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Volunteers Working

for Development
Working for Fillemon

VSO Namibia heeds

the Call to Support
National Volunteering

The Official Newsletter of VSO Namibia

Inaugural Issue, December 2006

VSO and Partners pay tribute

to volunteers contribution to development

SO Namibia joins community-based organisations, NGOs, international

development agencies and government ministries in recognising the dedication of
volunteers and the world of difference they make wherever they, as the whole world
celebrates the International Day of Volunteers on December 5.
While working through international volunteers, VSO Namibia also promotes support
for national or local volunteering in the country.
F TRIBUTE: cont. on page 10

Conference tackles
Food Security in a
world of HIV & AIDS

he Regional AIDS Initiative of

Southern Africa (RAISA) is a
VSO initiative that operates in six
countries in the southern African
region - Malawi, Mozambique,
Namibia, South Africa, Zambia and
Zimbabwe. RAISA aims to strengthen
the capacity of government and civil
society to develop and implement
multi-sectoral responses to HIV &
AIDS challenges in prevention, care,
access to treatment and voluntary
counseling and treatment. Special
attention is given to reduction of
stigma, gender issues, people living
with HIV & AIDS, and orphans and
vulnerable children.
On November 1- 3, VSO staff and
partners from the six participating

CONFERENCE: cont. on page 11

Increase the Access

Reduce the Burden

ince 2000, VSO Namibias HIV & AIDS Programme has supported a range of
government ministries, non-government, community and faith-based organisations
through a range of interventions and activities in order to strengthen their response to
and to reduce the impact of HIV & AIDS in the country. These interventions have been
provided through skilled VSO volunteers
either through direct service delivery (e.g.,
doctors, nurses and social workers), or
via capacity building and organisational
support (e.g, managers, accountants and
IT specialists).
A programme review conducted in
2006 resulted in identifying its focus, as;
a) improving and increasing access to
prevention and treatment services for
people infected and affected by HIV &
AIDS; and b) reducing the burden of care
on communities. The programme will
continue to support the Ministry of Health
and Social Services (MoHSS), specifically
in the ART or Anti-Retroviral Therapy Programme, as well as local and communitybased organisations in terms of capacity building, service delivery and organisational
development. Support will be provided through placement of volunteers, disbursement
of small grants, exchange visits, conferences and workshops.
There are currently 12 VSO volunteers working within the HIV & AIDS Programme.
These volunteers are placed with community-based organisations, primarily to
improve service delivery through individual capacity building and organisational
F BURDEN: cont. on page 11


CBR: A Holistic Approach to Attaining Equal

Opportunities for People with Disabilities

ommunity-Based Rehabilitation (CBR) has been a

worldwide-adopted strategy for 25 years now. CBR
is a strategy within general community development
for rehabilitation, equalisation of opportunities and
social inclusion of all children and adults with disability.
Community volunteers have an important role in raising
public awareness, as well as in identifying and referring
people with disabilities. The Namibian government
is already deeply involved and committed to this
community-based approach in addressing development
related issues of people with disabilities, which makes
CBR not solely an NGO-supported approach.
In 1997, the Ministry of Lands, Resettlement and
Rehabilitation launched its National Policy on Disability
in which CBR was mentioned as having a key role in its
implementation. In January 2005, a National Programme
for Community-Based Rehabilitation came into being
which makes CBR on the policy level, full of potential. On
the practical side, however, a lot of work still needs to be
done. Today, the Ministry of Health and Social Services
(MoHSS) has set up a department that focusses on
Community-Based Rehabiltation.

The Disability Programme and CBR

SO Namibias Disability Programme has been supporting the establishment of effective Community-Based
Rehabilitation Programmes since 2003, mainly through
VSO volunteers placed in strategic MOHSS departments
and community-based organisations. In March 2006, a
volunteer serving as national CBR coordinator has started
working at the VSO Programme Office to coordinate the
efforts of several CBR coordinators in the country. There
are currently seven VSO volunteers actively working on
CBR, either as management advisor, physiotherapist,
occupational therapist or social worker. Through these
volunteers, VSO has partnerships with the MOHSS,
Onyose Trust (an Organisation working for people with
disabilities based in Windhoek) and ELCIN Rehabilitation
Centre (based in Oniipa, Oshikoto region). The Ministry
and both organisations run CBR Programmes, and the
serving VSO volunteers provide support in terms of
management, training, fundraising, networking, among
many others. VSO is also working together closely with
other related ministries in order to adhere to the holistic
approach that CBR promotes. One of the many results
of VSOs fundraising and networking activities for CBR is
the cooperation with Liliane Foundation.

