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Over 700 OVC receive national documents in Kavango East and West regions

By Selma Shiwaya

IntraHealth Namibia, through the USAID funded Reach Namibia project supported 781 orphans and vulnerable children (OVC) to receive national documents in Kavango East and West regions. The initiative mainly targeted OVC who do not have national documents in Nyangana, Nkurenkuru, Ncamagoro and Andara districts.

According to Dr Samson Ndhlovu, the Chief of Party for the Reach Namibia project, the need for such an initiative resulted from household assessments that showed lack of national documents amongst OVC.

“You would find that most parents or guardians of these OVC do not have information on how to acquire these documents, the importance of these documents or financial means to reach the Ministry of Home Affairs, Immigration, Safety and Security offices,” Dr. Ndhlovu explains.

He further adds that the aim of the initiative was to bring services closer to people and issue them with national documents to reduce further vulnerabilities.

“National documents are a requirement in Namibia for many public and private services, such as accessing social grants, pursing further studies and opportunities for jobs. Not having a birth certificate hinders access to these services and create more vulnerabilities for OVC,” he adds.

Despite the outreach primarily targeting  OVC beneficiaries, the initiative reached a total of 3097 people who were issued with national documents in the four districts, as the services were extended to the general community members.

Four children of Mr. Reino Kampende a resident of Kankudi village which is 12km from the town of Nkurenkuru are beneficiaries of this initiative. Two children aged 19 and 16 received national identification cards while the minors aged 8 and 5 received birth certificates.

A relieved Kampende narrates that previous attempts to have his children documented were always unsuccessful due to the absence of the parents’ national documents.

“Our children could not be documented because their mother had lost her identity documents. It became more difficult when their mother passed on in 2020. I did not know what to do because I also do not have any national documents,” he said.

Kampende says his family has missed out on so many social welfare initiatives because of national documents. He, however, expressed gratitude for the support granted by IntraHealth Namibia to have his children documented.

“I am going to try and get my children registered for social grants again,” Kampende concludes.

Thirty-four-year-old Elina Sintungu, a resident of Nzinze Village in the Nkurenkuru district is also one of the grateful parents whose children have received national documents with the support of IntraHealth Namibia.

“I have had my documents since 2014 but I did not have financial means to take my children to Nkurenkuru where the Home Affairs office is,” Elina says, adding that now that her children have received birth certificates, she would like to have them registered for social support as well.

“I do not have much information on social grants therefore, I would like to have someone guide me on this,” she stated.

IntraHealth Namibia works with partners under the USAID funded Reach Namibia project to support orphans and vulnerable children and adolescent girls and young women in Kavango East and West Regions. The project also provides education and awareness to caregivers and parents on the importance of birth registration and how to obtain birth certificates and national documents.

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