Improved hygiene for disabled Katima children at Mainstream Foundation
Former First Lady, Madam Penehupifo Pohamba and the Ambassador of Japan, H.E. Hideyuki Sakamoto, last week celebrated the inauguration of new facilities at an institution for disabled and marginalised children in Katima Mulilo.
The new facilities comprise an ablution block and a new kitchen block to improve personal hygiene and food preparation for the children. The institution is run by the Mainstream Foundation. The new amenities are funded by the Government of Japan through its grant assistance for Grassroots Human Security Projects.
At the inauguration, H.E. Sakamoto San representing the Government of Japan, handed the facility to the Mainstream Foundation under the auspices of Madam Pohamba, Hon Alexia Ncube, the Deputy Minister Disability Affairs in the Office of the Vice President, Hon James Sankwasa, the Deputy Minister of Works and Transport, and Hon Laurence Sampofu, the Governor of the Zambezi Region.
The Mainstream Foundation is a non-profit organisation which provides care and support to children with special needs and raises awareness on disability. The organisation was established in Katima Mulilo in 2008 by Ms Sylvia Chidunka to care for disabled children and to help shield them against prejudice. The foundation currently support 54 children.
The children are cared for and educated in an inclusive manner, supported by the government with disability grants and by the goodwill of the Namibian public. The Mainstream Foundation however noted that better physical facilities were required to care for the children effectively. This need came to the attention of the Japanese Embassy in Windhoek who stepped in with a grant of almost N$700,000 for the ablution block, a kitchen and a dining room. The latter doubles as a recreation room where the foundation also conducts activities to help them raise more funding.
At the same ceremony, two administration rooms funded by NORED, the northern electricity distributor, and a staff kitchen funded by the MVA Fund, were also inaugurated. The Mainstream Foundation said the anchor investment by the Japanese Government drew the additional investments by local organisations.
Over the past twenty years, the Government of Japan has supported 49 local projects totalling approximately N$36 million, according to the Embassy of Japan in Windhoek.