After-school programmes in northern Namibia
The country of Namibia, situated in southern Africa, is twice the size of Germany, with around 824,000 square kilometres, but has only two million or so inhabitants.
Namibia is home to many peoples such as Owambos, Hereros, Damara, Namas, San and descendants of Boers and Germans.
The Owambos alone make up over half the population.
Namibia has been an independent republic since 1990. Its capital city is Windhoek. The strongest political party by some margin is SWAPO (the South West Africa People’s Organization). The first President of Namibia, from 1990 to 2005, was Sam Nujoma; he was succeeded in 2005 by Hifikepunye Pohamba.
Politically speaking, Namibia is a stable country. With an average monthly income per capita equivalent to around 120 euros, Namibia is not one of Africa’s poorest countries. Nevertheless, Namibia is the most unequal country in the world in terms of income distribution. The unemployment rate is around 40%, with many people living in abject poverty. Over half of jobs are in agriculture. Livestock farming (sheep and cattle) in particular is an important industry sector. Mining (diamonds and uranium), tourism and fishing also play a significant role in the Namibian economy.
Major problems in Namibia include HIV/AIDS (around 20% of adult Namibians are HIV-positive), poverty and the lack of (further) education. The large number of people affected by HIV/AIDS has led to a large number of orphaned children, some of whom are raised by adult relatives (e.g. grandmothers), some by elder siblings (so-called child-headed households). The disappearance of a generation of working-age men and women due to illness or premature death has plunged many families into poverty. Of the only two million people living in Namibia, nearly half (44% - almost exclusively Owambos) live in the largely rural central northern region. The Ohangwena region, the poorest area of Namibia, is also home to the project supported by action five.
Since April 2009, action five has been supporting the after-school programme run by the NGO Ohangwena Regional Youth Cultural Group to the tune of 430 euros per month. The NGO helps 15- to 17-year-old pupils in need (particularly orphans and children from families affected by HIV/AIDS).
This help comes in the form of:
- advising and, if appropriate, referring them to people that can help submit applications for state support
- help with homework and school work five days a week and provision of equipment for school
- helping the children undertake sporting and artistic activities (e.g. football, volleyball, netball, plays, music, drawing, writing poetry)
- a weekly soup kitchen for children in need.
During the school holidays, the children are taught
- the dangers of drug and alcohol abuse
- avoiding HIV infections and teenage pregnancies
Up until now, it has been possible to help 180 orphans and children in need from five schools with their homework and sporting activities. 80 children come to the soup kitchen. The 16 members of the Ohangwena Regional Youth Cultural Group who are working on the project offer these services on a voluntary basis. The Ministry of Education of the Ohangwena Region has expressly authorised the after-school programme and supports it by making the school buildings available. The municipal administration in the town of Eenhana, the capital of the Ohangwena region, has supported the project by providing a field in which food can be grown.