The High Commissioner of Botswana Visits the Sanctuary Land

By Theresa Matengu, CSN Board Member - Namibia

The High Commissioner of Botswana, (in blue), sitting next to the Honourable Festus Ueitele, Governor of Omaheke and delegates.

The High Commissioner of Botswana, (in blue), sitting next to the Honourable Festus Ueitele, Governor of Omaheke and delegates.

Children’s Sanctuary Namibia’s relationship with the High Commission of Botswana began in 2017 when a delegation came to visit Drimiopsis. The delegation spent a full day interacting with CSN volunteers, board members, community members and the children to learn about CSN’s work and their goals for the children. The delegation indicated that they were touched by what was happening because it is not everyone who can do such things.

When they visited again the following year, 2018, the High Commissioner of Botswana presented a small food and soap hamper to each child, along with some food stuffs to supplement their daily feeding. 

The High Commissioner of Botswana and the Governor of Omaheke presenting children with hampers.

The High Commissioner of Botswana and the Governor of Omaheke presenting children with hampers.

In August 2019, the Botswana High Commissioner wrote to CSN expressing their desire to visit the Sanctuary Land on the 30th September, Botswana’s Independence Day. The CSN Board was thrilled to host the delegation at their new premises on the Sanctuary Land. Pastor Tshediso Moletsane, the Chairperson of the CSN, Lydia Moletsane, Chief Ita, Theresa Matengu, Mr Jack Louise who was the director of ceremony for the day, and all the volunteers were involved with the preparations for the event.

The Honourable Governor of Omaheke addressing the gathering

The Honourable Governor of Omaheke addressing the gathering

The children welcomed the delegation with a San dance. The High Commissioner of Botswana, Honourable Claurinah Tshenolo Modise and her delegation, Honourable Ignatius Kariseb the Councillor, the Advisor to the Governor Pio Nganate and the Honourable Festus Ueitele the Governor of Omaheke and his delegation, CSN board members, volunteers and the kindergarten children were all present.

Both representatives addressed the gathering. The High Commissioner indicated that the Nationals of the Republic of Botswana working in Namibia found it fit to contribute in order to help the situation at the Sanctuary. They do not have a lot but, they came to share the little they have for they have been deeply touched by what is happening at the Sanctuary. They are motivated by the Setswana saying “Matlo go ša mabapi”, translated as “When thy neighbour’s house doth burn be careful thine own”. They are impressed by the on-going progress of the building of the Orphanage and they would like to be a part of it. Chief Ita gave the vote of thanks and urged the Omaheke Governor to step in and assist as well, indicating the need for electricity.

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The anthems of the two countries were sung and gifts of mealie meal, canned meat, beans, cooking oil, flour and sugar were presented as well as a water tank which is engraved. On receiving the gifts on behalf of the government of Namibia, the Governor thanked The Botswana High Commission and the Nationals of Botswana in Namibia for the kindness they have shown to their children. He lamented that they do not have gold or silver to appreciate but they have love for Botswana High Commission. The councillor closed the event by donating 10 bags of cement to build a stand for the tank.

Botwasna’s Water Tank Gift to the Sanctuary

Botwasna’s Water Tank Gift to the Sanctuary

 

 

The Sanctuary Soup Kitchen

During our joyful 10 day visit to Drimiopsis in August, with Helge Mercker as our guide, Diane, Betty and Judy became well acquainted with CSN Board members and their vision for the Sanctuary Land that supports orphans in the community. We spent hours each day on the land with Chief Ita, the soup kitchen volunteers and the orphaned children who came to hold a special place in our hearts.

As school was out during our stay, CSNS hosted a daily soup kitchen on the Sanctuary Land feeding 75 orphans and dozens of other children from the community. Thanks to a special donation received from patrons of Diane’s hair salon in North Vancouver, the children received daily a special food item with their meal, such as meat, oranges, apples or peanut butter sandwiches. The children truly relished these unexpected treats!

Chief Ita (front in white) with several of the soup kitchen volunteers on the Sanctuary Land. These incredible volunteers prepare a meal of lentil soup, mealiemeal or rice in the outdoor kitchen behind them. The soup kitchen is sponsored twice weekly by CSNS with 75 orphans attending regularly. During the August visit, the soup kitchen fed up to 140 children each day.

Chief Ita (front in white) with several of the soup kitchen volunteers on the Sanctuary Land. These incredible volunteers prepare a meal of lentil soup, mealiemeal or rice in the outdoor kitchen behind them. The soup kitchen is sponsored twice weekly by CSNS with 75 orphans attending regularly. During the August visit, the soup kitchen fed up to 140 children each day.

CSNS Board members Betty Owen, Diane Mawson and Judy Dunbar serving the children their meal prepared by the regular volunteers. What a joy and privilege it was to serve these precious children!

