Safe harbour for vulnerable children at Promiseland
A Walvis Bay charity that supports about 1700 vulnerable children with food on a daily basis, recently received very good news when the operator of the Walvis dry dock announced it will help by building a play school.
Ship repair company Elgin Brown & Hamer (EBH) Namibia said it is committed to bringing about positive and tangible changes in the communities in which it operates, especially when it comes to those who are most vulnerable – the orphans and street children of Walvis Bay. “So, when an opportunity arose to assist in supporting local non-profit welfare organisation, the Promiseland Trust, EBH embraced it, pledging significant funds for the building of a play school. Hannes Uys, Chief Executive Officer of EBH Namibia explains: “At EBH we are only too aware of the plight of those who continue to live below the breadline, despite the economic growth Namibia has experienced. The disparity in income, employment and access to resources in urban areas is extremely worrying, and as a concerned corporate citizen, it is our duty and our pleasure to be in a position to reach out to the local community and help make a difference.” The number of children who report daily to the Promiseland facility in Tutaleni, Walvis Bay, to receive a plate of warm, home-cooked food is testament to the serious socio-economic needs in the area and the unemployment rate, which is estimated at around 36%. Approximately 1,700 children benefit from the sustenance scheme on a daily basis: 1400 school children, 50 children at the morning play school and 250 children during the afternoons. While Promiseland, which is successfully managed through six trustees, is pleased to be able to provide nutritious food, the organisation acknowledges that the needs of these children extend beyond daily meals. “These children need not only food, shelter and medical supplies, but a safe environment which is conducive to learning and well-being,” says Pieter Greeff, Chairman of the Promiseland Trust. “It is for this reason that we saw an urgent need to expand our current facilities and build extra classrooms. We are extremely grateful to EBH Namibia for the generous donation towards this building project.” The project involves the building of three classrooms and other amenities, and should be completed by the end of this month. “The new educational facility will provide extra space for sixty children between the ages of three and five. The children are cared for from 08:00 until 12;00 in the afternoon. During this time they follow an education programme facilitated by permanent employees of the Trust and volunteers of the Red Cross Society. They also receive two meals a day – breakfast and lunch, explained Greeff. “The success of the organisation depends on the generosity shown by individuals and companies such as EBH Namibia. It is largely through their support that we are able to care for these children on a daily basis,” Greeff said.