SSC Fund enhances lives of Uiba-Oas members
The Uiba-Oas cooperative and their gemstone miner’s cooperative is one of many projects that the Social Security Commission’s development fund has assisted with the aim to better the lives of the community.
Acting SSC CEO Emma Kantema-Gaomas said, “The Social Security Commission’s development fund aims to provide financial and technical support to community based projects and enterprises that have the potential to create employment, as well as funding training initiatives for the benefit of the socio economically disadvantaged Namibians.”
According to her, the cooperative, together with the Dreamland Gardening Project received a boost of N$1, 7 million from the SSC development fund less than two years ago and the impact on the lives of this small community has been amazing.
Kantema-Gaomas said that the funds were used to construct a kiosk which generates additional funding for the 54 people and their more than 200 dependants, while also being used for training in record keeping, monitoring and evaluation for greater accountability and control.
Furthermore, the funding has allowed the cooperative to construct a workshop at the Crystal Market where raw gemstones are polished, cut and manufactured into jewellery, clocks and other decorative items.
“We are proud of the achievements of the Uiba-Oas cooperative, as we know their members toil hard and long hours to extract the stones by hand from the Brandberg and Spitzkoppe areas,” said Kantema-Gaomas.
She added that Uiba-Oas means ‘seeking a livelihood’ in the Khoekhoegowab language and through the support by the SSC development fund they have been able to create a life for themselves.
Meanwhile, according to Kantema-Gaomas,members receive a monthly salary and even more importantly have been able to sign up for Employees Compensation and MSDF benefits offered by the Social Security Commission.