CSNS Board members Betty Owen, Diane Mawson and Judy Dunbar serving the children their meal prepared by the regular volunteers. What a joy and privilege it was to serve these precious children!

Two of Zuma’s children enjoying a meal from the soup kitchen.

Two of Zuma’s children enjoying a meal from the soup kitchen.

 

Chief Ita on the Sanctuary Land with the outdoor kitchen behind her. Along with two other volunteers, Chief Ita made the bracelets on the tree beside her. We purchased the bracelets with the intention to offer them for sale at future fundraisers.

Chief Ita on the Sanctuary Land with the outdoor kitchen behind her. Along with two other volunteers, Chief Ita made the bracelets on the tree beside her. We purchased the bracelets with the intention to offer them for sale at future fundraisers.

Some children playing on the Sanctuary Land. Chief Ita reports, “I am so happy that many children have been lifted and supported by their presence on the Sanctuary Land. Through the soup kitchen held there, their connection and sense of belonging to the land is growing”.

Some children playing on the Sanctuary Land. Chief Ita reports, “I am so happy that many children have been lifted and supported by their presence on the Sanctuary Land. Through the soup kitchen held there, their connection and sense of belonging to the land is growing”.

To hear more about our Namibian adventures scroll down to read The Mother House and A Visit to Sanveld Kindergarten.

If you feel called to make a donation, go to the Take Action page of our website.

The Mother House - A Future Home for Children

The “Moeder huis” with the soup kitchen in the foreground.

The “Moeder huis” with the soup kitchen in the foreground.

 Our visit to the Sanctuary Land provided the opportunity to witness first-hand the progress being made on the “Moeder Huis” (Mother House). While there’s still considerable work to be done before the building is finished, we are excited and happy with the progress being made on the building. CSN Board members Helge Mercker, Theresa Matengu, Chief Ita, Jeremiah Molestane, Lydia Molestane all agree that finishing the building is the top priority. Toilets, showers, washing/laundry facilities, sewage and electricity are all needed before the children can be placed.

The “Moeder Huis” was designed by volunteer Johan Van Niekerk, a local architect who made several visits to the site to monitor the building’s construction. When completed the building will hold two dormitories, each housing 8 to 10 children and a house mother. The plan includes a boys’ dormitory, a girls’ dormitory, a large meeting room, an office, kitchen, storage area, toilets, showers and laundry area.

Earlier this year, CSNS contributed to the development of the land by purchasing a generator, providing funds for the drilling of the borehole (well), plus 2 water tanks with stand and pipes needed to complete the water supply for the Sanctuary Land. CSNS also contributed some building materials such as cement and paint. CSNS pays the wages for the two employees currently on site; Zuma, the gardener/handyman and Moses the security guard.

CSNS Board Members Diane Mawson and Betty Owen with CSN Board member Helge Mercker and Gardener/Handyman, Zuma pointing to the borehole or well funded by CSNS donors.

CSNS Board Members Diane Mawson and Betty Owen with CSN Board member Helge Mercker and Gardener/Handyman, Zuma pointing to the borehole or well funded by CSNS donors.

Now with water on the land, the development of a garden is underway. In another area not shown, Zuma is developing a garden with indigenous plants. His wages are provided by CSNS donors.

Now with water on the land, the development of a garden is underway. In another area not shown, Zuma is developing a garden with indigenous plants. His wages are provided by CSNS donors.

 

Char, carrots, beets and onions are now growing on the land! The long term goal is for the Sanctuary Land to be as self-sufficient as possible.

Char, carrots, beets and onions are now growing on the land! The long term goal is for the Sanctuary Land to be as self-sufficient as possible.



With the purchase of the water tanks and stand, the water supply to the Sanctuary Land is now complete. Our heart-felt thanks to CSNS donors who made this possible!

With the purchase of the water tanks and stand, the water supply to the Sanctuary Land is now complete. Our heart-felt thanks to CSNS donors who made this possible!

The construction workers enjoying a well deserved “soup kitchen” lunch! Special thanks to CSN Board Member Jeremiah Molestane who oversees the brick making process and the overall progress of the building’s construction.

The construction workers enjoying a well deserved “soup kitchen” lunch! Special thanks to CSN Board Member Jeremiah Molestane who oversees the brick making process and the overall progress of the building’s construction.

Soup kitchen volunteers, Amanda and Meena busy painting one of several rooms in the “Moeder Huis”. The progress of the building brings great hope and inspiration to the volunteers and to many in the community.

Soup kitchen volunteers, Amanda and Meena busy painting one of several rooms in the “Moeder Huis”. The progress of the building brings great hope and inspiration to the volunteers and to many in the community.