VSO Namibia and Liliane Foundation

n the beginning of 2006, a memorandum of understanding was signed between Liliane Foundation, a Dutch

Volunteers Working for Development

Minnie Lagria, CBR Manager, working with a child

with cerebral palsy at the Occupational Therapy
Department, Rundu Hospital.
organisation focussing on children with disabilities under
the age of 25, and VSO Namibia. The experience and
network that VSO has, because of the work done in
the field through VSO and local volunteers, contributed
to the easy access of support provided for by the
Foundation. To date, about 35 children with disabilities
have received assistance from Liliane Foundation. The
type of assistance varies from wheelchairs, walking aid,
voice activated laptop to transport money for visits to
various rehabilitation services. Since most assistance
is provided on individual basis, the application and
monitoring therefore is also done on an individual level.
Nevertheless, requests in order to make buildings
accessible for people with disabilities, e.g., through the
construction of ramps, grab rails or adjusted toilets, can
also be filed. A third opportunity is to request for support for
income generating projects focussing on either a young
adult or parents of children with multiple disabilities.
By identifying more organisations for, and with, people
with disabilities, more children could benefit from Liliane
Foundation. For information, please contact VSO
Namibia and ask for Menno Bongers (CBR and Liliane
Foundation Coordinator).

December 2006



Change through

SO Namibias Education Programme is guided by a

programme area plan (PAP), which operates within
the parameters of VSO Namibias Country Strategic
Plan (CSP 2003-2008). The CSP has been drafted in
adherence to national development policies, such as
the Vision 2030.
The overall goal of the Education Programme is to support
the development of quality education for disadvantaged
children in Namibia. The specific purpose of the
programme is to support Non-Governmental Organisation
(NGO) stakeholders and government departments in
strengthening the Ministry of Educations (MoE) capacity
to address the educational needs of disadvantaged
children in the targeted regions. Disadvantaged children
refers to all children finding themselves in the previously
disadvantaged regions, such as Otjozondjupa, Omusati,
Oshana, Ohangwena, Oshikoto, Kavango and the Caprivi.
It also includes Orphans and Vulnerable Children (OVC),
children with disabilities, children who are part of minority
groups like the San as well as girls. Our main partner is the
MoE through its regional directorates that operate around
the country, headed by Regional Directors.
Currently the Education PAP supports the MoE
through the educational regions of Caprivi, Ohangwena,
Omusati, Oshana, Oshikoto, and Kavango region.
Otjozondjupa region will also feature as a partner in
relation to support for the San located in the northwest
corridor area of Namibia. The University of Namibia
(UNAM), through its northern campus based in Oshakati
is also a prominent partner.
The support rendered to the regions focuses on
achieving results in: a) increasing the number of qualified
mathematics, science and English teachers; b) improving
the quality of mathematics, science and English teaching;
and c) improving and strengthening management capacity
at cluster, circuit and regional levels.
The support to the target regions has been stable and
ongoing through the placement of skilled and experienced
volunteers. Complementing the combined efforts to
teach International General Certificate for Secondary
Education (IGCSE) at senior secondary level, VSO has
also developed several teacher placements with an
additional responsibility of mathematics, science and

December 2006

English teacher training at primary and junior secondary

school level. Other efforts include the facilitation of
regional management capacity building exercises
through the placement of Organisational Development
Advisors (ODA). An initial short-term placement in the
Kavango region resulted in the region recruiting for two
other placements of ODA to be placed at circuit level in
2007. This move also prompted the colleges of education
in Ongwediva and Caprivi to request ODA placements
at their institutions. Management capacity building is
viewed as a milestone in the area of strengthening the
regional capacity towards the implementation of the
Education and Training Sector Improvement Programme
(ETSIP), which is the MoEs five-year strategic plan to
attain Vision 2030.
Some VSO outputs contributing to the attainment
of the Education Programme in the target regions
relates to:
Facilitating the development of regional bursary
Supporting UNAM in developing the foundation
Supporting the proper implementation of the
MASTEP programme;
Facilitating the development of programmes to
attract and retain newly qualified teachers in target
regions (mentoring schemes);
Strengthening the development of cluster-level InService teacher training;
Providing subject-related support to Advisory
Supporting clusters with implementation of school
science fairs;
Supporting the developing of management capacity
of cluster Principals and Head Of Departments;
Facilitating the development of training
programmes at advisory and inspectorate levels;
Facilitating the improvement of Organizational
Development and Management Systems at
regional level.

Volunteers Working for Development


Among the objectives of the San Stakeholders

Consultative Meeting in October 2005 was to
identify the development needs of San communities
in various regions in relation to Disability, Education,
HIV & AIDS and Secure Livelihoods.


VSO Namibia by numbers!


SO first made contact with the newly-elected

democratic government shortly after Namibia attained
its independence in
. Various ministries and local
non-government organisations expressed strong interest
in working in partnership with VSO. A country agreement
with the National Planning Commission of the Government
of the Republic of Namibia was signed on 21 June 1991
and this was followed by the establishment of a Programme
Office and permanent representation in the country. The
first VSO volunteers arrived in September 1991 and the
number of volunteers, along with the programme staff has
since grown rapidly.
VSO Namibias programme is anchored on a Country
Strategic Plan (CSP) covering the period 2003-2008.
The purpose of the CSP is to maximise the impact of the
Programme Office on local development issues within
the global development context and VSOs corporate
strategic plan, Focus for Change.

