By Confidente Reporter
AS part of his contribution towards community development and empowerment, local business personality, Knowledge Katti, has reached deep into his pockets and made N$1 million available to the Kuisebmond and Narraville communities in Walvis Bay.
The Knowledge Katti Foundation N$1 Million Revolving Fund will assist residents and vulnerable families from the two neighbourhoods to implement income-generating projects, and may also be used to provide start-up or operational capital for micro-enterprises.
Katti is a native of the harbour town and shares close and profound ties with the two neighbourhoods.
The announcement last week drew hundreds of residents to the Kuisebmond municipal chambers, as resident came to hear how they can potentially benefit from the N$1 million windfall.
The requirement is that residents must register with their churches, who will then submit their nominated list of names to the Knowledge Katti Foundation.
Beneficiaries will be expected to repay the money when they are in a financial position to do so, as there are no fixed-term repayment plans attached to the assistance. This means that the fund relies on the moral obligation of the beneficiaries to repay the money, so that others can also benefit. According the entrepreneur, he is motivated by the fact that there are many people in the town who are “pulling themselves up by their bootstraps”, but accessing funding for things such as restocking their shops or acquiring equipment, remains a challenge.
“There are families facing dire situations of disconnected basic services, such as water and electricity. Others are unable to buy shoes or winter clothes for their school children. This is where the Knowledge Katti Foundation N$1 Million Revolving Fund comes in,” Katti said.
“We want to see action where our feet touch the ground. I am extremely happy about this. In fact, we already started helping some families. This is because we believe that there is vast potential to move our communities out of poverty, to possibilities and prosperity.”
Katti explained that the clergymen and women will serve as an anchor, to encourage beneficiaries to utilise the funds in a way that will generate maximum benefits for the communities.
Fund administrator, Julia Enkali, maintained that the foundation is convinced that poverty can be rolled back, if individuals and businesses work together. “We are able to borrow millions of dollars to buy luxury vehicles and other items, and thus we should also be able to source funds to fight poverty. This means that if we bring our minds together, we will find solutions to the problem of poverty in our communities,” Enkali said.
“For example, since its establishment, the foundation has contributed in excess of N$60 million to various social assistance and poverty reduction interventions, such as education and housing.”
Enkali noted that they have assisted at least 108 students and settled the debts of several families, whose municipal utilities had been disconnected, especially elderly-headed households across the country. The foundation has also funded scholars to travel abroad, to places like Brazil and the United States, for purposes of exposure.
She stressed that the high levels of poverty in the country should give all citizens sleepless nights.
“Shacks burn down in Walvis Bay almost every day, and the meagre possessions of our people go up in smoke. In the face of these tragedies, we are too slow to help. We do not come to the rescue of those affected fast enough.”
Enkali did not shy away from saying this was “disheartening”, before making a nationwide plea to fight poverty with the same urgency, focus and determination used when fighting for public tenders, fishing quotas and Exclusive Prospecting Licences (EPLs).
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