Connecting Children in the 21st Century in Namibia


Child helplines like LifeLine/ChildLine Namibia use modern communication tools to help children access the information and resources they need. Children are among the most disempowered groups in all societies, least able to get information, support and help when they needed. Children do not need to be alone. When their needs are ignored or misunderstood by the adults around them – they can reach out to our child helpline for help by simply dialling 061 23 22 21. Example 1: A 13-year-old girl tries to die by suicide but survives. She tried to kill herself because she found out she is HIV-positive. Her sugar daddy is not interested in her anymore. Her friend convinces her to call LifeLine/ChildLine Namibia and talk to somebody she can trust.ÃÆ’Æ‘ÀÃ…ÃÆ”šÃ‚  Example 2: A 12-year-old boy hides behind the house with his little sister. He is too afraid to go inside because his mother is being beaten by their drunken father. The young boy dials the Lifeline/ChildLine Crisis number for advice. LifeLine/ChildLine Namibia receives similar calls on a regular basis. The main reasons are children experience loneliness, hunger, abuse and other problems related to alcohol abuse in their direct environment. HIV and AIDS related problems rank high on the list, for example being bullied or shunned because a relative is HIV-positive or has died of AIDS, or because they worry about their own status. In the “global village” of the 21st century, help for children can be as close as the nearest telephone or computer. Modern telecommunications have closed the gaps between people in many ways and now millions of children all over the world can reach out for help wherever they can get to a telephone or computer. In Namibia children can also rely on the weekly radio broadcasts of Uitani Childline Radio as a tool for information. On 17th May 2007, the International Telecommunications Union, the UN agency for telecommunication services, celebrated the development of a world-wide “information society”. The ideal expressed in their 2003 Declaration of Principles is a world “where everyone can create, access, utilize and share information and knowledge, enabling individuals, communities and peoples to achieve their full potential in promoting their sustainable development and improving their quality of life”. The focus of the May 17th celebrations was children using telecommunication tools to enable their health development. LifeLine/Childline Namibia is joining the International Telecommunications Union in this celebration in Namibia as a member of Child Helpline International, an international network of child helplines. A film based on the work of the Uitani Childline Radio children is to be broadcast on Dutch television stations. Child Helpline International has member organisations working in over 150 countries to provide comfort, help and support to children in need of care and protection. They use modern telecommunications to enable even the very marginalised to reach out for help. Every year, Child Helpline International members respond to approximately 10 million calls from children in need – just like the examples above. For more information on the work of LifeLine/ChildLine Namibia contact us at LifeLine/ChildLine Namibia on 061 22 68 89.