Oct 22, 2020

report 5 - keeping going under the COVID situation

As you know, the Ombetja Yehinga Organisation (OYO) is a Namibian NGO that uses Arts to create social awareness.

So far 2020 has been extremely challenging due to COVID19. Schools closed mid March 2020 and only all reopened in the second half of September. However, even if reopened, all extra mural activities have been canceled. It has therefore not been possible for OYO to resume its activities in schools. All correctional facilities have also gone in isolation and haven’t allowed visitors since. Our ‘in and out’ project also came to a standstill.

Since March OYO has mostly been involved in creating educational material on COVID19. It has resumed working with young people, training them as youth facilitators to use the material we had developed. It has also expanded its online presence, in particular with the ‘an evening with YOU’ platform. It has expanded its counseling line thanks to support from the de Beers Foundation. Finally its films ‘Kapana’ and ‘Kukuri’ have been selected to various festivals (Kapana: Fargo-Moorhead International Film Festival and Out on Film Festival, both in the USA; Kukuri: Garden route international film festival in SA, Avanse International Film Festival in Ghana and the Africa Film for Impact Festival in Nigeria). This is giving OYO some exposure.

The fact that most of our projects came to a sudden standstill also meant that budgets could not be used. How to pay salaries and overheads such as rent? This became a challenge. OYO used this challenge as an opportunity and found a new office space that is cheaper and more cost effective. OYO therefore embarked on moving offices at the beginning of September.

Its dance troupe is probably the most affected by the situation. Dancers have not been able to perform to an audience since mid-March. Lots of income has been lost as well as motivation: rehearsing without dates and shooting videos doesn’t hold the same appeal as performing to excited audiences. OYO had to rethink its strategy and now only has a core of dancers. It is using this time to train new young people in particular from the ||Kharas region.

Generally speaking we find it much harder to fundraise. We totally appreciate that most of our friends find themselves in difficult financial situations too. Asking people to contribute towards our project while their own livelihood is at stake too is difficult. During the recent littlexlittle campaign we could only raise US$ 50. We therefore hope the situation will change soon as we need, more than ever, your support.

Our link is still: https://www.globalgiving.org/projects/using-arts-educate-4000-namibian-teenagers-on-hiv

If you have any friends who may be able to support us please do share the link. We greatly appreciate all the support we can get, no matter how big or small.

Jun 29, 2020

report four: surviving the COVID19 crisis

As you know, the Ombetja Yehinga Organisation (OYO) is a Namibian NGO that uses Arts to create social awareness. We believe that solutions can only be found with young people for young people within a given context. Each project works closely with students (called learners in Namibia), their schools and, when applicable the surrounding community. We use non-threatening means of communication, including role-plays, dances, songs, our youth-friendly magazine and we create safe spaces.

While we had resumed with activities at the beginning of the year, we didn’t know that our biggest was still ahead: COVID19. Namibia had its first cases on 14 March. On 15 March schools were closed with immediate effect and a State of Emergency was declared. End March the national lockdown started. OYO got its certificate as essential service provider early April but the question became: how can we reach young people if schools are closed and public gathering forbidden.

Most of our projects thus came to a sudden standstill. It also meant that budgets could not be used. How to pay salaries and overheads such as rent?

Some partners quickly reacted and agreed we could change our approach, and produce short educational clips to be posted on social media and broadcasted on national channels. We wish to thank UNICEF, MTC knock-out project, the Debmarine/ Namdeb Foundation and OSISA for their support. Thanks to our partners, we could produce:

  • Clips on COVID19 (transmission and prevention)
  • Clips on COVID19 and GBV
  • Clips on COVID19 and Teenage pregnancy

We would like to thank all of you who have contributed to the littlexlittle campaign: thanks to you we could fundraise over US$ 500.00. We would also like to thank the GlobalGiving team who supported us with an additional US$ 1,000.00. This funding came at a time when we needed it most to pay some of our staff and overheads. We have managed not to retrench anybody during the worst of the crisis and to produce educational material. This would not have been possible without you all. 

