By Surihe Gaomas WINDHOEK “TAKE time to do charity,” were the words with which the Minister of Gender Equality and Child Welfare, Marlene Mungunda, accepted the generous donations of blankets, mahangu, pasta and clothing to the Hope Aids Group and Venancius Rukero Aids Orphans and Vulnerable Children’s Foundation. As a joint venture between the two organizations, a call was made for society to assist each and every child as their very own. It is only in this way that Namibians would be able to make a meaningful contribution in the lives of needy orphans and vulnerable children in the country. At last Friday’s handing-over ceremony various organizations donated a variety of items as a kind gesture to the numerous OVC under the two institutions. While Kosmos Radio donated 700 blankets, both the Mangetti Farmers Group and the Ministry of Health and Social Services each gave 40 bags of millet, each weighing 20 kilogrammes. Amongst many others, Namib Mills donated pasta on a continuous basis and United Africa Group (UAG) gave clothing to the needy children of the two organizations. Speaking at the function, the Gender and Child Welfare Minister noted that in light of the devastating effects the pandemic has on many children, the time has come for Nami-bians to dig deeper into their pockets for the vulnerable. “It is only those with kindness in their hearts who can reach out for those in need. Actions speak louder than words,” said Mungunda, who is also the patron of the Hope Aids Group. Nowadays, there is a heavy burden and pressure on children, due to the growing pandemic. Other challenges include that of drugs and alcohol abuse, teenage pregnancy, while crime makes them vulnerable victims. “Thus, the onus is on each and every Namibian to take up the growing challenge of OVC at heart. Traditionally, many of the orphans are under the care of extended families, but this situation is becoming ever so difficult as a large number of young adults are dying. Thus, the burden of care and support falls mainly on the very young and the very old,” were the sentiments expressed by the president of the Association of Diplomatic Spouses Thoko-zile Nhongo who also spoke at the ceremony. “These children are missing a great deal from the HIV/Aids pandemic in many ways. They are missing parents, missing teachers, missing treatment, love and care, missing protection, missing many things except for the devastating effects of the disease,” explained Nhongo. She added further that in this day and age everyone should stretch out a helping hand to orphans. “Each one of us must come to care about everyone’s child … After all, when one of our children needs life-saving surgery, someone else’s child will perform it. If one of our children is harmed by violence, someone else’s child will be responsible for the violent act,” stated Nhongo. As much as mostly women and girls are the caregivers of those infected with the HIV virus, men are also being called to join in this noble act. “I now call on the men, especially all the playboys and sugar daddies of Namibia to join me that we can make a difference in society,” said Venancius Rukero, who has been living with the HIV virus for the past ten years and is also the coordinator of Venancius Orphan Trust. He added: “There is no greater joy than to feel that you have helped someone better their life.” The latest donation by the various organizations, individuals and businesses are seen to make a meaningful contribution in lives of the OVC and people living with HIV/Aids.
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