Quarterly Newsletter – April 1, 2017

Welcome!

This is the first of the Newsletters for the HOGH. They will be published every three months. A great deal is happening in Namibia. Your donations are helping raise the Community from poverty through the provision of food, health care, and education. The children thank you from the bottom their hearts!

Download a copy of this update here in PDF format HERE.

NEW MANAGER

In January 2017 we welcomed Thomas Weber into the position of General Manager of the Home of Good Hope.  Thomas is an economist with a consultancy business in Windhoek. His wife Mary Beth operates a kindergarten there.  He brings a wealth of experience in the management and support of various institutions dedicated to the education of children.
Over the years this has included kindergartens, schools and centres for disabled children throughout southern Africa.  He has gathered experience in determining the needs and challenges facing NGOs.  In helping them to become successful and sustainable, his work has involved support with their finances, staff monitoring and networking as well as communicating with various stakeholders and donors.

Since arriving Thomas has been extremely involved in the running of the HOGH:

  • He provides weekly summary reports to the Board of Directors on the activities of the soup kitchen.
  • He was instrumental in ensuing all staff have job descriptions to guide the monitoring of the work.
  • He co-ordinates volunteers services and seeks out volunteers.
  • He ensures that we have clean water and electricity.
  • He found a new commercial kitchen which is rent free.
  • He co-ordinated a multitude of other activities to ensure the smooth running of the soup kitchen.

A priority for Thomas as he moves forward will be to ensure all processes and documents are in place for acquiring the land on which we will construct our new building.

NUTRITION

The major goal of the HOGH is to feed children. The number of children has continued to rise over this past year to the point where 960 were arriving daily. This was unsustainable as it was not possible to feed this number at our site without negativity impacting the quantity and quality of the food.

Thus in February the difficult decision was made by the Board to bring the situation under control. We reduced the number of children to be fed to 700. Children 18 months to Grade 5 were selected as this group is designated most vulnerable by the World Health Organization. Older children who were deemed at risk for were also selected.

Food quality and quantity was improved. Preschool children are fed in the morning and the school-age ones have their meal in the afternoon.

Our food prepared in the commercial kitchen is transported to the HOGH site twice daily. We employ one fulltime cook, Gregory Imanga, and one halftime assistant. A nutritionist is consulted to ensure that the food meets nutritional standards and appeal to the children.

A cold Saturday meal is provided for takeaway –for example a boiled egg, peanut butter sandwich and banana.

Each Wednesday the Emmanuel Church congregation in Pioneer Park, Windhoek, donate food to the HOGH. This food is distributed to the poorest families in the neighbourhood. The children carry home bags filled with bones from the Spar Butchery.

HEALTH UPDATE—DOCTORS VISIT

The doctors (5 GPs, 1 eye-specialist, 1 dentist and 2 pharmacists) from USA/Egypt visited the HOGH. It was a huge success.

PHYSICAL ASSESSMENTS REVEALED BY THE VISITING TEAM:

  • The children are still undernourished. While they receive one nourishing meal at the soup kitchen each day they need a second healthy meal—many just do not get this. HOGH will augment their diet with extra fruit.
  • The condition of the children’s teeth is poor. The dentist worked non-stop and took time with each child, he was only able to 15 children. Names were taken of the many others who waited patiently in the queue for hours. WE DESPERATELY NEED VOLUNTEER DENTISTS!
  • The eye-specialist, from Windhoek, will contact local optometrists; to seek donations of eye glasses.
  • 25 European Nursing Students, from Finland, Netherlands and Norway (doing their Work Experience at the University of Namibia) helped the Medical team.

NURSING STUDENTS

Under Louise Pretorius’s guidance (Director of the School of Nursing at the University of Namibia) Nursing students from Canada and Europe do their practice experience at the HOGH. They participate in health education, assessment of the children and schoolwork assistance and play with the children. This programs offers continual guidance and support throughout the year.

EDUCATION

We are in the process of hiring two Early Education Teachers. There is great need for additional assistance for the children in support of their learning. The school system in Katutura is poor and is failing the children. Many are struggling to write their own names. We offer morning and afternoon classes.

Volunteers are instrumental in this program. Linda and Rebecca, two German volunteers are running the morning program for the small children. The older children receive homework assistance after school.

Grant Rau from South Africa and Paul Simon from Germany erected a shade net in the backyard of the centre. (hard work under the Namibian sun) This provides a more comfortable environment for older children—a ‘classroom’ for homework. Linda, Katarina, Rebecca and Hannah, all young people from Germany sponsored this shade net.

Young teens are receiving health/sexual education/HIV education. These learning materials were prepared by Canadian Nursing Students. Peacemaker Imanga will assists with these school programs.