Based on the major local development issues, VSOs

expertise, experiences and comparative advantage in
Namibia, the aim to increase focus and impact as defined
in the Focus for Change, as well as the availability of
resources, the following development goals have been
identified as key areas for VSO Namibia: HIV & AIDS,
Disability, Education and Secure Livelihoods.
There are currently 75 VSO volunteers serving
across Namibia, as follows: Education with 28
volunteers, Disability with 24, HIV & AIDS with 12
and Secure Livelihoods with 11. VSO volunteers
are professionals ranging in age from 20 to
75. The majority of volunteers are working on a
2-year placement and have appropriate qualifications
and experience for their placements.
The volunteers aim to pass on their expertise to
local people so that when they return home their skills

Using a More Enterprise-Oriented Approach

to Securing Livelihoods

nemployment and underemployment are some

of the key development issues in Namibia
leading to consistent poverty for more than half of
Namibias population. Most jobs cannot be filled
due to lack of suitably qualified and experienced
people. In formerly disadvantaged areas in the
north, many non-Namibians are employed in the
education and health sectors. The formal sector is
unable to absorb the vast numbers of unskilled job
seekers, while the informal sector is still relatively
underdeveloped. Lack of technical skills, as well
as small business development knowledge and
skills, and access to credit are the main reasons
for the lack of entrepreneurship and growth within
the small, micro and medium enterprise sector. In
addition to skills shortage, there appears to be a
mismatch between the outputs of education and
training institutions, and the labour market needs.
Most vocational and skills training continues to be
maintaining traditional gender roles.
In response, VSO Namibia has developed a
targeted and focussed programme based on where
VSO can have the greatest impact. In order to
contribute to creating employment in rural areas,
VSO will be seeking to strengthen partnerships with
organisations supporting community initiatives
in creating employment and increasing rural
incomes. The focus will hence be on communal
conservancies where the local population is able
to manage their natural environment and where
opportunities for exploration of these natural
resources exist, as well as on developing a more
business- and enterprise-oriented approach to
natural resource management, to ensure that such

Volunteers Working for Development

Products currently in
demand are colorful
baskets produced to
exact specifications.
Producers who have
worked alongside VSO craft experts are learning that
quality products pay the best prices.
initiatives are sustainable.
In the aspect of enterprise development, craft
production remains the main source of income
generation in the Caprivi, the four north central
regions, and recently the Kavango region. The
challenge for craft producers is to keep exploring
new products to ensure constant sales and
demand. At present, VSO supports a number
of organisations in enterprise and business
development through two VSO volunteers
with Integrated Rural Development and Nature
Conservation in Caprivi, doing craft, finance and
organisational development. There is also one
volunteer hosted by Rssing Foundation working
on craft development.

December 2006



In the recent October

planning on the future of
Namibia Non-Governmental
Organisations Forum
(NANGOF), support for
community volunteers under
the Training and Capacity
Building Sector, has been
incorporated. Furthermore,
NANGOFs key focal
areas now include: a) the
development of a national
framework on volunteering
to recognise and support
their efforts, to maximise
their contribution to Namibian
development; and b)
taking action on the New
Labour Act issues relating
to civil society employers,
employees and volunteers.

commonly referred to as community
volunteering, is playing an increasingly
important role in Namibia today. The
NANASOs Monitoring and Evaluation
Report on the Civil Society Contribution
to Tackling HIV & AIDS in Namibia,
conducted in 2005, noted that the nature
and scale of voluntary input is inspiring.
The NANASO directory records more
than a hundred organisations working
for HIV & AIDS relying on the services
of nearly 22,000 community volunteers.
This figure does not include non-HIV &
AIDS programmes, such as those on
Disability, Education or even Secure
The Namibia NonGovernmental Organisations Forum
(NANGOF) database in-progress, for
instance, records that at least 33 civil
society groups working towards a wide
range of development issues in Namibia,
alone, deal with a slightly lower total of
about 14,000 local volunteers.
Evidently, various organisations are
making effective use of local volunteers
to implement their programmes, thus
enabling more and more Namibians
to contribute their share to community
development through volunteering.
Instead of seeing people as part of the
problem, volunteering sees them as part
of the answer. Volunteering can mobilize
citizens in pursuit of specific development
goals and can also contribute to the
strength of civil society. However, this
remarkable development is not without
its set of challenges, particularly in
terms of the kind of support that is being
provided for national volunteers.
VSO promotes volunteering to fight
global poverty and disadvantage.
Hence, VSO Worldwide has been

working through, and with, volunteers

since 1958, but more directly with
international volunteers, by recruiting
and sending them to countries where
they are most needed. However, within
VSOs recent discussions around the
future of volunteering, VSO hopes to
increase its support to local or national
volunteering programmes focused on
addressing disadvantage in developing
countries. VSO will not run these
volunteering programmes and will not
be recruiting local volunteers, but will
support local agencies in doing so where
such programmes provide an effective
way of addressing shared development
VSO Medium Term Plan commits that,
VSO will grow national volunteering
steadily by ensuring that each country
programme has explored the potential
for national volunteering. In November
2003, staff and partners from VSO
Country Offices met in the Philippines
to discuss how this commitment could
be best transformed into action. To
date, more and more VSO Programme
Offices worldwide are responding to
the summons for a more contemporary
VSO Namibia has heeded the call to
build on VSOs distinctive competence
and rich experience in managing
volunteers and is now working together
with other organisations, government
agencies and ministries to provide
strategic support to national volunteering
in Namibia, particularly within the HIV
& AIDS and Disability programmes,
wherein a huge number of local
volunteers deliver their Home-Based
Care (HIV & AIDS) and Community-

Overall NV Goal:

Promote national volunteering as an enabling mechanism

for people in Namibia to gain capacities through
volunteering opportunities to fully contribute to the
development of their own communities.


