Windhoek — A long-establised children's hostel that houses over 100 children in Windhoek has been without water for the past three months and is struggling to settle the bill which stands at N$50 000.
According to caretaker Norris Afrikaner, the education ministry discontinued its subsidy in 2016 due to budget reduction hence it has been difficult running the home that has no other source of funding.
The hostel, officially registered as Mother WIN Afrikaner Private hostel, known as Moria Grace, is situated in Dolam and cares for 124 children.
The place takes care of orphans and children whose parents are in sick beds.
Afrikaner told New Era that they were also told by the education ministry to reapply for the subsidy and got all the required documentation such as a police declaration, letters from the traditional authority and councillor confirming that the place exists and is an orphanage, but the Ministry of Gender Equality and Child Welfare never came to do the background check on each child.
Afrikaner said they prepare meals on the open fire and children survive on Mageu.
Afrikaner said they ask their neighbours and acquaintances for water but sometimes they are turned away because they need a lot of water.
With regard to flushing the toilet, she said they pour used bath water in the toilet pot.
Afrikaner also said they used to get donations from Germany and Australia but after they informed their donors that they were getting a subsidy from the education ministry, the donors stopped their aid.
Similarly, Afrikaner said, the government also stopped its subsidy.
"When we received the subsidy it really assisted. We didn't have the water disconnected or have to worry about what to eat. Children come hungry from school. Hunger and studying do not go hand in hand and it affects the children," Afrikaner shared.
The education ministry's public relations officer did not respond to queries sent to him on Monday.
A member of the public recently visited the hostel and shared the situation through photos on her social media page.
The Standard Bank employee shared the post with her colleagues which prompted the bank to donate food and other items to Moria Grace last week Friday on the bank's community day.
The bank donated two washing machines, two gas stoves, a gas cylinder and sanitary pads for the girls, among other items. The bank staff also treated the children to hotdogs and cooldrinks. Part of the day was spent singing and dancing with some of the 124 children who reside at the hostel.
Standard Bank's public relations and communications manager Isack Hamata said the community day initiative gives staff members an opportunity to reach out to those who are less fortunate than themselves.
"Community day is a celebration of giving back and creating hope in the communities in which we do business. It's what makes us who we are as a bank."
Hamata said they chose Moria Grace because their needs looked more pronounced than anywhere else.
"They are donor-funded and after the donors pulled out, they still have the same needs. The water is disconnected and one of our colleagues shared the photos and we decided on community day we should assist. They eat Mageu every day. It is a bad situation to live in and we are saying let's us look after each other and on community day we picked Morica Grace to shine light on their needs. These are Namibians living in these conditions and we said let's share what we have," added Hamata.