Construction of new C.H.A.I.N. offices and classrooms finally commences

For 20 handicapped children in Swakopmund the long wait is finally over: The organization C.H.A.I.N. (Children with Handicaps Action in Namibia) commenced with the construction of their new home this week. The ground-breaking ceremony took place on Tuesday.
“We have really been waiting for a very long time for this day and are overly happy that at last we can start with the construction,” said C.H.A.I.N. Vice-Chairperson Bruni Tholkes. The new premises are located in Franziska Van Neel Street in Tamariskia.
C.H.A.I.N. is a kindergarden-based facility, currently looking after 20 handicapped children. The children are collected from their homes in the morning and are taken to the center, where they follow an educational programme. They are not only taught basic education but also physical movement and mobility, as also receive a well-balanced meal during the day.
The history of C.H.A.I.N. dates back to 1992. Initially it were three mothers that started a support system for four children diagnosed with down syndrome. Two years later C.H.A.I.N. moved into the building located next to the Rössing Foundation where they have been operating until this day. “Our current facilities are too small and we urgently needed more space,” said Tholkes. While CHAIN is caring for 20 children, there are 20 more children currently on the waiting list.
According to Tholkes C.H.A.I.N. made a deal with the Rössing Foundation, who took over their current building and in turn supplied C.H.A.I.N. with an erf – the same erf on which the construction has now commenced. The new premises consist of a big play/activity room, at least two classrooms, a dining room, a proper kitchen, two offices and a garage.
Construction is expected to be completed by the end of the year. This depends though if enough material can be supplied. To complete the new offices CHAIN requires assistance from the community. While the welfare organization has collected some material and money, more is urgently needed. “We require bricks, cement, anything. And you know that any sponsorships will be put to good use,” said Tholkes. The builder is Horst Heiser.
C.H.A.I.N. relies solely on private funding and sponsorship by private individuals and businesses. A large portion of the money collected stems from Lore Bohm, a Swakopmund resident actively involved in the community. She has been supporting C.H.A.I.N. since 2003 and managed to get a few sponsors from Germany to come on-board and support the organization.
C.H.A.I.N. is an early intervention unit committed to help those who are least able to help themselves. Their motto is to give “Hope to the Handicapped Child” and the aim is to assist the child to be prepared, not just for school, but also for life. “Special children also deserve the best,” said Tholkes.

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