Traditional leaders 'should assist in registering OVCs'

10 Oct 2013 15:50pm
SWAKOPMUND, 10 OCT (NAMPA) – Gender Equality and Child Welfare Minister Rosalia Nghidinwa has called on traditional leaders to support her ministry in the registration of orphans and vulnerable children (OVCs).
Traditional leaders can offer such assistance by giving testimonies to children who need it for the purposes of birth and death certificates, Nghidinwa said during the 16th annual meeting of the Council of Traditional Leaders here on Thursday.
She explained that her ministry is unable to register all orphans due to problems such as death certificates of deceased parents which are untraceable, and parents who might be in countries outside Namibia, and who cannot be traced.
Currently, her Ministry has 146 870 registered OVCs, who receive monthly N.dollars 200 grants each.
However, the minister indicated that there are about 15 000 applications of children who do not qualify for the grant system due to problems such as untraceable parents.
Staff members of the Child Welfare Department at community level are expected to distribute lists of the names of children who receive grants to regional councillors and traditional leaders.
“I am requesting the traditional leaders to assist the ministry in monitoring the use of these grants, because you are the eyes and ears of the nation at community level. Please report cases of misuse of the children’s grants by those who are supposed to take care of them,” she stressed.
Nghidinwa further stated that her ministry is mandated to ensure gender equality and the equitable socio-economic development of women and men, including their families.
It is against this background that the ministry would like to work closely with the traditional leaders to sensitise rural women and men about their roles in society.
Also, in order for Namibia to endorse the Southern African Development Community (SADC) Protocol on Gender - which calls for 50/50 gender representation in decision-making positions - implementation should start at grassroots’ level.
“Start with women being included in the leadership at village, district, regional and up to national level. Mobilise the women in your communities to elect them as indunas and headwomen and by doing so, we will empower the women in our societies,” she noted.