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Adra Italia project in Namibia, Africa

Adra Italia project in Namibia, Africa

The Adra Staff

Rome, Italy [Adra Italia; CD EUDNews]. Luca Alfano and Elisa Gravante are part of a humanitarian project that has been supported by ADRA Italy for several years. We are pleased to share this report with you, showing in detail a sad reality, incredibly dis

July 17, 2013 | Adra Italia; CD EUDNews;

Rome, Italy [Adra Italia; CD EUDNews]. Luca Alfano and Elisa Gravante are part of a humanitarian project that has been supported by ADRA Italy for several years. We are pleased to share this report with you, showing in detail a sad reality, incredibly distant from that experienced by us in our cities, but at the the same time, positive and full of constructive ideas.

The project is held in Namibia, a southern state in Africa, a very harsh and poor territory, where people live mainly on farming and agriculture; villages around the school are made up of simple huts, with no running water or electricity and life is made up of daily difficulties and hardships.

The school "Mulimu babalela wa" (which translated from the local language means "God cares") was started four years ago, when a volunteer wanted to give opportunity for an education and a future to the children in the area. During the years the school has been expanding and their facilities have developed to the point that now it is legally recognized by the Namibian government.

When the school is open for classes and we teach the children, we are like a real family for the students, we aim to be a place where children can live out their childhood in peace and grow in all aspects of life and be able to share the knowledge acquired when they return home. This does not only include school subjects, but also in other areas of everyday life such as health, food and hygiene.

Currently, the school has 56 students, ages 5 to 9, divided into 5 classes, each monitored by a supervisor and a local teacher. The subjects are: English, Mathematics, Science, Social Studies, History and Geography.

The school has two dormitories which were built with the funds from the Adventist Church. These buildings can accommodate children throughout the school year avoiding the daily commute on foot from the most remote villages. The children sleep and wake up together, care for personal hygiene, share their breakfast and begin the school day together. There are also moments of fun and games, especially for the Kindergarten classes.

Children are guaranteed three meals a day, proper care of their body and the ability to grow in a healthy and protected environment; in nearby villages not all children go to school and many are forced to work: this should make us reflect on the role of our school in the children's lives.

The center includes a “clinic”, with a two-fold purpose of providing free medical care not only for the children of the center but also for all the surrounding community. Each month 600 patients are treated from various diseases such as gastroenteritis, fever, skin diseases, eyes and teeth problems, burns and animal and insect bites.

Many of these diseases are caused by not following correct and important dietary principles such as the conservation of food or the use of unsafe drinking water.

The presence of a medical facility is extremely important in this area, it not only guarantees healing but also spreads the knowledge of the principles that are so important for health and effective food preparation thus preventing of diseases.

In addition to the facilities described above, the school is equipped with a playground, for physical activities; a vegetable garden, for its own production of fruits and vegetables; and a dining or community hall used for events. Sanitation and health is very important at the centre to ensure proper handling and management, the aim is to convey these habits to the children.

The school carries out all these activities with the tireless work of seven volunteers who have decided to dedicate a period of their lives to this land and to these people. Some live in Africa for several years, while others with medical or teaching experience, volunteer for periods of 6 months or a year.

Every year the school has had the pleasure of welcoming groups of volunteers who come for a month and making it possible to build some of the structures currently used as the clinic, dormitory and dining hall. This year nine people came to help, including doctors and bricklayers.

Within these humanitarian volunteer groups each year, some of the helpers end up also assisting the people who live in the arid and barren land of the Kalahari, in the center of Namibia. The people in these areas live on agriculture and hunting and the level of health and hygiene is almost non-existent, resulting in a high rate of infant mortality.

This was done through the distribution of food rations in the villages to help the most underprivileged families. They distributed rice, flour, oil, biscuits and soup; and hygiene supplies such as soap and detergent.

The smile and the energy of the children, coupled with their desire to learn and discover, is a witness to the work well done by the volunteers of this center, these very special people are able to put their own lives at the disposal of others and devote their talents to the success of this project.

ADRA Italy will continue to support this important project in the next few years. This center, and all of its assets, will continue to be an important reference point for the people who live in this area, with the following objectives:

-Ensure there is a doctor permanently present, that is 365 days a year, so they can do their job even in those remote villages;

-To support the education of the students of the school, the next step involves starting a sixth grade;

-Make the structures of the school complex even more efficient and functional;

-Continue to support the people living in the territory of the Kalahari, not only through the distribution of basic goods but also trying to build new structures such as school building, toilets and warehouses for storing food.

pictures: Elisa Gravante and Luca Alfano in the Adra Center of Namibia (Courtesy Adra Italia).




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