Ouma Maria's struggles continue

27 Jul 2015 08:10am
WINDHOEK, 27 JULY (NAMPA) – Taking care of 18 children is not easy, says 70-year-old Maria Snyders.
All children, including three babies, are Snyders's grandchildren and great-grandchildren left with her by her children.
“My support comes from my heavenly Father, and when I get tired I only ask for help from my Father above,” she told journalists on Friday outside her humble zink structure house in the Havana informal settlement of the capital.
Ouma (grandmother) Maria, as she is affectionately known by the children, had been diagnosed with breast cancer, suffers from asthma and high blood pressure, but “the children is my biggest motivation to get up every morning and take care of them”.
She does not have running water at her home or electricity and cooks outside on an open fire. She provides for them all through her monthly pension grant.
Sitting on the ground next to Ouma Maria in her clean and organised small erf, this reporter notices deep facial lines, which could be as a result of many difficult years struggling to make ends meet, especially to take care and feed her grandchildren.
Although she lacks basic necessities, her laughing eyes and bright smile keep hope for a better future.
Ouma Maria’s struggles were brought to the fore by the Namibian newspaper earlier this year, and after getting to know of her hardships, a group of Polytechnic of Namibia (PoN) students came to her aid.
Salomon Tjitamunisa, a PoN lecturer, told Nampa at the site the same day that the Polytechnic’s marketing society heard about the woman's plight through the media and decided to assist her.
“We were happy with the attention that she had received before (through the media) but we felt that she had been forgotten and we acquired the necessary utilities to provide her.
“We will surely keep her and her grandchildren in our hearts, thoughts and prayers,” Tjitamunisa added.
The items donated by the group consisted of food, blankets, clothing and cleaning materials.