The Namibian (Windhoek)

Namibia: HISA Gives a Helping Hand in the Informal Settlements

HOPE Initiatives Namibia (Hisa) helps children in the shantytowns around Windhoek, which have been hit hard by the AIDS pandemic, through different programmes from their centre in the Kilimanjaro informal settlement.

They have been working with vulnerable people for more than 10 years.

While based in Kilimanjaro, they also do work in the Babylon, Okahandja Park and Okuryangava informal settlements. Many of the households in these areas are headed by women or even children, who do not have enough food, decent housing or enough money for school fees. Hisa provides opportunities and support for the people to make a better life for themselves.

They have a school sponsorship programme whereby school fees and uniforms are paid for those who cannot afford them. Two hundred school-going children in the Tobias Hainyeko Constituency have been supported by Hisa since 2006, with the assistance of Terres des Hommes from Italy.

At the Hisa centre in Kilimanjaro they provide a nutritious meal to 250 children daily. These children also attend the Hisa education projects.

The feeding programme is funded by Project Africa from the USA. The children also attend the preschool at the centre. Between 60 and 80 children from the ages of three to seven attend the preschool.

There is also a Kidz Klub at the centre where 40 young people meet four times a week to participate in dancing, debating, life skills, career guidance, homework help, art and music activities.

Hisa also has a garden project, as 90% of the registered beneficiaries do not have fresh vegetables as part of every meal and do not have home gardens. The garden provides the feeding programme with fresh vegetables. Caregivers are trained to start their own home gardens to provide their families with vegetables.

“Two weeks ago we opened our small library here at the centre and already many children from the community are coming here daily to make use of it,” said Patricia Sola, the founder of Hisa.

“The library is another step in providing education and support to the children to help them better their lives,” she added.

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