Orphans and vulnerable children (OVCs) were implored to take their studies seriously, as it is the best way ro avert poverty, as well as enable them to become contributors to the country’s economy.
These were words of encouragement shared by Prime Minister Saara Kuugongelwa-Amadhila over the weekend when she addressed children housed at Tsumeb’s Orphan and Vulnerable Children’s Centre (TOV) that hosted a belated 49th birthday party for the PM.
The prime minister used the opportunity to urge the children to focus on their studies and shun alcohol abuse, crime and unplanned pregnancies.
“I encourage the children to make full use of this opportunity accorded to them to develop themselves, especially by taking their studies seriously so that they can succeed at school. This is the only way they can be assured of a better future, one where they are empowered to live a life free of poverty and they are able to contribute to the development of our country.”
The centre provides shelter to vulnerable children living with HIV/AIDS, including orphans, and runs a kindergarten and school enrolment scheme that enrols affected children in school and pays the related fees. Over 230 children have graduated through the centre’s pre-school since its inception in 2001.
It was for this reason TOV came up with an initiative to host public figures at the centre to inspire and encourage the children. President Hage Geingob, former Prime Minister Nahas Angula, and Deputy Prime Minister Netumbo Nandi-Ndaitwah are among other notable prominent figures that have been hosted at the centre.
“This centre and its programmes are a true endorsement of sustainable community development by galvanising the community, individuals and corporate sector support towards community development initiative that targets vulnerable children.
“It is now globally accepted that sustainable development would require communities and corporate sector to work alongside Governments to provide targeted support to impoverished communities, to ensure that no one is left behind as the world seek to increase the pace of economic growth and development,” stressed Kuugongelwa-Amadhila.
While noting that it has become imperative to foster such cooperation considering the diminishing resources with emphasis on the unfavourable economic environment the country faces.
“I also call on other communities to emulate the example of the Tsumeb community of setting up this centre. Empowerment starts with oneself. The empowerment beneficiary must be the initiator and should be prepared to sustain empowerment initiatives that benefit them. This will encourage others to support their efforts and also help ensure that the initiative is sustainable,” she stated.