OKAKANGO – Namibians from all walks of life have reacted positively to the plight of a 21-year-old woman from Okakango village who was abandoned by her mother since she was 16 years old.
Petrina Johannes who has been heading the household, which includes her young family of three children, aged six, three and three months old, had her home renovated, while other donations have poured in. The family received food, toiletries and blankets.
Oshikoto regional governor Henok Kankoshi handed over the donations, including the newly renovated home. After receiving the items, Johannes couldn’t contain her excitement as she expressed her heartfelt gratitude to everyone who assisted them.
Johannes, who has never been to school, was abandoned by her biological mother five years ago. She also has no access to her father, who reportedly lives in Omuthiya.
“My mother abandoned us when I was only 16 years old, she left me with our last born who was not even a year old. I have been doing odd jobs to put bread on the table since I am the one heading the house; life has not been easy at all, we only rely on our mahangu field, therefore, I am thankful to fellow Namibians,”
Johannes said. The councillor of Okankolo constituency, Hans Nambodi, who was present at the handover, applauded everyone who came forth to help Johannes to make her life better. He highlighted that organisations such as Nedbank Ondangwa, Roha Investment CC, Okashana RDCC, Tuuvila Musical Group, Ondonga Traditional Authority and Hartlief Windhoek contributed to the relief of the young family.
“Meanwhile, the public donated over N$21 000 in cash. I would like to thank the public who joined hands to help Johannes. We know that she is not the only one in need, there are people out there who may find themselves in such situation, so let’s help with the little we have,” Nambodi added.
The Oshikoto region has been running a programme aimed at supporting poor families in the region. “Johannes was identified through the Community Development Committee (CDC) meeting – that she was finding the going tough. The council thus intervened and procured fencing material for her mahangu field and the homestead. The council has spent about N$20 000 to assist Johannes,” said Jeronimo Mingeli, a community liaison officer at the Oshikoto Regional Council.
Mingeli is, however, calling upon all farmers that find themselves in the same situation as Johannes to come forward through their constituency councillor’s office as well as the regional office.
*Elina-Ombili Shishaki is an intern at the Ministry of Information and Communication Technology at Omuthiya, Oshikoto region.