Namibia is a country with unique landscapes, skies that can leave you spell bound and sunsets to die for. In a country with a population of a mere two million people you wont be surprised if you find virtually nothing while you’re travelling from one city to the other, but you’ll find breathtaking views
There is something about this country that excites me each time I think about the wonderful time I have spent here.
it is the culture which has never stopped to impress me with the variety it has had to offer, it is the people who make Namibia that have always amazed me, the white Afrikaners, the Himbas, the Otjihereros!
I can still remember the first day that I landed in Windhoek, as I got down from the plane and approached the immigration check I felt super relaxed, it felt as if I was suddenly on a dream vacation!
Driving down to the city from the airport felt as if I was approaching any other European city with the kind of architectural excellence that Windhoek boasted of, very well planned, intricately structured and not a speck to be seen on the roads; amazingly clean!
My placement was with the Ministry of Health and Social Services in Outjo, where I was expected to work with the District Social Worker ( a former VSO Volunteer herself) on the Hospital’s Disability program.
My role was on getting the Community based rehabilitation program of Outjo Hospital off the ground, This was a government program for helping people with disabilities at a community level.
It was a tough ask this; and I knew I had a very tough job at hand, and that I had to start from scratch!
To me building and facilitating a team of community volunteers as part of this programme turned to be real fun, contrary to what I had thought earlier.
I was lucky to have working alongside me a bunch of passionate and excited youngsters with a real urge to make a difference for their people.
I made sure I gave these guys all the necessary motivation and support that they required to help them initiate some good work in the community
I was able to help the Volunteers organise a range of awareness raising activities and events in the community.
Through the support I provided them they were able to do a number of house to house surveys for identifying people with disabilities and followed this up with regular home visits for need assessments.
They also made important referrals for People with disabilities to health facilities, clinincs, vocational institutions, NGO’s and other ministry departments.
I realized though that this was not going to be enough and a responsive and alive stakeholder community was also necessary for the program to do well.
I therefore actively engaged with different partners and helped form a “people with disability welfare committee” for the district so that all the work that the volunteers were doing in the community could be adequately supported.
What I was most happy about was that besides my designated role of initiating the CBR program I was also able to take up the District Social Worker’s responsibilities whenever required or whenever she had other engagements.
As part of these other duties I gave counselling to clients who were referred to me at the Hospital i.e. cases of suicide attempt, rape, alcohol abuse, marital discord and workplace harassment.
I couldn’t have asked for better support which I got from Florida Faburada the District Social Worker and Dr. Nzenza Shepard the Principal Medical Officer of Outjo District. Their support to me is always going to be entrenched deep in my memories!
I got this big farewell in the end from the Volunteers, the Hospital Staff and the District Social worker and I felt contended that I had been able to make breakthroughs in the lives of so many people. I left Namibia knowing their lives were going to be so much better now!