20 Oktober 2020 | Soziales

The value of giving

The Windhoek Life Change Centre (WLCC), which is a part of the Namibia LifeChange Centres Foundation (NLCCF), continues to support the most vulnerable groups in the community.

Mariselle Stofberg





The WLCC has been open for more than 19 years with the sole purpose of supporting the most vulnerable groups in society by assisting with their basic needs.

This includes providing food and clothes to pre-primary and primary schools and helping these children reach their full potential.

“In 2001, Schalk Pienaar approached the church council to open a centre. There was an urgent need for joint efforts to help find ways in which poverty could be alleviated in society,” said Wynand Fourie, one of the shareholders of WLCC.

“Through this, we were able to bring immediate relief to people and give hope to those in need,” added André Botes, the chairperson of the WLCC board.

Shortly after the opening, the need for more involvement at pre-schools in informal settlements and help with the training of teachers was identified.

“If you touch the hearts of children, you are able to touch an entire community,” Botes said.

Thousands benefit

“Approximately 1 000 children benefit from the efforts of Hands of Hope (HOH) and the Amos Meerkat project schools, both working in collaboration with the WLCC feeding schemes. An additional five schools receive assistance as part of the Namib-Mills feeding scheme,” said Magda Shamalaza, the coordinator and mentor of the Amos Meerkat Project Schools at WLCC.

Through this scheme, around 1 500 primary and pre-primary school learners are fed daily.

NLCCF

WLCC is one of the various centres across the country that form part of the NLCCF, which was established about 12 years ago. “The NLCCF serves as an umbrella organisation for various centres across the country and aims to help coordinate resources and funds through all these centres,” said Schalk Walters, the managing director of the NLCCF.

“If we work together, we are able to make a real difference in our country. We know Namibians are people who want to help, and through the NLCCF it is possible to meet the needs through the sharing of resources,” he added.

WLCC is involved at 20 pre-primary schools in informal settlements in and around Windhoek.

“A lot of the schools do not employ teachers with formal training and also have no constructive way of helping their five- and six-year-olds prepare for school,” Shamalaza added.

Educational booklets

Namibia Media Holdings, in coordination with the ministry of education, arts and culture, started to print and distribute educational booklets to primary school learners.

The booklets for pre-primary and grade one learners were based on the Amos curriculum, without Amos asking for any compensation for the usage of these booklets.

Children’s health

“The pandemic showed us once again how important it is to take care of our children. This goes so much further than just the classroom,” Shamalaza said.

“Children’s immune systems are directly influenced by daily meals and the nutrition these meals provide. Some of the children and pre-primary schools that form a part of the HOH feeding scheme at WLCC only receive one meal a day,” she said.

The lockdown has left many learners without the feeding schemes, but HOH saw the need and created food parcels for learners so they could have at least one meal per day.

“With the lockdown regulations and the current economic reality, it is very possible that some learners might not get any meals or food without the HoH schemes, which makes them more vulnerable and puts them at risk to contract the coronavirus,” she further added.

“We all know how traumatic the virus and lockdown has been on us, and especially on our children. With the help of these feeding schemes, we have been able to lessen the fear and pain these children go through, and that means the world,” Shamalaza said.

“We don’t have to move mountains, but when you are able to just touch one person’s life, that will have a ripple affect of which the impact is unimaginable,’ Fourie said.

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