“Okatete”-the only meal of the day for many learners

The Hanganeni Primary School, one of the largest schools in Erongo region, inaugurated a soup kitchen on Tuesday. The soup kitchen caters for over 500 learners of the school.

The new soup kitchen was made possible and built by the German national, Mr Georg Quandt, of the Deutscher Namibischer Hilfsfonds ‘Quandt e.V.” But it was the vision of Anja Rohwer, a well-known personality running the non-profit organisation, “Helping Hands.”

According to Quandt, the organisation has been in existence for 25 years. Founding Father Dr Sam Nujoma has been part of the organisation for 22 years. During the inauguration, Quandt said his team has travelled more than a 100 000 kilometres and bought about 50 tons of material and equipment to construct a hospital and five school buildings in Namibia so far. “Hanganeni is part of this project. During this time about twelve million Euros have been spend on these projects”, he explained. He revealed his team will return to Namibia soon, and the help he is offering has not ended. Quandt also confirmed in the next few weeks, Hanganeni Primary School will be the beneficiary of another project: a playground.

During the inauguration ceremony on Tuesday the children expressed gratitude for the new soup kitchen, saying that the school feeding program is very important as most learners do not receive lunch boxes from home and the “okatete” they receive at school is their only meal for the day. “Okatete” is a thin porridge. The Namibian School Feeding Program was launched in the early 90’s in response to the educational and nutritional needs of about 45 000 vulnerable children from drought affected communities during the time. “Today, the number of school feeding beneficiaries have tripled. So much so the ministry alone is not able to run this program without the involvement of private enterprises and individuals. We urge the communities to make efforts towards acquiring sufficient non-food items and to erect necessary shelters at schools”, said Mrs Monica !Gawises during the ceremony. She is the Principal of the Walvis Bay circuit under the Erongo Education Directorate.

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