Inga, an art teacher from the Netherlands has painted the walls of HOGH. She used sketches drawn by our children. (paint and brushes were sponsored by Thomas Weber’s wife.)

While the education system is free in Namibia, children need uniform in order to attend. We have many International donors supporting the purchase of school uniforms. This is an invaluable contribution as all children deserve the opportunity to be educated.

VOLUNTEERS

Over the years we have had hundreds of on-site volunteers from around the globe giving generously of their time. The efforts of the volunteers has been monumental in the progress of the HOGH. We have had individuals from all disciplines including:

  • Students of Nursing, Education, Nutrition, and Occupational Therapy contribute their expertise while studying at the University of Namibia.
  • Visiting teams of Physicians and Nurses.
  • Building and electrical help
  • Educators

We wish we could name each every person for their valuable assistance. Thank you!!

RECENT CONTRIBUTIONS

The Wild Dog Safari Company of Windhoek Namibia generously donated a large number of kitchen supplies – utensils, dishes, cooking pots and tables.

They have invited selected HOGH children to join them on one of their incredible safaris.

email Wild Dog Safaris HERE

CANADA

Vancouver group spearheaded by Natasha Chalke sent a large container of greatly needed supplies. The emptied container will be renovated to become a school classroom. Canadian Canadians ongoing commitment to provide funding for the administration of the HOGH (e.g. Salaries, accounting, lawyers, and architects) is invaluable! Ongoing food contribution is a given as well as contributions of all programs and initiatives.

“We want to thank the following groups for their generous contributions to the Home of Good Hope. Their invaluable support has been present since the very early years. Each group has their own HOME GOOD HOPE website wherein you will find pictures and details.”

Netherlands. Have been instrumental in the sports program as well as, funding towards the purchase of school uniforms and shoes. Contributions towards the food program has been ongoing, Maria works tirelessly with her Board, to show Namibian officials that there is Dutch support for the HOGH to move forward.
Friends 4 Friends Barbara and Andy represent a group from Germany that sponsors a group of ten children with their education. They provide school uniforms, supplies, transport, as well as ongoing monitoring. This is an invaluable service for these children. Support the food program and other initiatives has been part of their program.
Sweden. Frida, Caroline and Hannah have been vital in ensuring a joyful Christmas. Each year they make sure that all the children receive a gift. They too have supported HOGH activities and contributed towards food throughout the years.

GERMANY

Aktion Strassenkinder a German company lead by Uwe Waltersbacher have generously donated:

  • A shipping container with many and varied useful items as well as children’s toys.
  • Generously paid for the construction of 16 shacks in the past and Uwe is in Windhoek at present constructing 5 more. This shack-building program assists selected impoverished families by providing living space for the entire family.
  • Peacemaker Imanga and several locals have been assisting Uwe with this program.

LAND AND BUILDING

David Schroder a Chartered Project Manager Management Surveyor from Hong Kong volunteered to help us move forward in the land purchase and building construction. He and his wife Margaret volunteered for two months at the end of 2016. They worked tirelessly for the Home of Good Hope. Margaret has over ten years of experience in teaching English as a second language.

David and Margaret also worked tirelessly at the soup kitchen. They provided helpful suggestions regarding Hygiene; Learning Resources and Activities; Staff Interactions; Food (preparation; delivery and serving; quality, quantity and sourcing of suppliers).

Read more about the land and building HERE.

DRESSES

The Rannersmann family, owner of the Hotel Uhland in Windhoek, donated fabrics for 46 dresses for our girls. The mothers from our partner organization Mammadu Trust in Otjimuise, Windhoek, sewed them. KINDLE, a NGO from the USA, paid for the labour.

SPORTS

Congratulations to the Bronze Medal Winners!

ACCOUNTING

Our longtime friend and accountant Fran Aylott has retired from the HOGH. She has contributed far beyond the financial aspect to the soup kitchen and for this we are truly thankful! Her attention to detail is remarkable; she tirelessly pursued every receipt, a challenge in Africa. We always ensure transparency and accuracy in our accounting and Fran made this possible.

We have employed new accountants who will to continue provide quarterly reports. We provide audits each year. KPMG did our audit last year.

“OUR VISION IS FOR A NAMIBIA WHERE EVERY CHILD WILL REACH THEIR MAXIMUN POTENTIAL FOR GROWTH AND DEVELOPMENT”. YOUR GENEROUS GIFTS AND SUPPORT ARE HELPING US REACH THIS GOAL! THANK YOU VERY MUCH!

MONICA IS STEADFAST IN HER BELIEF THAT DIFFICULT ROADS OFTEN LEAD TO BEAUTIFUL DESTINATIONS. THANK YOU MONICA FOR YOUR YEARS OF DEDICATION.

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