1) To support the strengthening of volunteer management

capacity of Namibian volunteers involving organisations
and agencies with emphasis on, but not limited to, HIV &
AIDS and Disability programmes.
2) To support foster a more enabling environment for
Namibian Volunteers.

December 2006

Volunteers Working for Development


Namibians for Namibia:

VSO heeds the Call to Support
National Volunteering in Namibia


Windhoek International School

(WIS) Students and Faculty
strike a pose with the KAYEC
Kids after a fun- and learningfilled afternoon at the Katutura
Youth Enterprise Centre.
Service Learning, which is
a method whereby students
engage in community service
as part of their coursework,
and which was piloted by VSO
Namibia in partnership with
KAYEC, through two WIS
teachers and their respective
classes. The idea is to allow
the students to apply and
validate concepts learned
in the classroom to real-life
situations, while directly being
of service to others at the
same time. It also allows the
faculty to broaden education
beyond the classroom. This
voluntary activity is just one
of the many ways that VSO
is looking into to promote
community volunteerism from
all sectors of the Namibian

Based Rehabilitation (Disability) activities.

Lack of recognition of volunteers
contribution, poor relations with the
community, lack of material support to
facilitate volunteers work, need for more
appropriate training and supervision,
volunteer retention, volunteers false
expectations and unguided motivations
for volunteering, and clients high
expectations from volunteers are just
a few of the many challenges that
Namibian volunteers, along with the
local organisations working with them,
face in their efforts to contribute to
community development.
Namibian volunteering is thriving
amidst these challenges and is
extensively supporting the work of
several development organisations,
including VSO Namibia. Both local
and international organisations and
programmes on the two development
issues in the country are already relying
on the voluntary services of local
people, specifically for their HomeBased Care and Community-Based
Rehabilitation activities. However, the
driving force behind this movement
is influenced by the socio-economic
conditions in the country. A significant
number of community volunteers, who
provide direct service to people living
with HIV and people with disabilities, do
so to have access to free trainings and
workshops. Volunteering, therefore, is
perceived as an avenue to gain skills
to eventually be qualified for proper
employment. Under this definition,
volunteering serves the purpose of
building the capacity of a huge rate of

Volunteers Working for Development

unqualified or unemployable people,

while enabling them to contribute to the
development of their own communities
and in the long run, to nation building.
In a country with only 1.8 million
people, and where access to basic
needs is still the concern of the
majority, it is reasonably difficult to
further the beyond me concept of
volunteering. Given the extremely high
rate of unemployment and poverty,
volunteerism takes on a new meaning.
To advocate for appropriate support for
local volunteers, concerned civil society
groups and government agencies
must work around this definition of
volunteering in Namibia. Nonetheless,
the amount of volunteering among the
employed and the youth in- and out- of
school is also remarkably significant.
They volunteer for the sole purpose
of being able to contribute to the
development of their own communities,
through making effective use of
available skills and resources. VSO
Namibia will also be therefore exploring
avenues wherein the academe and
the private sector can be introduced
to community volunteering activities,
since there have been expressions of
interest from these sectors to be active
in the volunteering movement.
In light of these clear manifestations
of civil societys active participation,
VSO Namibia will support a wide
range of volunteering efforts through
appropriate types and levels of
assistance within its Country Strategic
Plan and existing programmes, as well
as within other potential areas.

December 2006



What is HR Solutions Namibia?

R Solutions is a label of Randstad, a large multinational

company on recruitment and out placing. Randstad
and VSO have entered into a long-term partnership and
HR Solutions Namibia is one of the embodiments of the
partnership between the two organisations.VSO Namibia
has identified that there is a stage in the development of
most organisations when the need arises for support in
establishing Human Resources management systems,
structures and policies. Once finances are in place, applying
knowledge and experience of human resources is essential
to strengthen and develop organisations. VSO Namibia
has been working with a number of local partners that are in
this stage, or will be there soon.
Many NGOs have expressed a demand for HR related
services to help strengthen their organisation and build
organisational capacity. Many VSO partners not only
manage contracted staff, but also work with, and through,
community-based local volunteers. National volunteers,
more commonly referred to as community volunteers,
comprise a significant part of these organisations human
resources. Unfortunately, effective volunteer management
is rare and thus requires support and development.
Small teams often lack expertise in developing systems
and structures to enable employees to perform effectively
and to support personal and professional development to
better contribute to their organisations aims and objectives.
However, most of the partner organisations are not large
enough to require full-time support through a standard twoyear VSO volunteer placement.
HR Solutions Namibia will fill in the identified gap through
offering a range of HR tools, as well as through placement
of skilled volunteers. The overall purpose of HR Solutions
Namibia is to develop and share best practices and
Namibian solutions for employment and labour issues
among VSO partners.
On a consultancy basis, HR volunteers will support VSO
In April 2005, VSO merged with BESO (British Executive
Service Overseas), an organisation specialising in placing
volunteers on short-term assignments in many countries
in Africa. The merger allowed
VSO to expand its services
and include opportunities for
placing volunteers with partner
organisations for shorter periods
of time.
So far, short-term placements
have been developed lasting
anywhere between 3 weeks
and 4 months. Some of these placements have been
developed to support other volunteer placements, such as
in the case of a Finance Manager with Ombetja Yehinga
Organisation. In other cases, volunteer placements
were agreed to tackle work not requiring a long-term
volunteer placement of two years, such as in the case of a