You may also want to know: all our clips can be seen on our facebook page https://www.facebook.com/OYOtrust .They have also all been broadcast on our local TV channels (NBC and OneAfricaTV)

We still need your help

We have now exhausted all the funds received thanks to your generosity. Yet much still needs to be done. We will call on you in July to support the matching campaign. On 15 July 2020 your donation of US$ 100 and more will be matched by 15 to 50% (donations US$ 100 to US$499 will be matched at 15%, donations US$ 500 to US$749 at 30% and donations US$750 to US$1,000 at 50%).  Additionally prizes can be won. We appreciate this is a lot to ask of you, but it you know people who may be able to contribute, or if you are in a position to gather small amounts of money and wait until the D-day, we would be most grateful. So please put a reminder on your phone, inform all your friends and help us win big in July! Our link is still: https://www.globalgiving.org/projects/using-arts-educate-4000-namibian-teenagers-on-hiv

Winners wash wash dance competition
Winners wash wash dance competition
Feb 26, 2020

Report three: around World AIDS Day

Performance for World AIDS Day
Performance for World AIDS Day

As you know, the Ombetja Yehinga Organisation (OYO) is a Namibian NGO that uses Arts to create social awareness. We believe that solutions can only be found with young people for young people within a given context. Each project works closely with students (called learners in Namibia), their schools and, when applicable the surrounding community. We use non-threatening means of communication, including role-plays, dances, songs, our youth-friendly magazine and we create safe spaces.

The biggest difficulty we now experience is to continue crowdfunding. All our friends were amazing in June, during the accelerator program, and thanks to your combined outstanding effort we managed to get on the platform. But remaining on the platform is difficult. We don’t like to ask for money and raising additional funding is a challenge. 

In December we had a wonderful week of performance for the World AIDS Day. We had an intern from Finland, Isabella Mansnerus and prepared a performance with her. On the last week, we could organise a mini-tour, thanks to additional funding from YOU. We presented three pieces ‘to take or not to take’ on treatment adherence, ‘smarting up’ on voluntary medical male circumcision and ‘cold’ on stigma and discrimination.

The pieces were presented in Windhoek (Windhoek mental health centre, Havana informal settlement, Franco-Namibian Cultural Centre), Hardap (Hardap correctional facility, Gibeon and Kalkrand communities), //Kharas (Tses community, Keetmanshoop correctional facility, Gibeon community) and Omaheke regions (Uitkmons San settlement). 1,742 people attended the performance and took part in a facilitated discussion.

After a much deserved rest over the festive season, the dance troupe resumed in January 2020.

At the beginning of February, we were asked by the Ministry of Health and Social Services to support their outreach campaign in one of Katutura’s informal settlement. We could reach 507 people and motivate people to make use of the services available (HIV testing and counseling in particular) 

You may also want to know:

  • Thanks to the joint UN program in December (from 15 to 20) we organized a series of events in the Erongo Region, at the coast. We have identified hotspots and performed there. We collaborated with I-TECH, a wonderful NGO that provides much needed on-the-spot services such as HIV testing, risk assessment, PrEP and Gender-Based Violence Counseling.
  • Thanks to the MTC knock-out project and Debmarine/Namdeb foundation we started a campaign against Gender-Based violence and to address teenage pregnancy in schools in the //Kharas region. This project complements work done thanks to much valued support from Stichtung Horizon. 

We still need your help

We have now exhausted all the funds received thanks to your generosity. Yet much still needs to be done. We will call on you in March to support the littlexlittle campaign. Between 24 and 27 March 2020 your donation BETWEEN US$ 10 and US$ 50 will be matched by 50%. Additionally prizes can be won. The idea is to get as many small donations as possible to help us get big results. So please put a reminder on your phone, inform all your friends and help us win big in March! Our link is still: https://www.globalgiving.org/projects/using-arts-educate-4000-namibian-teenagers-on-hiv

 
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