OTJIWARONGO: Over 90 orphans and vulnerable pupils attending the Otjozondjupa Kindergarten Charity Organisation are being taught in the open on the DRC sports grounds.
Its founder, Priscall Matjayi, told Nampa on Tuesday that her pupils are attending kindergarten activities in one corner of the sports field in the cold and wind since Wednesday last week.
“We don’t have a place, and we are still looking for a proper shelter to conduct our activities,” she noted.
The Otjozondjupa Kindergarten Charity Organisation was founded in April 2009, and has 94 pupils under the age of six, mostly from the DRC and Telecom informal settlements in Otjiwarongo.
Matjayi explained that her kindergarten was registered with the Ministry of Health and Social Services (MoHSS) in April 2009 to operate from her boyfriend’s house in the Telecom informal settlement at house number 208.
Matjayi and her boyfriend of seven years split up two months ago, but she only moved out of the house last Tuesday.
Since then, she has had no other shelter for the children.
“They are orphans, and are used to me and the whole team. I don’t know what to do to assist them urgently,” she said.
It has now become difficult for Matjayi to continue with the feeding programme for her pupils on the sports ground, as she says it is very windy and they do not have firewood to cook with.
“The children run everywhere around the sports ground, and it requires extra labour to take care and control them,” she stated further.
However, Matjayi’s ex-boyfriend, Faustust Mungu, who is the owner of the house where the kindergarten operated earlier, said the kindergarten is still operational at his house.
“When did the children move to the sports ground from my house? All I can say is that the children are still learning at my house,” he told this reporter.
Contacted for comment about this statement, Matjayi said Mungu is lying.
Meanwhile, Otjiwarongo Town Council Public Relations’ Officer Hilaria Ndadi said on enquiry that she was aware of the problems faced by the Otjozondjupa Kindergarten Charity Organisation.
“It’s very unfortunate that the Otjiwarongo Municipality has its own organisation doing almost the same thing as the Otjozondjupa Kindergarten Charity Organisation, and we cannot do anything to assist them,” explained Ndadi.
The Otjiwarongo Municipality runs a social welfare organisation, where orphans and vulnerable children of all ages, from pre-primary to higher levels can go and eat breakfast and lunch at the Otjiwarongo Multi-Purpose Help Centre in the Orwetoveni township, while also receiving life skills’ training.
Also approached for comment, Annalise Louw, a social worker in the Ministry of Health and Social Services in Windhoek said her ministry will either deregister the kindergarten, or support it where necessary after a thorough investigation is done on the health and welfare of the children.