02 July 2020
My name is Johannes Mulunga, I am a committee member of the For Progress Namibia Project
and a leading member of the Young Achievers Empowerment Project
. This is my first weekly story and I hope to share more stories on this amazing platform. In this weekly, I want to talk about some of the volunteer work we have been doing during the COVID19 lockdown, at an orphanage called Megameno Children’s Home, situated in Katutura, Shandumbala. The Megameno Children's Home is a non-profitable organization that provides shelter and all basic needs for orphans and vulnerable children. It was established in 1998 by Ms. Maria Shaalukeni and mainly depends on donations from local and international donors to smoothly run the facility. The Megameno Orphanage Home as it has come to be popularly known, is home to 25 children from ages zero to eighteen years old.
As a resident of Shandumbala myself I only got to know of this orphanage in 2005 through the Young Achievers Youth Group. I regard Ms. Maria as a champion of my community, because of the amazing work she has been doing with the orphanage over the past 22 years. According to Ms. Maria, the reason she decided to turn her own home into a shelter to care for orphans and vulnerable children was that during the late ’90s there was a high number of orphans as a result of the HIV/AIDS pandemic. “During that time, we had a lot of people dying from AIDS, leaving behind many children with no one to care for them”; being a mother herself to eight of her biological children she decided each child needed to be provided with a safe and loving home with proper nutrition to develop their full cognitive function and be productive citizens. To date, Ms. Maria said the orphanage has raised over 100 children and some are doing good for themselves and giving back to the orphanage.
The current Covid-19 pandemic means that Megameno orphanage has been hard hit with short supplies of food and other necessities for the children. Having learned about this crisis at the orphanage, I wrote an email to an NGO recently established called Co-Feed Namibia which is a citizen-driven initiative whose purpose is to mobilize food supplies and other necessities for distribution to the vulnerable communities in response to the national lockdown necessitated by the Covid-19 pandemic. On the 2nd
June 2020, the organization responded to my swift call and they donated 20 food parcels which can help the orphanage with food for over a month. Co-feed Namibia recently got a donation of brand new clothes from a local retail shop and decide to donate some clothes to the Megameno orphanage home.
In conclusion, having to see the little children receive their brand new clothes on Saturday the 27th
of June 2020, brought so much joy in my heart. I could see they were overjoyed from receiving their new clothes and love. In addition to coming up with a solution to be self-sustainable in terms of the food, the orphanage home has a back-yard garden to supplement their food stock. However, it is in a deplorable state and needs to be revived to be able to produce fresh vegetables. This led to the initiation of our next project, which is to try and revive the garden.
For anyone who wants to show their support to the amazing woman and the shining stars that are her children, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Dr Johannes Mulunga is a medical graduate from the University of Namibia. He recently completed his residency in northern Namibia as well as in Windhoek. His passion is to work in the nexus of social development and health. Johannes has been an active member in his community for most of his life, and is one of the leading members of the Young Achievers Empowerment Project. For his work as a committee member of the For Progress Namibia Project, he lead much of the social development indicator work, as well as coordinating the community groups in Katutura East on the action plan to improve wellbeing at grass-roots, including facilitating dialogue and implementing specific projects. Johannes and the team do this in their spare time. He and his fellow committee members have published various articles and given various presentations on the wellbeing economy.