By Maria Kandjungu
FROM participating in the Windhoek Charity event, twenty two year-old Edwin Nangolo, Abigail Shitaleni (24) and Michael Erickson (32) from Ongwediva and Oshakati in the Oshana region decided to bring charity at home by starting the Northern Charity Event.
This charity initiative especially aims to improve the lives of the less fortunate children and vulnerable families residing in Oshana, Omusati, Oshikoto and Ohangwena regions with the hope of reaching more people in need in the whole northern region in the future as it grows and eventually becomes a fully registered non-profit organization. One of the founders of the Charity Michael Erickson told Confidante that being part of Windhoek Charity event when they were based in the capital city for their studies, made the three youth realised that while events of this kind are very beneficial to the communities, and most participants (in Windhoek Charity event) are from the northern part of the country, such initiative are absent in their own regions.
“We may have limited numbers of formal shelters and orphanages in the northern regions but we have plenty of vulnerable children in our communities. We have children that are fending for themselves while others are raising each other and missing school because they have no uniforms or food. We want to help as many of the children as we can,” he said.
Erikson said that although SOS in the north are doing a good job with taking care of vulnerable children, they are however scares and only reach a small percentage of those in need. He further said there are so many children who are living in bad conditions such that those in homes are better off in comparison. The initiative targets schools to help them identify most vulnerable children who are in need of assistance and they have so far identified over 300 in the northern regions. “We do not want to limit the event to the four O-regions but due to the limited resources, such as transportation we are only able to access this regions for now,” he further explained that most of the people involved in the initiative are student and unemployed therefore coming with limited resources. According to Erikson, the initiative has been well accepted by the northern community especially youth who have decided to participate. “Schools have welcomed us with open arms and they are very assisting. We just finished drafting the donation letters which we will give to corporate, businesses, entrepreneurs and individuals who we will approach for assistance,” he said.
The Northern Charity accepts donations of any kind, including children’s clothing, school uniforms, toys and books (old or new). They will hold a fund raiser event on the 8th September 2018 at the Oshakati Stadium. The event will be a fun day tournament with various sports codes, such as soccer, netball, volleyball, and chess. Organisers plan to make it an annual event depending on the success of this year’s event.
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