10 September 2012

Namibia: Child Support for Destitute

Tsumkwe — With a high birth rate and rampant poverty amongst the San community, most mothers do not have the resources to provide their newborn-babies with the required nutritional needs and child-care support.

This situation prompted Ellanie Rossouw, the manager of Tsumkwe Country Lodge, to establish a community day care centre.

Rossouw decided to start the Cry for Help Day Care Centre for the children of unemployed mothers.

One of the workers at the centre, Renate Gomes, said the centre started in June and currently takes care of nine babies. Two minors who lost their mother following a shack fire, also visit the centre daily for meals.

"The mothers bring the children from 08h00 to 17h00 everyday and we help them to clothe the babies and at the same time provide sufficient nutrition needed by the babies to grow well. Since we depend mostly on donations, the clothes remain the property of the centre," she explained.

"The social worker normally communicates with our manager whenever mothers take their babies to the clinic. Some children came here very ill, we even feared that some of them would die, but the day care centre helped them a lot," Gomes said.

The centre currently rents office space from the Ministry of Gender Equality and Child Welfare for N$1 000 and an additional N$500 to use the kitchen facilities.

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