Nearly 200 queue for OVC grant at Onyaanya

23 Aug 2016 09:50am
ONYAANYA, 23 AUG (NAMPA) - Close to 200 people queued at the Ministry of Gender Equality and Child Welfare’s offices at Onyaanya village on Monday to register vulnerable children in need of government grants.
The village is situated 30 kilometres south of Ondangwa in the Oshikoto Region.
The ministry is, until the end of August, registering orphans and vulnerable children (OVC) throughout the country to receive the N.dollars 250 monthly social grant.
The grant is for children below 18 years old whose parents are both unemployed, deceased or earn less than N.dollars 1 000 per month.
People from Onyaanya and villages in the vicinity started arriving at the ministry’s offices from as early as 04h00 on Monday.
Tomas Elago from Onankali went to register one of his three grandchildren, but could not do so as he did not have the right documentation.
“I am here to register my grandchild who recently started school. Both my wife and I are unemployed,” Elago said.
Sophia Willem, who also registered a grandchild, said “the grant is useful, especially with the drought we are experiencing.”
The ministry’s senior administration officer at the Omuthiya regional office, Efraim Haikwiyu said they are also busy with a campaign to make people aware of the ongoing registration process in the Oshikoto Region.
“The campaign is ending at the end of August but regional councillors are also notifying the residents in their communities,” Haikwiyu said.
He further added that the ministry managed to register about 20 000 applicants out of the targeted 28 000.
Haikwiyu also said they face a number of challenges such as a shortage of staff. Registering one beneficiary takes 15 to 20 minutes. Applicants who do not have the correct documentation prolong this process.
Requirements for the registration process include the child’s birth certificate, a school report if the child is in school, a declaration by the Namibian Police with detailed information of the biological parents of the child, as well as the parents' employment status.
“Sometimes you will find that the content in the police declaration is not really what is needed and when you send people back they might feel that you are punishing them,” he said.