Following his pledge last October to give 20 percent of his salary to the poor President Hage Geingob yesterday fulfilled his commitment by donating groceries to the poorest of the poor in eight constituencies of Khomas Region.
The donation included blankets, T-shirts, sugar, tinned fish and soup. Although only 16 people were present to receive the goods from the president yesterday, about 100 people from eight of the 10 constituencies within Khomas Region, excluding the more affluent Windhoek West and Windhoek East suburbs, will benefit from the donation.
Presidential press secretary Albertus Aochamub said the money used to buy the groceries for the President’s Winter Charity drive did not come from State coffers. “This is money that comes from the president’s purse. There are no public funds devoted to this,” Aochamub emphasised. He explained that all donated funds would be accounted for to ensure total transparency.
Four sponsors made contributions towards President Geingob’s Winter Charity drive. Hadago Fishing donated fish worth N$260 000. B2Gold donated N$30 000. First National Bank of Namibia donated N$50 000 and Swakop Uranium donated N$10 000.
The President’s Winter Charity drive is aimed at assisting the elderly and children in need. The donations will be distributed through the constituency offices.
Aochamub said the winter charity drive should not be something that only happens in winter: “Everyone should emulate the president’s example.”
Governor of the Khomas Region Laura Mcleod-Katjirua explained how the beneficiaries were selected. She said the identified 100 beneficiaries, as per President Geingob’s directive, are among the “poorest of the poor”. However, they are not the only people in need, she noted. “We’ve tried to the best of our ability to apply our knowledge and experience to select beneficiaries according to their living standards, which differ from constituency to constituency and household to household,” Mcleod-Katjirua said.
She urged the beneficiaries to use the goods they received wisely.
Furthermore, it was noted that the president will – with effect from July 1 – donate to the needy mainly through the First Lady’s One Economy Foundation charity. The funds will, among others, go primarily towards educating less privileged children. Each month, President Geingob will personally contribute N$20 000 to the One Economy Foundation for this purpose. An additional, N$160 000 backdated to November last year – when the pledge came into effect – will also be given to the Foundation.
The beneficiaries yesterday expressed their heartfelt gratitude through words of thanks and applause. “We’re very thankful to the president and everyone who made this possible for us today,” said 85-year-old Magrietta Afrikaner, who also prayed for God’s blessings over the president and those who made the charity drive possible.
People in the Epupa Constituency in the Kunene Region and the Tsumkwe Constituency in Otjozondjupa will be the next to benefit from President Geingob’s Winter Charity drive.