Number of Orphans Swelling

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By Anna Ingwafa WINDHOEK The Minister of Gender Equality and Child Welfare Marlene Mungunda says Namibia is home to around 156 00 orphans and vulnerable children. She disclosed this last week at the Namibia Red Cross Society where she received a donation worth more that N$ 230 000 of school-wear and other goods from Boundary Wholesalers. The donation comes to the Namibian Red Cross as a part of the business sector’s corporate social responsibility towards the vulnerable in the society. Boundary Wholesalers Managing Director Mohammed Ameen said the donation was not a favour to the Red Cross or to the community. “This is Boundary’s obligation to our community … for accepting such a humble contribution.” Ameen said his company has a plan in the pipeline to erect a school for street children that would cater for more than 600 of the vulnerable young. He appealed to the business sector to dig deep into their pockets by giving to those in need. To date, the Namibia Red Cross Society has numerous projects ongoing in collaboration with the partner donors to assist Orphans and Vulnerable Children (OVC). The Secretary General of the Namibian Red Cross Society (NRCS) Razia Essack-Kauaria said that the donation was gratefully accepted and that it showed that Namibia’s economic sector was forthcoming in rendering humanitarian aid to the most vulnerable, and she promised to give the donation to those who deserve it. The Namibia Red Cross Society in partnership with the World Food Programme (WFP) and OVC Food Support Programme are to distribute food on a monthly basis to registered OVC centres in the northern regions. Though the country has more than 150 000 orphans and vulnerable children, only 41 000 children get the grant of N$200.00 per month from the Ministry of Gender and Child Welfare. Some of those who are not getting assistance are not registered to get the grant, while others do not possess national documents.