partners to build organisational capacity through improving

systems and structures, ensuring that basic conditions
of employment are in place and are being adhered to.
Promotion and sharing of books, standardized HR tools,
models, documents and other relevant HR resources with
partners will be part of the service as well. HR Solutions
volunteers and staff will further work with partners in
developing their capacity in recruiting and managing local
volunteers. To make sure skills are being shared and
competences developed, HR solutions will offer workshops
and trainings, and will set up a network of those partners
with similar needs and demands.

How does HR Solutions fit in VSO Namibias

Country Strategic Plan?

R Solutions Namibia will be working with partners that

have been identified through the four programme areas
of VSO Namibia. Organisational capacity building has been
identified as an objective in all these areas. HR Solutions
will contribute to the organisational capacity building of the
identified partners by focussing on HR management and
development. For many organisations, this will also include
the management of local volunteers. Statistics show
that unskilled and unqualified people often will find paid
employment after having volunteered in an environment
that enabled them to develop basic skills and experience.
Strengthening the HR components of both smaller and
bigger or more established organisations will significantly
contribute to improved employment conditions for both
employees and volunteers. It will help employees and
volunteers to develop their skills, develop a result-oriented
work attitude and to understand their labour rights. It will
support directors, managers and volunteer managers of
organisations in the development of their leadership and
people-management skills. Overall, it will contribute to
improved employment practices and work environments in

placement for an organisational development advisor with

the Kavango regional education office.
VSO secured some funding to cover most of the local
costs of the short-term volunteers
where partners are unable to
contribute. Another benefit of
the new scheme is the short
period of time required to recruit
short-term volunteers. This is
especially the case where the
length of the placement is for a
few weeks only. Another positive
aspect of the scheme is the possibility to receive shortterm volunteers anytime of the year instead of only twice
per year as is the case with standard 2-year placements.
Interested organisations should contact any of the
Programme Managers of VSO Namibia to find out more
about this new service.

at VSO

December 2006

Volunteers Working for Development



VSO Namibia promotes HR Solutions

for Human Resources Challenges


Lisa to Petrina

Flavia Negumbo of TKMOAMS (seated fifth from left) shared that she
learned a lot from the VPDM Course and that she hopes to convince
TKMOAMS to have a proper volunteer management system in place so
that they could work with their home-based care community volunteers,
more effectively.

Catholic AIDS Action,

TKMOAMS participate
in Volunteer Programme
Development and
Management Course
in the Philippines

Amorey Pote (doing the

presentation) of Catholic
AIDS Action is already in
the process of developing
an abbreviated VPDM
training manual that is more
applicable to community
volunteering in Namibia.
In partnership with VSO
Namibia, Amorey plans to
conduct the training for
other volunteer managers
and coordinators in Namibia.
Proper management and
development of volunteer
programmes lead to more
effective volunteers, which
in turn leads to adequate
service delivery to our
most vulnerable population
group. The course has
enabled me to share with
local organisations how
to get the basic principles
of a volunteer programme
right to achieve better
service delivery, the CAA
participant beams with pride.

Volunteers Working for Development

wo selected staff from Catholic

attended the Volunteer Programme
Development and Management (VPDM)
Course in September-October 2006 at the
South East Asia Rural Social Leadership
through VSO Namibia.
The VPDM Course, now on its second
year, was attended by 25 volunteer involving
organisations managers, coordinators
and trainers from the national volunteering
partners of VSO from China, Ghana,
India, Kazakhstan, Kosovo, Mongolia,
Montenegro, Namibia, Nepal, Nigeria,
Papua New Guinea, the Philippines, South
Africa and Zambia. Through a variety of
learning methodologies, such as structured
learning exercises, worksheets, workshops,
lectures and games, the Course provided the
international participants with fundamental
knowledge and skills on the volunteer
journey, volunteer management systems,
and developing a volunteering programme.
More importantly, the participants were also
further guided on the relation of volunteering
and development.
Highlights of the month-long Certificate
Course include the immersion and institutional visits of the participants to volunteer
involving and placing organisations, as well
as the panel presentation and critiquing
of each participants Development Action
Plan based on the Course.

