Prosperity meaningless when children still die of preventable disease
Ilke Platt-Akwenye, Johanna Coetzee and Ruusa Akwenye with learners of the Windhoek International School at last week’s launch of Poiyah, a charity founded by the Platt-Akwenye family in gratitude of their own extensive prosperity.
The launch saw many parents buying used toys to kickstart Poiyah’s first fundraising. Poiyah is derived from the names of the Platt-Akwenya children, Popyeni and Oiyah. It is the new charity’s intention to help underprivileged children with basic necessities in general, as well as other children suffering from terminal diseases.
“One of its aims is to instill the culture of giving to those in need at a very early age. In an attempt to get support from the public, Poiyah wants to advocate on behalf of those that are not in a position to do so. In the near future Poiyah would want other families to embrace this culture” ssaid the mother of Popyeni and Oiyah, Ilke Platt-Akwenye.
She re-iterated the importance of community involvement saying “This country would be such a better place if each family who is in a position to give back, could support at least one child. These are the small gestures that can make a huge difference. If Poiyah can influence every Namibian with this culture and mind-set, one of its aims has already been achieved.”
Speaking at the launch, father Nelson Akwenye reminded parents that their children should remain grateful for the basics that they have. “As part of this project, we want our children to become aware of some sad realities that are out there. Many times, our children who are fortunate receive the best that life has to offer, since that’s what all parents strive for. However, it’s vital for us to remind them how blessed they are and to also give back as early as they can if they are in a position to do so” he said.
Children with terminal illnesses will be the main beneficiaries of Poiyah. This motivation stems from the fact that Popyeni and Oiyahs grandparents, the late Dr. Henry and Gaynor Platt, passed away due to cancer.
“We therefore appeal to the public, who knows of any child with a terminal illness to write down their WHAT MAKES ME HAPPY FOR A DAY letter which includes their dream day that would mean the world to them. These letters will be filtered and Poiyah will ensure that it is made possible, within its means” stated Ilke adding that already this year, two beneficiaries will enjoy their happy days.