15 Apr 2014 10:20am
SAUYEMWA, 15 APR (NAMPA) The Sauyemwa Visually-Impaired Centre in the similarly-named informal settlement on the western outskirts of Rundu is in need of cooks and other volunteers to assist with household chores.
Classes at the only centre for visually impaired persons in the two Kavango regions commenced at the beginning of April after having been suspended for the whole of last year due to a lack of students.
A volunteer was provided by the Namibia Red Cross Society (NRCS) to help the centre with household chores such as cooking meals, washing clothes and cleaning the centre, but stopped working in January this year.
This centre was established in 2008 to afford people living with visual impairments an opportunity to access education.
The Centres Manager Immanuel Kangenengene, who is visually impaired himself, told Nampa on Tuesday that classes for the 2014 academic year commenced earlier this month.
However, they are struggling to do their own household chores and prepare decent meals for themselves because they have no sight.
The centre is also in need of at least two cooks to prepare meals for the visually-impaired students and their teachers, but is unable to employ them due to a lack of funds to pay for their allowances.
Furthermore, there is a short supply of food for students, and the Centre Manager has thus appealed to the local business community to assist them with foodstuff.
They currently have one cook - who is a visually impaired teacher - who volunteered to cook for her students, but Kangenengene said the centre cannot afford her allowance payments.
The Ministry of Education (MeD) currently assists the centre with stationery, and pays the monthly salaries of the four teachers here.
During the current academic year, the centre has enrolled 16 students, who are all accommodated at the centre as some of them are from remote areas.
They did not enrol any new students last year after the centres last group of students successfully completed their courses in 2012.
Last year, people with visual impairment could also not be enrolled as some were discouraged by the constant lack of transport to and from school over weekends and during holidays, while some lived in remote areas.
The school managed to enrol students this year after an intense campaign, which called on them to access education.
The students will be expected to pay for their own transport costs as the centre does not have its own transport, nor does it have funds to cater for transport.
They will also be paying for their own food and other necessities while at the centre, which now accommodates up to 19 students.
Accommodation is provided free of charge in six corrugated structures, while mattresses donated by Good Samaritans are also available for use by the students.
Kangenengene thus appealed to Central Government to assist in providing and paying for the monthly allowances of the cooks as they are also contributing in providing education to all.
Those currently residing at the centre survive on grants provided by Government, as well as food donations by local businesspeople and shopping outlets.
Since the schools establishment in 2008, the centre has produced over 20 graduates who successfully completed Stages One and Two of the courses presented here.
These include lessons on how to read and write local languages in Braille, as well as Mathematics.
Most graduates are now furthering their studies at other centres for visually-impaired persons in Windhoek.
The Sauyemwa Visually-Impaired Centre has a hall, but lessons take place under a tree.
This hall was built with assistance from Johan Krail, a businessperson at Rundu.