Hoza Friday as it is called by many people, is somewhat of an informal tradition that stipulates that the time has come to enjoy and be merry.
And for Kathy Hampe, who founded Lebensschule day care, her 10 staff and 32 children, this could not be truer after receiving a care package from businesses, civil society and charity.
Lebensschule day care center is located in Rehoboth’s Block B, and on Friday they expressed gratitude after a trailer packed with hygiene essentials and edibles was delivered to their doorstep through a partnership by Wutow Trading, SBS Trucking, Charitree and Rob Youth Foundation (RYF).
“This is a very welcome gesture and we really appreciate the help. We are trying to help these children and it comes at a much needed time with prices rising,” said Hampe who founded the day center six years ago.
The center caters for 32 children living with various needs, ranging from children living with disabilities, down-syndrome, cerebral palsy, autism as well as trauma to name a few.
“We assist these kids where necessary and we do not discriminate be it race, colour, or religion. The children come here and we provide a meal a day. However, we split them into two groups so that we can be able to assist them accordingly,” she said.
When asked on the general upkeep of the center, she said government chips in on a monthly basis with N$3 027, while two friends from Germany are kind enough to support by sponsoring N$10 700 for workers’ incentives. Another well-wisher from Austria forks out 1000 Euros after every six months.
“We do with what we have. Our budget monthly is N$ 16000 with water and electricity included. We provide the children with foot massages as well, while we have a doctor who sometimes comes from Austria.
“The doctor will be here on Monday (4 April). In addition we rehabilitate children who go through trauma. We have one child whose uncle was killed right in front of him. Now and then he begins to yell after a certain trigger, be it sound or sight, we just don’t know. So we care for him and try to alleviate the pain.”
She added that some children have a low sense of touch in which they try to stimulate as well, while they also have mouth guards that are given to children who suffer from sialorrhea – a condition that leads to drooling from the mouth, often as a result of weak or underdeveloped muscles around the mouth, or having too much saliva.
“At our center we do quite a number of things and one of them is helping children who have speech conditions, stuttering to be specific. So there is a voice coach who comes and helps out as well so that the children are able to speak.
“It is very humbling to see that what you and I call normal can be a task for others. At their age we were running about and living a normal life. Yet they have to work for it, and we are gladly helping them out in any way that we can. But this donation is very warming and will help us to take care of them even better,” she added.
Natalia Augustinus, RYF Erongo Regional Manager believes that anything is possible with a bit of love and care.
“This is quite amazing and at the same time eye-opening; to see what these children go through and to see them smiling. Everyone deserves a chance and it’s encouraging that the Lebensschule staff selflessly dedicate themselves toward helping those who are not fortunate enough to be able to utilize all their sensory and motor functions.
“As a Foundation this ties into helping the children and youth, and fostering their development and we are truly humbled. Once again our partners Wutow Trading, Charitree and SBS Trucking came through, and we leave this place today knowing that tomorrow we will go on to the next place and assist in any way we can,” said Augustinus.
Speaking on behalf of Charitree and Wutow Trading, Hennie Kruger said that this is the third time that this partnership has made a difference in life and there is more to come, before inviting other stakeholders to stand up and make other people’s future’s count.
“We’d like to keep it sustainable going forward and not doing fly-by-night or once off things. That is the plan. Currently we have enough resources but as long as our partners work with us we can do this – in future – on a constant basis,” Kruger said.
“The only challenge we face is probably logistics. We appreciate our partners, but then again, there is so much more we can do. Our business partners deserve to be commended for their stellar efforts and unflinching dedication,” he said.
SBS Trucking’s Financial Officer Remembrance Chiremba believes that change comes bit-by-bit and we all need to come together in order to steer lives in a positive direction.
“It is a humbling experience to deliver these goods to those in need. There is pleasure in giving, and this outreach programme is proving to be a pleasurable experience. I think in the long run it will open the eyes of other private sector partners to be involved, and we need to work together more so that we can shape lives,” said Chiremba.
The children at Lebensschule come in two groups meaning one child attends once every two days. The oldest person they take care of is a 26 year old, while the youngest is an infant who is one-year old.
Those who wish to be involved can contact Kathy Hampe on 081 665 0363.
In the photo: Lebensschule staff pose with some of the basic necessities received.