WINDHOEK, 15 OCT (NAMPA) -
Standard Bank Namibia on Tuesday launch its Buy-a-Brick project to raise funds for the Shack Dwellers Federation of Namibia (SDFN). The project is aimed at mobilising the public and private sectors in raising funds to build affordable housing for disadvantaged Namibians by buying token brick for N.dollars 5 per brick.
Speaking at the launch of the project in the capital on Tuesday, Standard Bank Namibia's Chief Executive Junius Mungunda said the tokens which buyers get are erasers, as it symbolises the efforts in 'erasing' poverty in Namibia.
From 12 October to 12 November this year, members of the public and private and public sectors can support the project by buying these token bricks from the bank. This is done by filling in a form, and the money is then deposited in the SDFN social fund.
Mungunda said these erasers are environmentally friendly and one can buy as many bricks as they want and can afford, from one brick for N.dollars 5 to an unlimited quality and unlimited value. Those who want to support the project after the deadline are welcome to do so.
"This initiative is aimed at harnessing our contacts and networks built over the last 100 years, which include over 400 000 Namibian customers - both individuals and corporates - in mobilising all Namibians to make contributions that will help us to move Namibia and our communities into a decent home," Mungunda said.
He added that the bank saw it fitting to launch the initiative this year as Standard Bank marks its 100 year anniversary in Namibia. Mungunda further noted that this process is to meet the government half-way to eradicate poverty by assisting the less fortunate in the country. He commended President Hage Geingob for stressing the need to eradicate poverty.
Standard Bank Namibia has donated N.dollars 500 000 towards the social fund by buying 100 000 bricks. Speaking at the same occasion, SDFN's National Facilitator Edith Banga commended the bank for assisting the federation members to build affordable houses and improving their living environments.
"Standard Bank Namibia and other private sector members have yet again answered the call for supporting communities in housing themselves and eradicating poverty," she said.
SDFN is a network of savings groups that was established in 1998 to address the need for housing and currently has a membership of about 20 111. Banga explained that Standard Bank Namibia's Buy-a-Brick project will assist in building houses for members countrywide.
"On behalf of all the members we thank Standard Bank and all the partners for the initiative," she said.
Meanwhile, Namibia's First Lady and Patron of the SDFN Monica Geingos commended the bank for answering the President's call to do away with poverty. Geingos said most of the SDFN members are poor with low incomes, while some have no income and cannot afford the basic expenses.
She said many of them cannot afford bank financing, hence the importance of organisations like Standard Bank holding hands with the federation to support. "I have never seen such an initiative. I really appreciate the creativity of the initiative and its purpose," Geingos said.