Kopenhagen Fur in Namibia
Kopenhagen Fur has been present in Namibia for many years and our love for the country goes beyond fur. Through our solid collaboration with the hard-working and proud Namibian farmers of the luscious Swakara fur, we have grown fond of the Namibian people and culture. As a token of our appreciation and dedication to Namibia, we decided to initiate our own charity organization back in 2006 to support local kindergartens in the capital of Namibia, Windhoek.
The kindergartens are mainly centered around the slum area ‘Katutura’ where 70% of the population in Windhoek lives or what amounts to about 10% of the Namibian population. Katutura in the native language of Herero means “the place where people do not want to live.” Living conditions here are rough. The inhabitants live in small poorly isolated sheds with little protection against either the burning heat during summertime or the blistering cold during winter nights. Toilet and bath facilities are non-existing and drinking water is hard to come by and costly. A large proportion of the people in Katutura carry severe diseases and it is a common fact for most of the children to have lost either one or both parents. As a result, the average life expectancy in Katutura is approx. 30 years.
Despite the hardship, most of the children in Katutura are in kindergarten although the conditions of most of these kindergartens are poor. This is where Kopenhagen Fur in collaboration with a local organization works hard to make a difference for the children to have a good and positive start, preparing the children for school. Right now, Kopenhagen Fur is helping 25 kindergartens in Katutura, of which we have built 14 of them from the ground and up. The kindergartens consist of one or more classrooms, a playground, a kitchen for the staff to cook meals for the children and, wherever it is possible, a toilet with running water. Most importantly, there are staff that cares deeply for the well-being of the children.
To create full-circle care for the children, Kopenhagen Fur also helps with food. It is not unusual for the children to go without food outside the kindergarten, which is why Kopenhagen Fur facilitates 4 tons of food on a monthly basis that has been carefully chosen on the advice of a dietitian, so the children will get the nutrition they need in order to properly absorb learning and to have the energy for playfulness.
Every week a trip to somewhere outside their area is arranged for one kindergarten at a time. These trips could be visiting the zoo, the fire station or a nursery. The purpose of the trips is to give the children an opportunity to learn about the world outside Katutura, but most importantly to give them a positive experience. Also, once a year 1-2 kindergartens go for a weekend by the sea. Despite the fact that it is only a 4 hour drive from Windhoek, for the children and even for some of the adults it is the first time they experience the sea.
If you would like to read more and/or actively get involved with our kindergarten project, please visit https://spescharity.com/how-to-get-involved/.