Lebensschule staff express gratitude following donation of necessities amid rising commodity prices
By Musa Zimunya.
Hoza Friday as it is called by many people, is somewhat of an informal tradition that stipulates that the time has come to enjoy and be merry. And for Kathy Hampe, who founded Lebensschule daycare, her 10 staff and 32 children, this could not be truer after receiving a care package from businesses, civil society and charity.
Lebensschule daycare centre is located in Rehoboth’s Block Be and on 1 April they expressed gratitude after a trailer packed with hygiene essentials and edibles was delivered to their doorstep through a partnership by Wutow trading, SBS Trucking, Charitree and Rob Youth Foundation (RYF).
“This is a very welcome gesture and we appreciate the help. We are trying to help these children and it comes at a much needed time with prices rising,” said Hampe who founded the daycare centre six years ago. The centre caters for 32 children living with various needs, ranging from children living with disabilities, down-syndrome, cerebral palsy, autism as well as trauma to name a few.
“We assist these kids where necessary and we do not discriminate be it race, colour or religion. The children come here and we provide a meal a day. However, we split them into two groups so that we can be able to assist them accordingly,” she said.
When asked about the general upkeep of the centre, she said the government chipped in every month with N$3 027, while two friends from Germany are kind enough to support by sponsoring N$10 700 for workers’ incentives. Another well-wisher from Austria forks out £1 000 after every six months.
“We do with what we have. Our budget monthly is N$16 000 with water and electricity included. We provide the children with foot massages as well, while we have a doctor who sometimes comes from Austria. In addition, we rehabilitate children who go through trauma. We have one child whose uncle was killed right in front of him. Now and then he begins to yell after a certain trigger, be it sound or sight, we just do not know. So we care for him and try to alleviate the pain,” said Hampe.
She added that some children have a low sense of touch which they try to stimulate as well, while they also have mouth guards that are given to children who suffer from sialorrhea, a condition that leads to drooling from the mouth, often as a result of weak or underdeveloped muscles around the mouth, or having too much saliva.
“At our centre, we do quite a several things and one of them is helping children who have speech conditions, stuttering to be specific. So there is a voice coach who comes and helps out as well so that the children can speak. It is very humbling to see that what you and I call normal can be a task for others. At their age, we were running about and living a normal life. Yet they have to work for it, and we are gladly helping them out in any way that we can. But this donation is very warming and will help us to take care of them even better,” she emphasised.
Natalia Augustinus, RYF Erongo Regional Manage believes that anything is possible with a bit of love and care. “This is quite amazing and at the same time eye-opening, to see what these children go through and to see them smiling. Everyone deserves a chance and it is encouraging that the Lebensschule staff selflessly dedicated themselves to helping those who are not fortunate enough to be able to utilize all their sensory and motor functions. As a Foundation, this ties into helping the children and youth and fostering their development and we are truly humbled. Once again our partners Wutow trading, Charitree and SBS trucking came through, and we leave this palace today knowing that tomorrow we will go on to the next place and assist in any way we can,” said Augustinus.
Speaking on behalf of Charitree and Wutow Trading, Hennie Kruger said that this is the third time that this partnership has made a difference in life and there is more to come, before inviting other stakeholders to stand up and make other people’s futures count.
“We would like to keep it sustainable going forward and not doing fly-by-night or once-off thing. That is the plan. Currently, we have enough resources but as long as our partners work with us we can do this, in future, constantly. The only challenge we face is probably logistics. We appreciate our partners, but then again, there is so much more we can do. Our business partners deserve to be commended for their stellar efforts and unflinching dedication,” he said.
SBS Trucking’s Financial Officer Remembrance Chiremba said he believes that change comes bit by bit and we all need to come together to steer lives in a positive direction. “It is a humbling experience to deliver these goods to those in need. There is pleasure in giving, and this outreach programme is proving to be a pleasurable experience. I think in the long run it will open the eyes of other private sector partners to be involved, and we need to work together more so than we can shape lives,” he added.
The children at Lebensschule come in two groups meaning one child attends once every two days. The oldest person they take care of is a 26-year-old, while the youngest is an infant who is one year old. Those who wish to be involved can contact Kathy Hampe at 081 665 0363