From modest beginnings to a large sustenance network for 1500 learners every day
What started out as small trust in 2009 to serve the most vulnerable children in Walvis Bay’s Kuisebmond township, today occupies two adjacent properties with an accredited kindergarten, a soup kitchen that feeds around 200 street children every day, and a school feeding programme for about 1500 children at seven other schools.
The Promiseland Trust grew from a modest soup kitchen serving one meal a day to hundreds of children roaming Kuisebmond’s streets. For many of these vulnerable children, their Promiseland meal was the only sustenance they received. Soon, the trust acquired a house in Tutaleni to provide a safer environment and improved hygiene for its dependents. A day-care centre was constructed to provide a learning environment where the older children could do their homework and the younger ones taken care of.
Meanwhile, the demand kept growing and a Forming Project was established in 2012 to enable the trust to enter the sphere of formal education. The trust continued to work to raise funds and in 2015, the second property was acquired and converted to a small fully-accredited Montessori ECD Preschool where children aged three to six are accommodated.
An unexpected windfall for the Promiseland Forming Project came last week in the form of a substantial N$40,000 donation from Manica Group Namibia to help cover the facility’s overheads and the teachers’ salaries. Manica sees this as a small donation forming part of its corporate social investment, and will keep the trust’s activities on its radar.
Promiseland project coordinator, Jessica Mosters said the trust provides basic education to those children whose parents are in dire straits or where children may be neglected or abused. “We have about 60 learners. We have a unique enrollment system. We go out into the neighbourhood and when we find toddlers wandering in the streets, we give their caretakers a green heart as an enrollment invitation.”
Student teachers studying at the Headstart Montesorri College come to the Montessori Preschool for their practicals which they have to do as part of their studies.
On a wider social arena, Promisland plays an enormous support role with its schools outreach feeding scheme in addition to the on-site soup kitchen. “We provide a basic meal to some 1500 children on a daily base at seven different schools in Walvis Bay. Many of these children used to go to school without any breakfast or snack” said Mostert.
“Funding these projects is not easy, and we depend solely on the generosity of the public and local businesses. We really appreciate any assistance in any form whatsoever. We are grateful to many of our local businesses, like Manica, who have shown their support since the start of the project.”