New Era Publication Corporation (NEPC) Social Club presented goods to the value of over N$2 000 to Naftaline Mauha, the founder of Tears of Hope Orphanage at Mondesa, Swakopmund over the long weekend.
The donation by the club included bags of rice, sugar, porridge, gallons of cooking oil, toilet soap and sanitary products that included nappies. The presentation was part of NEPC Social Club’s social responsibilities.
The 56-year-old Mauha has for years been an HIV/AIDS counsellor and home-based caregiver, and has with a help of donors turned her 6-bedroomed house in Mondesa into a safe haven for homeless children.
She currently cares for over 20 children, the youngest being a five-month-old girl named Pupenandjambi (Where there is a Lord).
Mauha said she wishes that her boys and girls will one day grow to become responsible Namibian citizens.
She said that at first she registered Tears of Hope as a welfare organisation and since then orphans and HIV-positive mothers with nowhere else to go have been arriving at her doorstep.
Asked what challenges she faces, Mauha said one big challenge is government requirements in obtaining help.
“You see it is very difficult to get help from government because of the questions they ask. Yet there are many children roaming the streets but still government will ask a lot of questions of those that are taking care of the children…” she said.
“Well brought-up children’s can play a very big role when they are adults in fighting poverty, so therefore it is very important for us to try and take children off the streets,” she said.
She also used the opportunity to thank businesses and individuals that have been supporting the orphanage in any way.
“Let me remind our community that every little counts, whether it is toy or a blanket, so please support us in any way,” she said.
Meanwhile, according to the SOS Children’s Village Association of Namibia, the current estimate is that Namibia is home to around 140 000 orphans.
About 70 000 of them have been orphaned because of AIDS.
Children who lose their parents due to HIV often lack a caring family environment. In many cases, their most basic needs are not met and they are vulnerable to commercial sexual exploitation and forced labour in the streets of Namibia’s cities.