Windhoek – Standard Bank last November appointed a new father to manage Hope Village, a sanctuary for over 90 HIV/AIDS orphans and vulnerable children in Katutura.
Less than three months after his appointment as the Operations Manager at Hope Village, Kingston Makoni has already started making commendable changes at the home.
“I took up the opportunity to work at the village because I realised I could play an important role in the lives of the children, a role in which I can provide safety and security for them,” Makoni said during Standard Bank’s recent visit to the village.
Hope Village has been one of Standard Bank’s corporate social investment beneficiaries since 2008.
Makoni, who has over 17 years of experience working with NGOs, having previously worked with the San community and refugees, was appointed by Standard Bank to aid Marietjie de Klerk, the founder of the village with the day-to-day running of the village.
“My position is a new one, but I have received a warm reception from the children and they see me as a father figure.
I know I have an important task to mentor and guide the children,” he stressed.
Apart from working with the village’s five year strategic plan, Makoni also came up with a few of his own plans, which he has already begun implementing to ensure that Hope Village not only runs at its optimal best, but also helps the children become the best versions of themselves.
“I started with the staff and although they knew their duties, they were not appraised and that is something we worked on. Policies and procedures were non-existent but now we have them. I have also taken note of that the village needs to be visible as an NGO, so we can attract more sponsors so we are planning on starting a newsletter,” he explained.
Makoni added that he also implemented an after-school study programme for the children, because some were not performing too well in school. Most of the volunteers worked primarily in the childcare department, however he conducted a skills analysis and they will now be placed according to their expertise.
“There are some challenges that we’re still experiencing. Ample space where the children can study without any hindrance and a space for the early childhood development programme still remains a challenge,” he said. He said the community around the orphanage and their possible negative influence were also a challenge. However, they are constantly working to overcome them.
“I’m really appreciative that I have a great team that I’m working with and together we can accomplish a lot. The trustees, sponsors and Standard Bank have been immensely helpful and I have realised that I can’t do much [by myself], so we should continue on together. Only then can we go far,” Makoni remarked.