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Ugly reality of rampant fertility

The nation was gripped by the moving story of Ouma Snyder (centre) whose own children dumped 16 grand children on the old women, forcing her to try and support them all on a single government Old Age Grant. This week, the newly-established National Commission on Research, Science and Technology came to the rescue of the old woman.

The nation was gripped by the moving story of Ouma Snyder (centre) whose own children dumped 16 grand children on the old women, forcing her to try and support them all on a single government Old Age Grant. This week, the newly-established National Commission on Research, Science and Technology came to the rescue of the old woman.

The National Commission on Research, Science and Technology (NCRST) said this week it has responded to the call of Ouma Maria Snyder, a resident of Havana squatter camp near Windhoek, who was forced to single handedly raise her 16 grandchildren when their parents failed to take care of them.
The NCRST reached out to Ouma Snyder as part of its Nelson Mandela International Day outreach by donating groceries, food, clothes, blankets and other necessities. Ouma Maria Snyder herself is 70 years old and now has to care for her sixteen grandchildren and orphans. The children range in age from two years to sixteen. These are the children of her six own children of which four have already passed away and the whereabouts of another two are unknown. Only four of her grandchildren go to school, some dropped out and others are still too young to attend school.

Because all their daily needs fall on Ouma Maria’s monthly social grant, the NCRST was inspired by the call Nelson Mandela made a year ago for the next generation to take on the burden of leadership in addressing the world’s social injustices when he said that “it is in your hands now”. The science commission chose Nelson Mandela International Day, last week Friday, to heed this call. The message behind Mandela Day is simple – each individual has the ability and the responsibility to change the world for the better. “The baton of leadership has been handed over to us. It is in our hands now to make a positive difference. Whether it be as individuals or as a corporate organisation, we are to respond to the needs of our community and make a lasting commitment to the improvement of livelihoods” said Elzita Beukes, the head of Corporate Communication and Marketing at the science commission. “I am so grateful to God for sending you all here to help me, we are truly blessed, thank you” said Ouma Snyder.

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