Windhoek-The national petroelum company, the National Petroleum Corporation of Namibia (Namcor), has donated a bakery oven worth N$130 000 to Walvis Bay Sunshine Centre, and materials and equipment worth more than N$28 000 to an HIV support group in Kavango.
The donation of the bakery oven to Walvis Bay Sunshine Centre was done in conjuction with the Langer Heinrich Mine as well as the Erongo Region Electricity Distributor (Erongo Red), which spent N$47 000 on upgrading the power voltage at the centre to accommodate the powering of the oven.
The Walvis Bay Sunshine Centre provides skills development to teenagers and young adults with physical or mental challenges. According to centre’s Elsa Murangi, the bread-making project is just one of the initiatives the centre has started to assist teenagers and young adults to become self-sustaining and independent.
The Kavango HIV support group, Kavango People Living with HIV Forum (KAHIVFO), would use the donated materials to establish a mushroom garden at Sikanduko, a rural community on the south outskirts of Rundu where KAHIVFO is based.
Handing over the materials last week Namcor representative, Albert Khevare, said when they got the request to support KAHIVFO, the company did not hesitate to do so, and immediately made arrangements to provide fencing and other building materials for the intended project. “We didn’t hesitate, as it directly falls within Namcor’s third social responsibility pillar of community upliftment and it directly supports government’s efforts towards agricultural production, specifically on food security,” Khevare said.
Murangi said that the bread-making project started in April only but is quickly gaining momentum as several shops already have standing orders. “This is how we prepare our people for the outside world. We want them to become responsible and independent citizens,” said Murangi.
Namcor is wholly owned by the Government and is involved in the exploration of petroleum products as well as purchasing and distribution of petroleum products.
Beatrice Sitali, the community coordinator of KAHIVFO, said they just needed material and equipment, and not necessarirly money, so that they can get the project off the ground.
The KAHIVFO forum was formed after the Positive Vibes Trust Namibia-funded programme, Positive Health Dignity and Prevention (PHDP), ended in 2005.
Sitali and other members of the support group realised the need to form and organise a forum to provide support, as well as represent the concerns of people living with HIV in the region, which they were able to start in 2015.
The forum has 397 members and 30 support groups in Kavango East Region. It renders support and counselling to people living with HIV, so they can live positively and work to ensure women are empowered through income-generating projects.
* Reporters Eveline de Klerk and John Muyamba contributed to this story.