By Petronella Sibeene WINDHOEK Christmas has come early for some Orphans and Vulnerable Children in Windhoek who yesterday received gifts such as toys and sweets from the Christina Swart-Opperman Aids Orphan Foundation Trust. The charity organization and its partners were instrumental in putting joy into the lives of these children when they were presented with sweets, soap, toothpaste, chips and other items. Most orphaned children are deprived of a loving hug, an ear to listen to their problems or a caring person to wipe away those tears. The number of orphans keeps growing in Namibia, especially because of poverty and HIV/AIDS. Most of them live in terrible conditions, with little to eat. They feel abandoned and are afraid of what the future has in store. Speaking at the hand-over ceremony, Founder of the Trust, Christina Swart-Opperman, reminded Namibians that Christmas is the time for counting one’s blessings and good fortunes. It is a time to reflect upon many privileges one enjoys especially with the family. There are, however, many children in the country who do not have that privilege of being part of a ‘proper’ family unit. She called on Namibian people to show compassion towards these unfortunate children and also commended all business partners in this venture for the gesture and urged other businesses across the country to follow suit. The 1ÃƒÆ’Ã†’Ãƒâ€ ‘ÃƒÆ’ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ã‚Â¬Ãƒ…ÃƒÆ’Ã†”Ã…Â¡ÃƒÆ’Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â 000 wrapped gifts were handed over to 12 orphans and vulnerable children from Baby Haven, 55 to Pashukeni OVC Kindergarten, 61 to Family Hope Sanctuary, 66 to Mother’s Voice Grassroots & HIV/AIDS Care, 100 to Shalom Centre, 309 to Olof Palme Primary School, 182 to Schuksmans Burg Combined School in Katima Mulilo. TOV Multi-purpose Centre in Tsumeb received 30 while Uiseb Primary School had 96 beneficiaries. The Good Hope Hostel also received 89 gifts. Gifts were sponsored by Alexander Forbes, British-American Tobacco Namibia, Commercial Investment Corporation (CIC), H & H Furniture Removers, Methealth Namibia Administrators (Pty) Ltd, Mobile Telecommunications Ltd and Nando’s Namibia. Alexander Forbes representative, Erika Reissner, said most people in society turn a blind eye to the plight of OVC. She called on the business community to emulate this example and open their arms to these children especially over this festive season. “OVC need a helping hand, and any contribution shows one’s commitment to better these children’s lives,” added Florian Amulungu from Methealth Namibia Administrators. He noted that every small token brings a smile to the faces of the children. MTC’s representative appealed to the people of Namibia to remember these children who might feel they have no future. “It is time we take hands and fight this battle together,” he said. Giving to the needy is in line with Vision 2030 and the ideals that call for the building of a just and caring society. The Trust, launched in February 2003, has as its vision to contribute towards social reform in Namibia. Its specific objective is to uplift and improve the quality of life of AIDS orphans by participating in programmes dealing in education, care, feeding schemes, prevention and psycho-social support.