Reaching out to Tsumkwe

30 May 2018 | Local News

The division of marginalised communities in the office of the vice-president has commended the wife of a former Namibian diplomat to Malaysia, Maria Shikongo, for her initiative to donate used clothes to marginalised communities.

This month Shikongo donated clothes to the impoverished community of Tsumkwe.

She had collected clothing, toys, children's books and other items during her four-year stay in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

Shikongo told Ewi lyaNooli that since she returned home in August 2016, she continued collecting clothes, shoes, toys and linens from her friends and colleagues here and abroad for the marginalised people of Namibia.

On 10 May Shikongo and some of her friends distributed these clothes to the community of Tsumkwe in the Otjozondjupa Region.

She said the event was organised in conjunction with the office of the vice-president's division of marginalised communities and the University Centre for Studies in Namibia (TUCSIN).

“I was so relaxed when I was in Malaysia.

"I thought of doing something for my people back home.

"I started collecting used clothes and when I returned home I started thinking where to take them.

“Since I returned home in 2016 I have been busy distributing these clothes to needy communities in collaboration with the vice-president's office,” Shikongo said.

She said some of the clothes were distributed at Otjomuru, Otjikojo and Ohaihuwa villages in the Kunene Region.

Together with the queen of Ongandjera, Adelheid Mupiya, she also donated clothes to the community of Amarika in the Omusati Region.

“At Tsumkwe we distributed clothes to about 200 people, mainly women and children, at N!om/xom, Eagle Pos and Den/ui villages. We laid a tarpaulin on the ground under a tree and sorted heaps of toys, bedding, shoes, as well as men's, women's and children's clothes.

“Distribution went smoothly and each person received at least two items of clothing. Looking at some people who are clothed in tatters, we just wished we had brought more to clothe everybody,” she said.

The deputy director for marginalised communities in the office of the vice-president, Gerson Kamatuka, said what Shikongo was doing for marginalised communities in Namibia was exceptional and other Namibians should emulate what she is doing.

“Shikongo came a long way with us and we realise that she has a heart for the marginalised communities in Namibia. Her donation to Tsumkwe is not the first one. She also has been to Ovatwe and Ovatjimba communities in the Kunene Region. This is the kind of people we would like to encourage Namibia to have,” Kamatuka said.

ILENI NANDJATO

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