By: Selma Taapopi
The Ministry of Gender, Poverty, and Child Welfare accommodated 327 children who were victims of abuse, including Gender Based Violence (GBV) and child trafficking, during April and December last year.
The Ministry also housed 593 children at residential childcare facilities and further provided psycho-social support to 455 children at the Namibia Children’s Home and after-school center.
The Ministry's deputy minister Bernadette Jagger, indicated that they provided social grants to 357 037 Orphans and Vulnerable Children (OVC) who are currently on their grant system.
According to Jagger, the Ministry allocated over N$1.3 billion to the child care and protection division, food rations for the Namibia Children’s home and After school center as well as for personnel expenditure.
“We should serve as the eyes and ears also for the government, all of us. If you find that there is a child in your street, in your neighborhood that is neglected, honourables, bring that information to the Ministry.The social workers are there, they are responsible for psycho-social support. We have homes where these kids can be brought if the requirements are met. ” said Jagger.
Jagger added that she is disturbed by children living and working on the streets, and that efforts to trace their parents have been difficult.
In addition, the Ministry provided financial support through the student grant programme to 148 students with disabilities during 2022/23 while 120 students are expected to benefit from the programme during the current financial year 2023/2024.
“As I said yesterday, 15 (students) will graduate this year. These two marginalised communities and children with disabilities always go hand in hand. Now you also asked about the placement of these students after graduating. Very few, of course, are employed, and I think our minister made clarion calls to all the Ministries, especially in terms of internships and also employment,” noted Jagger.
The ministry has further enrolled 2 973 learners from marginalised communities at different primary and secondary schools. A total of 240 students are registered in various institutions of higher learning. The ministry further allocated over N$82 000 for the Ministry to cover expenditures in respect of education support to marginalised students, livelihood support, funeral services and the San feeding programme.