SOS Children’s Villages supports individual children, young people and families so that they can thrive (photo: SOS Children’s Villages Namibia).

The town of Ondangwa is located in the Oshana Region of northern Namibia, close to the Angolan border. It has a population of around 23,000 and the region has been experiencing a steady population growth in recent years. Although the town is an important commercial and industrial centre in northern Namibia, the local population still lacks basic infrastructure and many public services. For example, there are not enough schools, which means that many children do not get an education. Many families in the rural north make a living from agriculture, but the harsh weather conditions create problems for people in securing income and food.

Since 2009, SOS Children’s Villages has been supporting children, young people and families and advocating for their rights in Ondangwa.

5 in 10
Namibians lack access to sanitation

Lack of infrastructure

In recent years, rapid urbanization in Ondangwa has led to a lack of adequate housing. Hundreds of families live in so-called “kambashus”, iron shacks, build illegaly on private land. As a result, families can be forced to leave their homes at any time, making their livelihoods extremely insecure. In addition, the lack of running water or electricity endangers the health of many people. About 5 out of 10 people do not have access to adequate sanitation facilities, such as toilets. As a result diseases spread easily, which is especially dangerous for young children. When floods occur, these types of homes are often left severely damaged.

Of children are too small for their age in Namibia

Flooding destroys food crops

Floods in northern Namibia have become increasingly severe in recent years. They often damage buildings and roads, but also have a devastating impact on food production. Many people in the rural areas around Ondangwa rely on agriculture for income and to feed their families. However, recurring floods mean that crops are often destroyed and many people do not have enough to eat. This is especially dangerous for children as they cannot develop healthily. In fact, about 23% of Namibian children are too small for their age due to being undernourished.

Your support makes a difference for children in Ondangwa

SOS Children’s Villages works with local partners and communities to offer a wide range of support that is adapted to the local context. We always work in the best interest of the children, young people and families.
Can stay together
Learn at our kindergartens and schools
Children and young people
Grow up in our care
Children learning together in their classroom. We work hard to make sure that children stay at school for as long as possible. (photo: SOS Children’s Villages Namibia).

How your support helps in Ondangwa

Strengthening vulnerable families and communities
When parents face hardships, they can sometimes struggle to give children the care they need. SOS Children’s Villages works with local partners and communities. Each family needs different support so that they can stay together. This support can include workshops on parenting and children’s rights. We also run training so that parents can get the skills they need to get a job or start their own businesses. Likewise, we ensure that children can get medical help and go to school.
Providing quality education
SOS Children’s Villages ensures that children and young people have access to high-quality education. We help them learn and develop in a safe and supportive environment. We train teachers on children’s rights and child-centered learning, so that each child can get the most out of their education. Young children spend time playing and learning at kindergarten. This prepares them for primary school.
Caring for children who cannot live with their families
Some children cannot stay with their families, even with additional support. When this happens, they can find a new home in SOS Children’s Villages. Here the children can build safe and lasting relationships. All the children in our care have access to education and healthcare. Wherever possible, we work closely with the children’s family of origin. If children can return to live with their families, we help them adapt to this change.