SOS Children in Namibia
Overview of Namibia
Namibia, the former colony of German Southwest Africa, occupies the very south-west of Africa.
The world's largest diamond producer, it is one of the most economically powerful African countries, thanks to its rich natural resources including copper, uranium, gold, lead, and tin. However, more than half the population depends on subsistence agriculture for its livelihood, and the region's susceptibility to drought, compounded by poverty and the increase in the incidence of HIV/AIDS have created immense social problems, particularly for children.
Our work in Namibia
We began our work in Namibia in 1985 when the first SOS Children's Village was built on the outskirts of Windhoek on the banks of the Arebush River. The village in Windhoek has ten family houses, a community house, a nursery school and two youth houses for the older children taking their first guided steps towards an independent life. Because of Namibia's poorly developed educational system, we also built and run a primary school next to the village, which is used by children from the local neighbourhood as well as the SOS families. A computer training workshop provides vocational training opportunities for 500 young people.
SOS Children's Village Tsumeb opened in 1997. Tsumeb is a mining town with approximately 20,000 inhabitants approximately half-way between Windhoek and the Angolan border. The surrounding countryside is dry and stony with hardly any trees. The community is situated on the outskirts of the town in a middle-class residential area and covers an area of 38,000 square metres. It has ten family houses, the Village Director's house, a guest house and workshops and administrative buildings. There is an SOS Nursery which is also open to children from the neighbourhood, after which children from the village attend a nearby state school.
In 1992 an SOS secondary school was opened in the coastal town of Swakopmund, with capacity for 600 students. There is also an SOS Social Centre that supports children and their families affected by HIV/AIDS.
SOS Children's Villages Namibia officially inaugurated SOS Children's Village Ondangwa on Thursday, 26 August 2010. The village started operating taking in 40 children in six houses. The entire SOS Children's Village and facilities were made possible through funding by Don and Shirley Green from Brockville, Ontario in Canada.
Aids Orphans in Namibia
See also Aids Orphan Projects in Namibia, Africa.
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 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.
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."
*name has been changed to protect privacy
SOS Children's Village Association of Namibia
31 Heinitzburg Street
Tel: +264/61/22 24 57
Fax: +264/61/22 40 85