from starvation, HIV/AIDS and other illnesses. SOS Children's Villages provides much-needed medical care to communities and helps bring security and stability to struggling families.
You can start supporting a Namibian child today by taking out an online sponsorship with SOS Children's Villages:Sponsor a child in Namibia
Malnutrition and HIV/AIDS kills thousands every day
Malnutrition is a huge problem in Namibia. 20% of the population do not have access to adequate food, and the situation is made worse by droughts and flooding. HIV/AIDS affects 13% of people, one of the highest prevalence rates in the world, leading to 6,700 deaths every day. Other diseases like Hepatitis A, Typhoid Fever and Malaria also have a devastating effect.
Children suffering from malnutrition and disease
Children are greatly affected by the lack of food and healthcare. Even compared with other African countries, stunting is a huge problem for Namibian children. Young children lose parents to HIV/AIDs and are often forced to work to put food on the table for an entire family. Those who become orphaned beg for food and money on the streets and are vulnerable to sexual exploitation.
Our work in Namibia
There are currently around 140,000 orphans in Namibia, and the number of children who grow up without parental care is on the rise. Life is unstable and families struggle to survive. SOS Children has provided essential services for communities, offering access to food and medical care and providing children with education and day care.
Windhoek is the capital city of Namibia and remains culturally divided. In the 1950s, black communities were driven to the outskirts of the city to an area called Katatura - “the place where we do not want to live”. Although living conditions have improved in Katatura, unemployment is estimated to be as high as 80% as more and more people migrate here in search of work.
Katatura is bordered on one side by a luxury golf course, a telling sign that Namibia has one of the most unequal wealth distributions in the world. SOS Children's Villages opened a village here in 1985 to support vulnerable children. Since then, we have provided essential care and services to families and to the community, and continues to support families affected by HIV/AIDs.
In northern Namibia, the town of Tsumeb is affected severely by lack of housing and employment. The entire town is serviced by just two toilet blocks, and sewage systems are often blocked or overflowing. The closure of the town's mine in 1998 resulted in soaring unemployment levels, and these have increased as a steady stream of migrants continues to enter the town in search of work.
The people of Tsumeb live in dangerous conditions, where tensions are rising and crime is worryingly high. Children are at risk of being neglected or even abandoned, and children with no birth certificates can miss out on an education. SOS Children's Villages supports families so that they can provide their children with a safe and caring upbringing, and also supports abandoned children by providing new homes in the Children's Village.
As in Tsumeb, the people of Ondangwa do not have proper housing and live in corrugated iron shacks. Lack of running water and sanitation, alongside flooding of houses and sewage systems, are a serious health hazard. Desperate people often turn to “Tombo” - a home-brewed beer that provides a temporary release from dire living conditions. Girls in particular are expected to provide sexual favours in return for alcohol, and unmarried women often engage in “transactional sex”, a horrendous form of exploitation where they sleep with more than one partner in return for gifts that they are dependent on. Needless to say, all of this has contributed to the HIV pandemic.
Thanks to a donation from a Canadian family, SOS Children's Villages was able to set up a Children's Village in Ondangwa in 2009 to support vulnerable children. It provides support and care to families and ensures that communities have access to medical care and education.
Life in SOS Children's Villages Namibia: Battling to learn? There is hope...
Twenty-year-old Valeria from SOS Children's Village Windhoek SOS Youth Home shares how she overcame learning difficulties, and now hopes to become a teacher.
"My ambition is to become a teacher", said Valeria from the SOS Children's Village Windhoek youth home. "I want to focus on more practical subjects such as agriculture (flora) and to emphasize the importance of sustainable development through the idea of 'living off the land'". Being a slow learner academically, Valeria says she has chosen this direction because she believes that there is hope for others like her:
"During my primary and early secondary educational phase, I've struggled to get a firm grip on absorbing the content of the textbooks. I had to develop my own ways and means to ensure that I understood the lesson or topic during my examination preparations. Apart from this, we were given assignments and reference guidelines, but I still struggled. My enrolment into the Eros Girls School provided me with an opportunity to excel in practical subjects, because I could observe the 'product' from the beginning to the end.
I've learnt that through practical experience, I could now relate much better to the lesson at hand and could speak more freely in class."I've decided to adopt this learning method, whereby, when a lesson was covered by the teacher, I would try to copy the experiment at home and record my own results in my home language. This method allowed me to question a lot of things and I would try and find answers in my textbooks or from books in the library.
*name has been changed to protect privacy
SOS Children's Village Association of NamibiaP.O.Box 23134
Tel: +264/61/22 24 57
Fax: +264/61/22 40 85