Namibia

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Namibia is one of the world’s least populated

About 2.6 million people statistics stated

Although it has multi-party democracy

With  a constitution granting rights, freedom and equality

One can’t help but notice the hypocrisy.

For example, the LGBT community

Is working to  become decriminalized

 

Gender roles are well defined

Men build and maintain the home

Work in the field, tend to livestock, and plow

Women do the housework, tend to children

Prepare food, and provide agricultural labour

Looks to be even, but it isn’t always somehow: 

About on third of the women experience violence and abuse

And many men believe they have the right to abuse their wives

 

An interesting  initiative was introduced

To ensure a balance in  government of genders

It’s called:  The “Zebra System”  What  splendour

Now we’re leaving  Botswana

We know you’re gonna wanna

Travel a bit west is best, of course

We’ll go by foot - Can’t ride a horse

 

Are you ready? Got your mask?

Where are we going you ask

Well, it’s not the capital of Libya,

Oh no!  It’s Namibia

 

The 34th largest country in the world

Size of Venezuela, so I’m told

Take lots of water with ye

Cause Namibia is the world’s driest country

 

Located between two deserts:                 

Desert  Namib and Desert Kalahari

Such dry heat they do exert

It’s the only Sub-Saharan country to provide water municipally

 

Also, education here is free                                              

BUT in the 298 schools

there are NO toilet facilities

What can children do

When they need to pee or pooh

Lack of water, sanitation, and hygiene

Cause over 50% of the deaths of  children

23% by diarrhoea… Now, ain’t that obscene?

“Sanitation crisis” declared the UN

 

Life expectancy is about 64

And 200,000  folks or more

Are living with  HIV/AIDS,

Although it’s levelling so they’ve prayed

But the number of orphans has increased

So parents have deserted or deceased

                                                                             

Tintenpalast, the centre of Namibian government       

 

History has taken many tragic twists

in 1485,the Portuguese arrived but didn’t stay

Then in 1884, the Germans arrived and did this

Farming and infrastructure came into play

 

But then about 30 years later -German Genocide

A model perhaps for the Nazi Holocaust some say

Then South Africa imposed apartheid laws to abide

But Namibians fought and got their way

 

Peoples’ rebellions began a half century ago

South West Africa People’s Organization  - i.e. SWAPO

Morphed into People’s Liberation Army of Namibia i.e. PLAN 

And movement for independence began

In the 1980’s amnesty was given

And 42,000 refugees returned to livin’ 

Weddings are important social events

Blend Christian and indigenous elements

A kind of dowry is often paid by the groom with cattle

Polygamy was once common, but is now unlawful

Please don’t hug me when we meet

Public displays of affection and emotion are frowned upon

Maybe we should go get something to eat

Wiener schnitzel?  melon?  mutton? or sorghum?

 

Mining is the major source of revenue

Two TV and 19 radio stations,

Plus  several papers for the news

Still, substantial  income disparity plagues the nation

 

Oral literature, such as folk tales and legends

Wood carving, basketry arts are present

Sports are also an enjoyment ticket

Rugby, football and, of course, cricket

Local and national festivals showcase

Music and dance from all over the place

The Coat of Arms depicts

African Fish Eagle a symbol of the farsightedness

The Oryx symbolizes courage, pride and elegance

The unique desert plant, Welwitschia Mirabilis, symbolizes

fortitude, tenacity and fighter spirit to survive

Diamonds shape resources; the  headband refers to traditions

"Unity, Liberty, Justice" are key principles of Namibian Constitution

Stephen Lewis Foundation Supports Projects in Namibia

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Catholic Aids Action in Windhoek  partners with SLF.  
Here is what  Archbishop Liborius Nashenda tells us:

Namibia ranks as one of the most HIV/AIDS-affected countries in the world.  But most people who have HIV don't know they are infected, which means that the disease continues to spread, unabated.  Catholic AIDS Action believes that the AIDS pandemic calls for a holistic response, that addresses both prevention and care.  

 

There is no time to waste.  Since its founding in 1998 as the first national church-based response to HIV/AIDS in Namibia, Catholic AIDS Action has grown to become Namibia's largest and most effective non-governmental organisation in the AIDS field.  Thirty trained volunteer groups now provide nationwide home-based family care to people infected with HIV and AIDS.  Another 35 groups work on income-producing projects, living programs for people who are already infected, peer support, and outreach.  Its prevention program has graduated over 4,000 youngsters in a ten-week UNICEF-sponsored course.  It has also established national standards for training and supervising home-based care, as well as care of needy orphans.

The Catholic AIDS Action (CAA) Trust was founded in 1998 by Sr. Dr. Raphael Handler, OSB and Dr. Lucy Steinitz.   It builds on the Catholic network of parishes, hospitals and health care institutions, and schools and hostels.  CAA also works in partnership with other churches, faith-based organizations, non-governmental organizations, civil society organizations, the business sector and Government of the Republic of Namibia line ministries. 
 

The CAA’s work and mission has four principal focuses: 

  • Home-based family care and counselling, 

  • HIV and AIDS education and prevention

  • Care and support to orphans and vulnerable children

  • Voluntary HIV testing counselling.
     

Mr. Lorenz Hembapu, serves as the head of the organization, supported by Community Home-Based Care Providers Community Health Assistants and After School Program Facilitators.
 

CAA is providing: Community Home Based Family Centred care and support services, treatment adherence counselling, Program’s beneficiaries’ retention in the continuum of treatment/care, Soup Kitchen services and After School Program Activities ,  HIV and AIDS education, information and prevention targeting young adolescents, with more focus on a girl child, Care and support to the destitute orphans and vulnerable children , Voluntary HIV Testing and Counselling Services (through community outreaches and door-to-door implementation modalities) Linkages of beneficiaries to clinical, social and psychological care and support services through synergies with the other stakeholders and partners.

CAA services are available to all irrespective of religion, race or background, with a preferential option to the poorest and the neediest.