fter more than four years

with VSO Namibia as
RAISA Country Coordinator,
Lisa Davidson has decided
to move on and she will soon
be working for the Ministry of
Healths TB Programme in the
Khomas Region. Lisa has made
huge contributions to the RAISA
Programme in Namibia, and it
is safe to say that because of
her enthusiasm and dedication,
the programme has been able
to reach many people affected
and infected by HIV & AIDS,
providing support ranging from
a meal through a soup kitchen
funded by a small grant to the
creation of a support network
for shelters, to providing
opportunities to young people to
be exposed to photography and
have their photos printed and
exhibited. We could mention
many more but it is clear that
we will greatly miss Lisa and her
varied inputs.
August, we have been able to
offer the RAISA post to Petrina
Mwetulundila. Petrina presently
works for UNAIDS for the small
grants fund. Previously she was
involved in a USAID-funded
project in education where
she worked as an HIV & AIDS
Training Manager, and prior to.
that with the Namibia Planned
Parenthood Association. Petrina
will start her post at the end of

Emily to Ndapewa

ur ever efficient and reliable

been promoted as Programme
At the moment,
Ndapewa Kmati is being trained
to take over the reception and
some of the administrative
Ndapewa was a former volunteer
at the Resource Center of
the National Association of
Differently Abled Women. We
would appreciate your patience
and co-operation as Ndapewa
undergoes her training to serve
your administrative needs better
in the future.

To Petrina and Ndapewa,

welcome aboard!
December 2006



Sometimes it is the small changes that are remembered
the most. One of the important aspects of my role in
TKMOAMS has been to build relationships with other
agencies. One success of these relationships has been
help to a boy named Fillemon.
Fillemon regularly attends the TKMOAMS soup
kitchen in Oneshila, Oshakati East. His father passed
away a few years ago and both he and his mother have
been shunned by their family because of the cause
of his fathers death, but also because Fillemon has
physical disability (brittle bones that break easily). They
do not have anywhere to live and so they move around
in the area living in different corrugated iron rooms. The
mother is often sick and has an alcohol problem. There
have also been incidents of physical abuse directed at
Fillemon and often they do not have any food. If they
are given food, then this is sold so the mother could buy
alcohol this happened at Christmas time once.
Fillemon has just turned 8 years old but he was not in
school until this year. Sanet Cloete from the Ministry of
Basic Education was instrumental in finding him a place
in grade 1 at the local primary school and in ensuring
that he was exempted from paying school fees.
Hannah Kambowe, an Occupational Therapist at
Oshakati Hospital, was able to get Fillemon some
crutches (he has always been in a wheelchair) so he
could walk and start to build up strength in his legs,
which have been broken many times.
I realised that his situation was not sustainable without
my help and I was concerned for his well-being once
I left Oshakati. We had arranged counselling for his
mother but there was no improvement. I contacted the
SOS Childrens Village in Tsumeb and discussed his
case with the Director, who advised me that he would
meet their criteria but only referrals from Social Services
were accepted. I then contacted Ilona Ndjenja, a social
worker on the TKMOAMS Board. She was able to
interview both Fillemon and his mother and put together
a case to get Fillemon a child in need of care court
order which needs to accompany any referral to SOS.
During this interview Fillemons mother said that she
is not capable of looking after Fillemon anymore and
wanted someone else to take him.
A court case was scheduled and eventually, SOS
Childrens Village accepted him and collected him a
week after the court case.
I know that the Namibian Governments OVC policy is
that children should not be put into institution care but be
taken cared of by the extended family. However, there
are cases where this is not possible or appropriate. I
am confident that at SOS Childrens Village, Fillemon
will be taken cared of and given a chance to a normal
life. I met Fillemon again when he was in Windhoek.

December 2006

He said he liked living at SOS and he looked well and

happy. He is a lovely bright child with the most amazing
smile and he certainly deserves this chance.
by Emma Richards, HIV & AIDS Programme Advisor/
VSO Volunteer, TKMOAMS
Emma supports a community-based organisation
in Oshakati that runs a house-to-house network of
care spanning 32 rural communities. The network
itself is delivered by more than a thousand Namibian
volunteers, with Emma supporting the staff to make
the most of the huge resource of local volunteers,
and to ensure that her skills are passed on to these
volunteers and the community.

Volunteers Working for Development


Cross-Agency Working for

GE 1


CONFERENCE: cont. from page 1

In an effort to raise the profile of community

volunteers, VSO Namibia is co-organising
the following events to commemorate the
day of our everyday Namibian heroes, who
freely share their time and skills with the
disadvantaged communities in Namibia:
Landula Oshiholelwa Shandje (Follow
my Lead)!
Celebrating 15 Years of CommunityBased Rehabilitation through
ELCIN Eastern Diocese Hall, Oniipa,
Organisers: ELCIN, MoHSS, VSO


