History of Home of Good Hope

Monica Imanga and Eileen Greene, a Canadian Nurse met at Katutura Hospital while Eileen cared for Monica’s beautiful 16 year-old daughter Maria who died of AIDS. Monica and Eileen became friends. In 2007 they started a “soup kitchen”, in memory of Maria. They called it The Home of Good Hope, and began with a view to providing food for about 40 children who were HIV-positive. Eileen personally provided the funding and Monica did the cooking for the soup kitchen, in her humble home. Monica transported the food by local taxi to nearby Katutura, a poverty-stricken township where many of the children lived. At that time they had no structure in which to serve the food, so it was doled out as the children squatted on the side of the road. Soon it was found that there were many other children in the neighbourhood who also only received food sporadically so they invited them to join in on the one meal a day they were able to provide.

As the years went by the numbers of children who desperately needed help grew to several hundred and the cost of the program became more than Eileen could personally handle. So she started fund raising in Victoria, BC. The soup kitchen continued to feed the neighbourhood children one nutritionally balanced meal a day. It was decided to restrict our assistance to those children between 18 months and 15 years of age, as they were the most vulnerable.

Meals were served Monday through Friday. Over time, it was determined that a number of children were not eating from the Friday meal until Monday of the next week. The feeding program was increased from 5 days a week to 6 days a week so that, now, the children each received one cooked meal per day on weekdays, and sandwiches on the weekend. Today the pre-school children eat in the morning and the school-aged children the afternoon, and They now have a small structure (little more than a shack at the side of the road) where they get the children out of the elements to be fed. The children sit on benches or small plastic chairs and staff or volunteers dispense food. The space is also used for after school activities.

As a result of increasing numbers we are feeding 800 children aged 18 months to 10 years of age plus a few selected high-risk youth in the small shelter on the side of the road. Over the years it has become increasingly clear that if they had a building it would greatly enhance their ability to serve those who utilize the “soup kitchen” and, at the same time, make food preparation and service safer. They envision building a structure with a commercial type kitchen and two large rooms — one for the little children and one for the school age children. The building will also enable them to better support their education and health promotion activities. However, before they can construct a building, they need to acquire a piece of land.

Many attempts have been made over the years to buy a piece of land in the neighbourhood that they serve. We soon hope to receive permission from the municipality to build.

They are therefore prepared to start the construction of the structure immediately on receipt. Building design is complete and architects/builders have been selected with Peter and Ali Gustavson of Victoria funding the structure. David Schroder, a British subject instrumental in development in Hong Kong over 29 years is lending his expertise to commence, and see through the new HoGH. A Netherlands group is offering support to the building project.

Namibia Management Team:

Louise Pretorius (PHD Nursing) as a Board Member ensures an ongoing presence of volunteers, as a result of her association with the University of Namibia. Dr. Louise Pretorius, the Dean of Nursing and head of the International Department, facilitates international students’ educational opportunities at the University of Namibia. They have an understanding that the international Nursing students who attend the University of Namibia volunteer at the soup kitchen. As a result of this association and its perceived charitable value, they have active Europeans donors, who generously contribute to the Home of Good Hope soup kitchen purposes.

Althea Walters (PHD Nursing) is the business manager of the Home of Good Hope. She has a long standing association with the Home of Good Hope and together with her husband, John Walters (Ombudsman for Namibia). they have graciously housed numerous visitors and volunteers of the HOGH. They actively advocate on a municipal level for the betterment of a healthier environment for the children. Althea deals with the daily business aspects and ensures that all donations are directed to Ursula for accurate accounting.

Monica Imanga is the Operations Manager of the Home of Good Hope, Her expansive job includes staff supervision, ensuring that the children are well fed and cared for, and that all activities which occur at the HOGH are in the best interest of the children, Eileen Greene volunteers to ensure that there are adequate donations to enable the Home of Good Hope to functions at its optimum capacity and to ensure arrangements are in place for this legacy to continue for years to come.

Ursula Webb as a bookkeeper keeps detailed accounts of all expenditures. Yearly audits are done to maintain accountability.

To further substantiate the importance of this charitable work. Eileen Greene travelled to London July 2015 to receive the International Care Ethics Observatory’s Human Rights and Nursing Award for the charitable and humanitarian efforts in Namibia, with respect to the Home of Good Hope. Representatives from 45 countries attended the recognition ceremony, giving this Namibian initiative centre stage and global recognition.

It has been a privilege to watch the Home of Good Hope grow and children thrive. Thank you for your consideration re the future land purchase. Construction of the building will commence as soon as possible.