By Frederick Philander
The SOS Tsumeb Children’s Village last week joyfully celebrated its 10th anniversary with a specially organized event at which the mayor of the town officiated.
The event, which was sponsored by Cell One, at which mayor Engel Nawatiseb was the keynote speaker, was attended by many invited guests from the town.
“There are some times and moments in my life, when I find myself trapped in search of words to express gratitude, joy and excitement. Initially SOS was just a name to me of another organization taking care of children, especially orphans and those vulnerable,” said Nawatiseb.
He further told the audience that he realized the magnitude of support that SOS is providing in long term family-based care for children in need.
“As I stand here today to celebrate with you, I am trying to capture ten years of dedicated service towards the well-being of the children offered by the care-givers that needed to make sacrifices to justify the cause. It is through unselfishness that today you can proudly celebrate ten years. Though tough and sometimes rough – you have made it,” the mayor said.
According to him a new SOS facility is also planned for Ondangwa in 2008.
“It is an indication that the vision, mission and values of the organization are strongly rooted in the nation and that your model for childcare is exemplary of sound developmental strategies for the child.
“Though you have arrived here after 10 years to celebrate, I am aware that it did not take a joyride to achieve this, but many long hours to find solutions to many challenges encountered in providing the best. ”
He thanked Cell One for investing in the organization and urged other local companies to do the same.
“My office will soon introduce a project that will cater for the street children that have no means of food. The street children are mostly from the Haikhom origin and many others.
“I therefore encourage you, to make food available especially from local hotels and restaurants that are still consumable. Our business people should also commit themselves towards social responsibilities and make their contribution towards needy hungry children.
“Hunger is still claiming more lives than AIDS, TB and malaria combined, therefore we should never forget the millions of people in places whose chronic hunger is hidden from our TV screens,” Nawatiseb charged.
“In Tsumeb, people living at nearby farms, those from the Soweto suburb and many other hungry families and school children are frequenting the health hazardous dumping sites on a daily basis to try and fill their stomachs with food that has expired and been dispensed by shops and restaurants. These death threats continue in our midst while others eat … abundance of food and so quickly forget about the plight of their fellow citizens,” he concluded.