This one-day event on December 2

(CBR) Volunteers from the four regions
of Oshikoto, Oshana, Omusati and
Ohangwena, who have been trained by the
ELCIN Rehabilitation Centre (ERC) and are
supervised by the Ministry of Health and
Social Services (MoHSS) and/or ERC, is
both a commemoration of the International
Day for People with Disability (Dec 3) and
International Day of Volunteers.
In partnership with the MoHSS and VSO
Namibia, ELCIN is organising the affair to: a)
recognise and celebrate the achievements
and work of CBR volunteers; b) empower CBR
volunteers to take the initial steps in forming
a cohesive self-advocacy and communication
network; and c) raise awareness on the
activities of CBR volunteers and the CBR
programme, as a whole.
Early this year, a problem-solving workshop
was organised by ERC for key decision-makers
and supervisors of CBR programmes. At this
workshop, the participants were asked to seek
realistic solutions in addressing the challenges
being dealt with by CBR volunteers and the
outcome was an agreement on the setting
of two broad goals, including: 1) promotion
of widespread awareness of the aims and
activities of the CBR programme, both within
the governmental ministries, which have a
duty to support the implementation of CBR
on the ground, and within the general public;
and, 2) establishment or reconvening of
Regional CBR Advisory Committees, which
was identified as a pressing need in each of
the four regions.
Practical activities aimed at achieving
the indicated goals are already ongoing.
ELCIN Rehabilitation Centre is working in
conjunction with the MoHSS, to strengthen
existing structures and to encourage local
and regional authorities to implement
commitments made in the National Policy
on Disability and the National Programme
for CBR. However, this is gradual and
challenging work that requires persistence,

Volunteers Working for Development

and unfortunately, offers volunteers on the

ground very little evidence of progress.
It is in light of these circumstances that a
whole-day celebration of CBR volunteers
work has been proposed. Such an event
of significant magnitude and visibility will
serve to raise awareness on and recognition
of the CBR volunteers work in a manner
that has never been done before. This
CBR Volunteers Day is also a way of
addressing many of the issues identified by
the volunteers themselves in a more festive
and creative way.
Valuing the Namibian Volunteer
Contribution to Development
A Conference on Community
Organisers: MoHSS, NANGOF,
NANASO, Namibia Red Cross
Society, VSO Namibia
VSO Namibia is working with the Ministry
of Health and Social Services (MoHSS),
Namibia Non-Governmental Organisations
Forum (NANGOF), Namibia Network of AIDS
Service Organisation (NANASO), Namibia
Red Cross Society and other local and
international development organisations/
agencies, towards a conference on
national volunteering this December 5-6,
to commemorate the International Day of
Volunteer Contribution to Development, the
Conference will serve as an avenue wherein
tangible plan of actions to promote support
for local volunteering initiatives could be
drafted, and in due course be embodied in a
policy on national volunteering.
Specifically, the Conference will include
paper presentations, interactive discussions,
small groups and plenary sessions on the
following: a) Volunteerism in Namibia;
b) Code of Conduct on Community
Volunteering; c) Volunteering and the New
Labour Act; d) Training towards more
effective management of local volunteers; e)
Network formation of organisations working
with national volunteers and sharing of best
practices among them.
These topics have been identified on
the basis of the findings of the Report of
an Assessment of Community Volunteers
and Community Based Health Care
Programmes, a nationwide study on local
volunteering in Namibia spearheaded by the
MoHSS. The Report is now being finalised
in time for its launching presentation at the
The Conference will also provide
opportunities for networking and sharing of
best practices among the participants.

December 2006


GE 1


BURDEN: cont. from page 1

At the MoHSS, VSO volunteer Martin

Harrison contributed to the establishment
of systems for disbursement of funds from
the Global Fund on AIDS, Tuberculosis and
Malaria. At Engela Hospital in Ohangwena
region, Dr. Catherine Atkins trained
clinical staff and community volunteers
on implementation of a comprehensive
community-based response to HIV & AIDS.
Through innovative and cost efficient
approaches, volunteers work with local
colleagues to support community-based
responses to HIV & AIDS.
In recognition of the multiple factors

affecting the spread of HIV & AIDS, VSOs

Namibias HIV & AIDS Programme is
mainstreaming gender.
Through VSO UK, an exchange visit
was conducted for staff from women and
childrens shelters in Namibia to visit shelters
in South Africa. This resulted in the Be Court
Wise Programme, now being implemented
in Tsumeb, and currently the only program
of this nature in Namibia.
The programme aims to prepare
women and children to be informed about
court procedures, which is already being
implemented by shelters in South Africa.

Reducing Obstacles to the Walvis Bay State

Hospital HAART Clinic

nder the Ministry of Health and Social Services Highly Active Anti Retroviral
Treatment or HAART Programme, the Walvis Bay State Hospital operates a
HAART Clinic, located in the town center. Carole Alderton, a VSO volunteer working at
the Walvis Bay Multi Purpose Center, observed that while the number of referrals to the
clinic from the VCT (Voluntary Counseling and Testing) Clinic is increasing, the number
of clients receiving HAART is low and decreasing.
After conducting an assessment of the clinic and its offered services, Carole identified
the following factors, which deterred clients from going through the process of being
placed on HAART:
Up to 200 clients attend the clinic, however, the clinic facilities are very basic, with
only one room and two benches.
The clinic has no toilet or bathroom facilities.
There are no facilities for children and/or babies, e.g., changing or feeding area.
The room does not provide privacy for client consultations since there are no room
There is a lack of effective administration system, leading to long waiting periods by
clients wanting to be examined by the doctor.

