ELCIN launches social services projects
The projects are funded by the Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland and Helsinki Deaconess Institute with a total budget of N$14.9 million.The Youth project’s total funding for three years is approximately N$6,7 million while the total funding for the Elderly project for three years is approximately N$8,2 million.
The project called Empowering Communities for Youth aims to increase the employability and access to opportunities for the youth. Many youth are dropping out of school and as a result are facing a bleak future of teenage pregnancies, substance abuse, turning to criminal activities and HIV infection due to relationships with sugar mommies and daddies.
The Community Outreach among the Elderly project is designed to support the elderly to live as active members of the society. Special focus will be on elderly without family members’ care or those elderly caregivers left to bring up their grandchildren.
“We need to empower the elderly to live a dignified life and help the communities to become caring. Too many of our elders are left alone to fend for themselves and many have become bread-winners for their families with their meagre pensions”, says project coordinator Justina Shilongo of the Community Outreach among the Elderly project. In practice these projects will work by building the capacity of the ELCIN church to develop new social work methods. The youth and elderly projects represent a continuation of the long cooperation between the ELCIN church and Helsinki Deaconess Institute of Finland. These three-year projects have a person-centred approach; hence the work is based on people’s own needs and aspirations empowering them in the process to find own solutions to life’s challenges. The work has already started in Kilimanjaro and Havana informal settlements in Windhoek, DRC informal settlement in Swakopmund, and in Nkurenkuru and Engela in the north of the country.