“Namibia is one of the highest investors in education and for that we thank you Namibian Government, for the free pre-primary education and for plans to make secondary education free.  It is not the same all over Africa as young children in Nigeria, Malawi and Somalia are being robbed of their education through early marriages and sexual assault and other factors.”

These were the words of 15-year-old Iyaloo as she read a short speech at the Day of the African Child hosted by Family of Hope Services on their new site in Havana, Katutura.  The Day of the African Child is held in memory of the more than 500 learners who lost their lives in the 1976 Soweto revolution in South African.  The day is intended to celebrate the recognition of the human rights of children.

DSC00655

Fifteen-year-old Iyaloo, reading her speech before children attending Namibian Child Day in Havana, Katutura.

 

Hundreds of children showed up at the site and took part in the celebrations.  There was dancing, poetry, Iyaloo’s speech, and a drama presentation.  Students from the Namibian College of Arts attended as well and took photos of the event.  One of their colleagues, Norman Job, worked for weeks with Family of Hope’s drama club to perform two plays he wrote and directed:  1.  Entangled Conspiracy — a story involving a pastor, traditional healer and police officer that shows the corrupt practices and the abuse of power and position by individuals within our society; and 2. There’s No Sugar — a story about a young boy who cannot read and write at the age of 8 and how he survives with an alcoholic father, an abused mother, and a bully for a sister.  The play exposes the social issues often at play in Namibia.

The event was a great success.  “There are so many kids here.  We never expected such a high turnout,” says Abigail Bachopi, Director of Family of Hope Services.  “It’s rewarding to see the schools and community showing such support and collaboration in recognizing that we need to protect the rights of our children.”

The event was funded by Terres des Hommes out of Italy and Family of Hope Services.  It is all part of promoting human rights in the community under the initiative which Family of Hope has been delivering in the community for two years.

But there is still a long way to go before vulnerable children in Namibia are enjoying the benefits of those who have money in Namibia and of the majority of children in the western world.

While Iyaloo thanked the Namibian Government for what they are doing for children so far, Iyaloo herself is a victim of circumstance and one of thousands of children whose guardians cannot afford to send them to school.  In her speech she goes on to point out that,

“Even though we have free education in the younger grades, as children we feel that it’s not enough to have free education, but that other issues should be addressed as well.  What is the point of having free education if pupils don’t have transport to school or they go to school hungry?  It is vital that these issues are addressed.”

Iyaloo is one of the children on a waiting list for sponsorship for school at Family of Hope Services.  She is fortunate that she can come to the Family of Hope Centre for tutoring but Iyaloo is unable to write her exams without a sponsor.

Norman Job, script writer and director of two dramas performed by Family of Hope's youth at the Namibian Child Day.

Norman Job, script writer and director of two dramas performed by Family of Hope’s youth at the Day of the African Child.

Kids celebrating their human rights.

Kids celebrating their human rights.

 

Children from Pastor Gaingob's home.  He and his wife have taken in 16 children who were living on the street.  You can see that some of these children still do not have shoes.  It is a struggle all around.

Children from Pastor Gaingob’s home. He and his wife have taken in 16 children who were living on the street. You can see that some of these children still do not have shoes. It is a struggle all around.

 

A Family of Hope child, celebrating.

A Family of Hope child, celebrating.

 

The crowd.

The crowd.

 

Family of Hope dancers.

Family of Hope dancers.

 

Family of Hope youth leader, Anna Kayiwa, acted as one of the hosts.

Family of Hope youth leader, Anna Kayiwa, acted as one of the hosts.

 

Another youth leader, Mathew Daniel.

Another youth leader, Matthew Shilamba.

 

Children from Moses Garoeb school, reciting a poem.

Children from A.K. Katangolo Pre-primary school, reciting a poem.

 

Namibian College of Arts students from left to right:  Amutenya Kaija, Maggy Kauraere, Abigail Bachopi (Director, Family of Hope), Helean Litula, Haimbanga Imanuael, Terry Liang (local entrepreneur who came to assess Family of Hope's site to make it self-sustainable), and Sylvia Daisy Gawaseb.  Two of Family of Hope's children are standing in front.

Namibian College of Arts students from left to right: Amutenya Kaija, Maggy Kauraere, Abigail Bachopi (Director, Family of Hope), Helean Litula, Haimbanga Imanuael, Terry Liang (local entrepreneur who came to assess Family of Hope’s site to make it self-sustainable), and Sylvia Daisy Gawaseb. Two of Family of Hope’s children are standing in front.

 

 

The two primary event coordinators, Foibe Silvanus, Family of Hope's Community Development Officer, and Ana Paulo, Family of Hope's Director of Education.

The two primary event coordinators, Foibe Silvanus, Family of Hope’s Community Development Officer, and Ana Paulo, Family of Hope’s Director of Education.

If you want to sponsor Iyaloo or any of the other children on our waiting list, please do here:

Sponsor Iyaloo