Keetmanshoop — As part of its objective to contribute towards the living standards of the vulnerable, Unisocial, a branch of the Universal Church in Namibia, last weekend handed over 80 grocery hampers to vulnerable persons in Keetmanshoop.
Explaining the role of Unisocial, Keetmanshoop-based programme coordinator, pastor Gotfried Shipena said the main objective of the organisation is to address the poor living conditions of the less fortunate, orphans and elderly.
“In Windhoek, we are running school feeding programmes, assist with stationery, clothing and meeting students halfway with their tuition fees at tertiary institutions of learning,” he said.
They also, according to Shipena, assist orphanages by providing formula for infants.
“Our biggest challenge, however, is that we are solely dependent on donations and fundraising activities to make the programme running, thus limiting our planned humanitarian activities at times,” he said. Keetmanshoop mayor, Maree Smit emphasised that poverty and all related social evils prevalent in the town make noble deeds like providing the needy with food an absolute necessity. She continued that the Keetmanshoop municipality, through its local economic development department (LED) also play an important role in addressing these socio-economic challenges through primarily focusing on small and medium enterprises (SMEs) development.
“As you might be aware, municipalities are mandated to provide basic services and land at reasonable prices, and through committing towards this pledge we are not in a position to provide the more immediate needs such as food and clothing,” the mayor explained.
She added that the municipality is in the process of constructing a new open market with ablution facilities that can accommodate 62 SMEs who have to carve a living under the current difficult circumstances in the country.
Smit furthermore informed the beneficiaries that the LED is also involved in other community initiatives like an egg production-and-backyard gardening project in the informal settlements. She expressed her heartfelt gratitude towards Unisocial for reaching out to the most vulnerable in the community and considering their immediate needs.
Charlotte Markus, one of the beneficiaries could not contain her joy when receiving her grocery hamper.
“I have three children, including a baby, and at times when we have no food at home the other two cannot attend school on hungry stomachs, that is why I want to say thank you very much to Unisocial for assisting me and other people suffering so much,” she said.