Given these restricting circumstances, Carole is now working on a small project,

in collaboration with the Chief Medical Officer from the Regional Management Team,
to obtain funding from local businesses. The funding will be used to conduct all the
necessary renovations for the clinic to function more effectively. Carole has already
received support from an engineer to develop the renovations plan.

CONFERENCE: cont. from page 1

countries will convene for the VSO-RAISA

2006 Regional Conference in Pretoria,
South Africa.
Sustainability: Food Security in a world
of HIV & AIDS, the Conference aims to
provide a platform for improved linkages
between food security and HIV & AIDS in
southern Africa and to enable organisations
and people living with HIV &/or AIDS to
highlight strategies to decrease vulnerability
to food insecurity.
Despite the clear interrelationship
between HIV & AIDS and food security,
and the critical importance of the issue, this
topic has not received the recognition that
is urgently required. It has been identified

December 2006

as a key issue that VSO-RAISA partners

are grappling with, and as such, there is a
need to develop our understanding further,
particularly on successes, and how to
improve and scale these up to effectively
tackle food insecurity and HIV & AIDS
in the southern African region. Two key
conferences - one held in Durban, South
Africa, in 2005 and the second in Lusaka,
Zambia, in 2006 - provided forums to explore
the issue and VSO-RAISA needs to build on
the momentum and knowledge shared at
these events.
Otherwise, we risk facing the prospect that
this current food emergency will become
a structural feature of the southern African
landscape for many years to come.

Volunteers Working for Development





he beginning of December marks three important

days. World Aids Day celebrates all that has been
achieved in the previous 12 months in tackling one of
the main development issues in Southern Africa. On the
3rd of December, attention is drawn towards the plight
of thousands of people with disabilities who still do not
have the same rights and opportunities as people without
disabilities. And two days later, on the 5th of December,
Volunteers Day is celebrated.
While often not recognised by official bodies, the
work of volunteers is indispensable in many sectors
of society. In Namibia, home-based care is reliant
on thousands of volunteers working in hundreds of
communities. Community-based rehabilitation is making
use of hundreds of volunteers to ensure that children
and adults with disabilities receive the care and support
they need, while at the same time educating those within
the community on how to support people with disabilities
Volunteers also contribute greatly to the economies of
any country. Though few studies have ever attempted to
quantify this contribution, one study in Ireland estimated

that voluntary action consists of around 8% of GDP. In

Namibia, quantifying voluntary action to the economy
is not particularly useful. Ensuring volunteers are
motivated, supported and acknowledged, is however
crucial so that key areas of work, such as home-based
care can continue to support the many thousands of
Namibians that need the care.
In the last few months, VSO Namibia has explored
the options of supporting government and civil society
organisations in promoting local or national volunteering.
The promotion of local volunteering runs side by side
with the international volunteering programme that has
now reached countries, such as India, the Philippines
and Kenya where several volunteers now serving in
Namibia have been recruited.
The VSO Namibia newsletter hopes to update our partners
and supporters on latest developments, programmes and
trends, while also celebrating the excellent work done by
both local and international volunteers.

Daan Gerretsen, Country Director



Programme Name:

Getting It Right

Josia & Pinehas


May 2004 - to date


etting It Right is a weekly informative youth radio

programme aired through the Katutura Community
Radio (KCR) that aims to demystify misconceptions and
confusions surrounding HIV & AIDS. The main message
is that being HIV positive does not equal death and
that scores of Namibians are living quality and positive
lives despite them being HIV positive. Interviews with
stakeholders ranging from people infected and affected
by HIV & AIDS, as well as representatives from CBOs,
NGOs, the church and the government, are featured in
the programme.
The programme is aired every Monday from 21h0022h00 at 106.2 FM, KCR For the people, By the people.
Getting It Right is produced and hosted by Josia Helmut
and Pinehas Iipinge, both second year students at the
Media Arts Technology Studies.The radio programme
is made possible through the VS0-RAISA Small Grant

Volunteers Working for Development

people in the country to gain
opportunities and develop their capacity to
fully participate in society by exercising their
fundamental rights. VSO or Voluntary Service
Overseas promotes volunteering to fight global
poverty and disadvantage. We bring people
together to share skills, creativity and learning
to build a fairer world. VSO is an international
development charity that works through, and with,
volunteers. The organisation is presently working
in roughly 35 countries worldwide, and there are
around 1600 volunteers working overseas at any
one time.
VSO Namibia
8 Month Blanc St, Eros
P. O. Box 11339, Windhoek
Tel: 061-237513
Fax: 061- 237515
Editorial Adviser:
Daan Gerretsen
Issue Editor:
Abby Mercado
Menno Bongers, Paul Collair, Daan Gerretsen,
Josia Helmut, Lute Kazembe, Abby Mercado,
Ehrens Mbamanovandu, Brigithe Oases, Niek
van der Spek
Layout & Design:
Johannes Aoxamub, The Big Squeeze
The Big Issue Namibia
Send us your volunteer stories, programme news
and upcoming events at

December 2006