Loving care for the children from committed, compassionate volunteers.

Loving care for the children from committed, compassionate volunteers.

Soup kitchen volunteers Lydia and Katrina making bracelets from ostrich shells.

Soup kitchen volunteers Lydia and Katrina making bracelets from ostrich shells.

Moses the Security Guard with a hippo roller used to transport water to his home located outside the fenced area.

Moses the Security Guard with a hippo roller used to transport water to his home located outside the fenced area.

In honour of our visit, Chief Ita invited elders from the community to the Sanctuary Land for daily healing/prayer circles which were held following the meals for the children.

In honour of our visit, Chief Ita invited elders from the community to the Sanctuary Land for daily healing/prayer circles which were held following the meals for the children.

It was a great privilege to sit in circle with these dear souls, to hear their songs, prayers and stories. It was wonderful to see several children be drawn to the circles and to become an integral part of them.

It was a great privilege to sit in circle with these dear souls, to hear their songs, prayers and stories. It was wonderful to see several children be drawn to the circles and to become an integral part of them.

Chief Ita with her wonderful group of soup kitchen volunteers, CSNS Board members Diane, Helge, Betty and Judy in the back row. All working together in harmony on a shared vision for the orphaned and vulnerable children!

Chief Ita with her wonderful group of soup kitchen volunteers, CSNS Board members Diane, Helge, Betty and Judy in the back row. All working together in harmony on a shared vision for the orphaned and vulnerable children!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A Visit to the Sanveld Kindergarten

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One of the highlights of our trip to Drimiopsis in August was visiting the Sanveld Kindergarten. We were invited to spend three mornings at the Kindergarten where we enjoyed a real “hands-on” experience with the staff and children. CSNS enjoys a special relationship with the Kindergarten as our Society funds its daily food program. CSNS Board Member Diane Mawson teaches Kindergarten in North Vancouver, BC and her class is a “buddy class” with Sanveld Kindergarten. We were delighted to bring a variety of books, games and other teaching resources to the school and enjoyed introducing some of the new resources to the staff and students.

Below, we received a very warm welcome by the teachers at the school and were immediately impressed by their commitment and caring for the students.

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CSNS Board Member & Kindergarten teacher, Diane Mawson introducing new books & puzzles to the class.

CSNS Board Member & Kindergarten teacher, Diane Mawson introducing new books & puzzles to the class.

CSNS Board member and teacher, Judy Dunbar, introduces a new bingo game to the students and to their teacher and CSN Board Member, Lydia Molestane.

CSNS Board member and teacher, Judy Dunbar, introduces a new bingo game to the students and to their teacher and CSN Board Member, Lydia Molestane.

The children appeared to enjoy their new books.

The children appeared to enjoy their new books.

Some children playing a soccer game during recess.

Some children playing a soccer game during recess.

The children wash their hands before entering their class for a meal.

The children wash their hands before entering their class for a meal.

Mealtime in the Kindergarten.

Mealtime in the Kindergarten.

Anna, the cook prepares the children’s meal (eg: oatmeal, pap, lentils, bread & peanut butter) in an outdoor kitchen behind the kindergarten building. CSNS funds two meals daily, 5 days a week for the Kindergarten students.

Anna, the cook prepares the children’s meal (eg: oatmeal, pap, lentils, bread & peanut butter) in an outdoor kitchen behind the kindergarten building. CSNS funds two meals daily, 5 days a week for the Kindergarten students.

The teachers washing dishes after school.

The teachers washing dishes after school.

Lydia Molestane invited us to join her life skills group for teenaged girls. This group is a unique resource for young girls in Drimiopsis and takes place in the kindergarten building.

Lydia Molestane invited us to join her life skills group for teenaged girls. This group is a unique resource for young girls in Drimiopsis and takes place in the kindergarten building.


 

 

Hippo Rollers for Carrying Water

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Generous donations over the past Christmas season made it possible for CSNS to ship an additional 10 hippo rollers to Drimiopsis in March 2019. The shipment was made at the request of CSN. Hippo rollers make the task of collecting water much less strenuous than traditional methods. Each roller holds 5 x more water than a typical bucket and the water is moved by simply rolling it along the ground.

 An initial shipment of 10 hippo rollers was sent to Drimiopsis two years ago and these have been very well used by the Kindergarten staff, by the workers and volunteers on the Sanctuary land, and by several elders. With the drilling of the borehole and installation of the water tanks on the Sanctuary Land, CSN does not anticipate a need for additional hippo rollers in the future. CSNS is deeply grateful to the Hippo Roller Foundation and to the other generous donors who made the purchase of the hippo rollers possible.

CSN relied upon Chief Ita’s guidance to determine the distribution of the hippo rollers. Below are some of the elders who received a hippo roller for their use.

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