Chiseho Orphans and Vunerable Children Program, in Choto village, outside Katima Mulilo, Namibia
The singing and dancing surrounds the van as we pull into the Chiseho Orphans and Vulnerable Children (OVC) program, in Choto, an impoverished village on the outskirts of Katima Mulilo in Namibia. A smiling face that belongs to a young boy a bit taller than the rest of the children greets us and waves. He tells us his name is Matiti and hugs each person as we get out of the van. These children are all orphans and vulnerable children that are being supported by Project HOPE. A woman named Mary, has opened her home to provide a soup kitchen for these children. She is able to feed them only twice a week, but they come each day for a safe place to stay while their parents go off to seek work in the nearby town.
Mary has turned one room of her small two room home, into a shelter for these children. Matiti, at age ten, remains behind with the younger children, because he has nowhere else to go. He was abandoned by his mother, because of his special needs – considered cursed by most in the village. Without shelter, without clothes or a birth certificate that will allow him to go to school – he faces an uncertain future.
But for now, he has found care and compassion at the Project HOPE OVC program. Mary was trained by Project HOPE field staff and she has passed on that training to others in the community who also come to help her support the more than 120 vulnerable children in the village.
We spend time with the children and we listen to the mothers share the stories of the positive impact the program has had on their lives. They want to continue to pass on the knowledge and expand the program beyond their small village – which is why a gentleman from a village 50km away has come to speak with us. He has land and has identified 160 vulnerable people in his community who need help. He just needs Project HOPE.
And we need you. You can help make these programs possible. And we need your support for those children who are waiting, so that like Matiti, they have a safe place to go.
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