By Engel Nawatiseb OTAVI The Otavi Village Council has come to the aid of three vulnerable children whom it provides food and other necessities following the death of their parents. The village secretary, Joshua Shilungu, told New Era yesterday that the trio would benefit in the form of school uniforms, textbooks, cosmetics, hostel accommodation and school fees for the first trimester to the amount of N$6 000. He said the assistance to the three, currently enrolled in Grade 11 at the Grootfontein High School and SI Gobs in Omaruru, would not stop and could be supported up to tertiary level pending their academic performance. Ingrid Tsuses, Lena Johannes and Benedictus Mattheus were reportedly selected amongst the best five Grade 10 pupils from the Otavi Khorab Junior Secondary school in December last year. The village council is now pinning its hopes on the three and many others to become the future role models of the town. “Even the most able bodied children from wealthy families are not graduating into medical doctors, engineers or geologists or scientists when considering our scale of expertise available in the country,” said Shilungu. He noted that vulnerable children could perform above average at school if granted the opportunity. ” We at Otavi are confident that our pupils will reach the best levels of education in their lives and return to Otavi to help our communities. Our vision is clear – grooming them into future experts in the scarcest fields of expertise. I am confident that the investment we are making today would yield positive results in the long run.” Shilungu pointed out that vulnerable children that lack the basic support in society usually drop out of school and therefore need to be supported by all stakeholders in society. He appealed to local business people and other stakeholders to set an example by initiating similar support initiatives at “home” before they lobby externally from donor agencies and Government. ” We all have a social responsibility towards our communities. I do not see any outside institution supporting our cause if we cannot help ourselves in the first place. It is time to focus our attention on vulnerable children, maybe it is worth trying instead of undermining their qualities and abilities,” stressed Shilungu. He urged other local authorities to follow suit as part of their social responsibility towards community members. The village council also set aside N$20 000 dollars to support an HIV/AIDS mobilization campaign and other related projects. Shilungu said that council was yet to prioritize the projects that should benefit through the application of the sponsorship in due course. He added that a green scheme project is further proposed by council in order to encourage self-sustaining projects that are poised to produce food for HIV/AIDS infected people at the town. The secretary will engage Government to purchase some farms for resettlement purposes for council to realize its dream of starting a green scheme project. “Our council owns large potions of land that are currently occupied by resettled farmers. We therefore want to move them to government resettlement farms so that we could reclaim ownership of our land and commence our projects (green scheme) and others that could benefit our people locally.” Shilunguinvited community members to attend council meetings in order to table ideas aimed at encouraging private/public partnership at the village.