Newsletter May 2020

Hello Everyone, I hope you are keeping safe and healthy during this challenging time.

Thank you for your generosity in supporting the Home of Good Hope. For the last 13 years you have assisted up to 800 children per day to receive one very nourishing meal.

This support has been critical as, according to #UNICEF, 22,000 children die each day due to poverty. And they die quietly in some of the poorest villages on #earth!!

Significant Challenges

In recent months the operation of the HOGH soup kitchen has become untenable. The current program is not sustainable for the following reasons.

The soup kitchen is situated in a township area, Katutura, where there is no proper sewage disposal and raw sewage is ever present in the area. The site presents a health risk to the children, the staff and the volunteers. Also, because of the large numbers of children, it is almost impossible to ensure that the food is going to those for whom it is intended. Furthermore, the kitchen that we have been renting for meal preparation, is no longer available as the charity with whom we partnered is experiencing difficulties of its own.

Donors will be aware of our plan to purchase a piece of land owned by the City of Windhoek, in close proximity to the current soup kitchen. HoGH has had an application to purchase the land before the Council and although it has been reviewed by them on several occasions, each time they have deferred their decision. In late 2019 it became obvious to us and to our local advisors, that this could go on forever without a satisfactory result. With the need to now change the focus of our charitable work, the municipal site and the plans for that site are outdated and need to be changed. However, our need for land and a new facility is more crucial than ever.

A Change in Direction

As a result, it has been decided to separate from the existing manager and the employees. They intend to carry on with a soup kitchen, under a separate charity, based on a scale made possible from local donations and some International support. This change took place as of April 1.

However, it is our desire to continue to support some local families in these current very difficult times. Father Mark is a steadfast support person for us there, and over the years has facilitated medical teams to visit the HOGH to provide assessments and referrals. He has suggested that we could provide local families with a weekly bag of porridge, one of their staple foods. Work to determine the feasibility of this option and the steps required to make it operational, are underway.

In the longer term, we have considered several options for the future of the charity. Our initial plan is to build a small center, which will house a kitchen, classrooms and washrooms with adjoining playground. We will invite preschool children to participate. Additionally, we hope to prepare and deliver lunches for needy students at local schools.

Land Purchase

I had planned a trip to Namibia to address the planning and logistics of this option, as well as finding, and arranging for the purchase of land and a facility to house the operation. Covid-19 has changed this, as it has changed all of our lives. The trip and this work must be postponed until it is safe to travel.

Timing

With travel to Namibia not possible for the near future, our immediate work will go towards investing the resources that you have donated, to a revised program providing nutrition to needy persons in the area that we have served for the past 13 years. Once this is underway, our attention will turn to a sustainable, long term program. The timing of this second phase will be dictated by the coronavirus pandemic and the ability for me and a select group of volunteers, with expertise in the design and construction of the future facility, to travel and to work safely in Namibia.

Assist with an ‘aeroplan’ Donation

The donation of aeroplan points will assist by offsetting the cost of travel to Namibia.

Aeroplan will donate your air miles to us at no cost to you and add an additional 10% for miles donated. Your unused miles can assist Go to aeroplan website—donate points—search Home of Good Hope.

Thank You for Your Ongoing Support

With the rapidly growing use of food banks across Canada, imagine what it must be like in Namibia. This country was already experiencing severe draught and the collapse of its cattle industry with a corresponding shortage of meat. Now it must manage a pandemic, with the related damage to the fragile systems and supply chains that sustain its population. Your generosity keeps us going. Stay safe!

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