Dear Friends of Mammadu,
In this newsletter you will get to know some of Mammadu's Students: Vino, Mekuu and Rosa! It's a treat for the staff and volunteers to see these students daily, and now you also get to meet them from afar. These are just three of the students who are benefiting from your generous donations!
My name is Vino and today I will tell you about my life.I attend Elim Primary School, I am 12 years old, my best friend is Ovawa. She is sweet and kind. I love her and I am happy with this friendship. My favorite hobby is singing and my favorite animal is the cat. My favorite school subject is mathematics and in Afrikaans I am very good. My favorite song is "Marry me". In the afternoon I attend the after-school program at Mammadu, so in the afternoon I go to the center, study, eat and play. My favorite color is red. I live in Otjomuise. The names of my family members are: Diana is my mother's name, Rudolf is my father's name, Vemu, Kahuu and Virii are the names of my sisters. I love my family and they love me. So this is the end of my story.
My name is Mekuu and I am 12 years old. My favorite sport is running and at Mammadu I have many friends and we play a lot with board games. When I grow up I would like to become a model and I would like to help my nation. I have two sisters who sometimes help me with my homework. One is sixteen years old and the other thirteen.
Hello my name is Rosa and I will tell you my story. I am 13 years old and I attend grade 7, I attend Elim primary school. I live in Windhoek and my best friend attends the same school as me. Her name is Queen, she is so pretty, but sometimes she can be boring. I lost both my grandmothers, and it's really painful. I like to do high jump and long jump. I am very lucky to have a mom and dad take care of me. I really like going to school and learning, it helps me not to remember my grandmothers. My favorite food is cakes and I love them so much. My favorite color is blue, it's so cute. My favorite subject is mathematics. I like to dance. At Mammadu my life is good, there are many people who take care of me. I am happy and lucky to be in Mammadu. I love my brother even though we argue a lot. We tell each other everything and we love each other very much. That's all about me. I hope you like my story. So much love from Rosa.
Rosa said it well! So much love and gratitude from all of us at Mammadu!! Enjoy a few pictures of the students who introduced themselves above, as well as some recent volunteers, and a community event for vaccines hosted at Mammadu.
Slowly life in Mammadu is resuming its usual rhythms. The school year is proceeding smoothly after the tribulations of last year, and it is also possible to think of other activities for our children and teenagers who finally were able to embrace volunteers again- the fundamental driving force for making the organizational machine of our Center run better.
In this new issue of our newsletter, with which we try to make you feel more and more involved in Mammadu's life, we will focus on the Kindergarten led by our teacher Yolande who helps raise our 15 youngest children. We also want to dedicate an important chapter to volunteering, which represents an essential resource for Mammadu. We have collected the testimony of Saskia, one of our German volunteers in the hope that the story of her experience can be an inspiration for others who want to have an unforgettable volunteer experience at our Center.
Volunteering is just one of the ways to be an active part of Mammadu's big family, but it is possible to be close to our children and their activities in many ways, even from afar: with the long-distance adoption project; with the sponsorship of paths (particularly educationally and financially demanding schools); with joining the Mammadu Onlus membership campaign, a project that is particularly close to our heart; or, given that finally here too we can return to talking about events, organizing various kinds of initiatives like dinners, theatrical and musical performances, sporting events, etc. for the purposes of collecting funds for the Mammadu Center.
I am sure that you will find in these pages a lot of interesting news that will bring you even closer to our children and young people. We hope you will consider the many opportunities to be part of the beating heart of Mammadu.
Thanks again for your closeness and your support! - The Mammadu Team
THE RETURN OF VOLUNTEERS
Volunteers finally arrive! I was waiting for this moment with so much anticipation, wondering if things would function as before or if they would look a bit different! We have come to realize, with much excitement, that we are returning to normal.
During the period of the pandemic, the importance of volunteers was understood both in terms of the physical presence of people who bring us a breath of freshness, and for the help that all the volunteers offer in the structuring the children’s educational and social activities.
Among the recent volunteers was a Namibian art teacher, Leonard who gave some basic lessons to our children and reproduced some Disney characters in our cafeteria. Many of the volunteers bring their work or study experiences which are so valuable! We expect a lot more volunteers in the coming months and we will try to organize working groups focused on reading and learning.
Some more great news ... we are waiting for 2 volunteer girls who are part of the Italian Universal Civil Service chosen from a national ranking. Their stay will be one year and at the end there will be opportunity for an extension. This collaboration began about 3 years ago and has finally succeeded after a long period of bureaucracy and (of course) the pandemic.
SASKIA, A VOLUNTEER
I am Saskia and I was a part-time volunteer in May and June 2022. I am writing my thesis at the same time and I use weekends to explore beautiful Namibia.
I volunteer during the afternoon shift and work with children between the ages of 10 and 16.
During my shifts I always set goals to achieve through small projects that I coordinate. I often prepare an encouraging lesson or story for the children and read it aloud. On some days we relax on the playground and only do the necessary homework. On other days, especially now during the school holidays, we are training to ride a bicycle and we are engaged in table football matches.
But let me start from the beginning. The first few days I was a bit shy. I wondered what the children would be like. I also questioned what exactly is expected of me. I had the feeling that the children were equally watching and curious. Somehow we decided to just be shy together. This gave me the opportunity to listen and get to know people. Very quickly, however, we discussed emotional intelligence, stress management, politics, and studied together for upcoming test. I'm writing this ahead of today's shift and I'm excited to know all about the test the kids studied for. I can't wait to see what stories and other inspirations the remaining time in Mammadu has in store for me.
Saskia (volunteer at the Mammadu center)
THE DISNEY THEMED CAFETERIA ROOM
As previously mentioned, a Namibian art teacher, Leonard, gave some basic lessons to our children and reproduced some Disney characters in our cafeteria.
Godlieb (April 17) - Godlieb is 11 years old! He is a fairly calm child but also a bit stubborn, if he gets stuck he will never change his mind ... but all in all he is very sweet!
Josia (April 30) - Josia has turned 16, he is a very friendly boy, he gets along well with everyone and he defines himself as a home boy. He misses his father very much but he has many people who are close to him. He is lovely and very responsible!
Regina (May 10) - Our little Queen is growing up, her tenth birthday was on May 10th. She is sweet and sassy, but is always smiling!
Ngunomuna (May 21) - Ngunomuna has turned 15, he is one of the biggest rascals at Mammadu! But behind this hides a different side of him, kind and loving!!
Ashley (June 12) - Ashley is a very sweet, helpful and selfless child. Like all little girls she has her moments of whim, but they are just moments ... she is delightful!
Vemu (June 23) - We celebrated Vemu’s 14th birthday. She is a beautiful girl, very introverted and quiet. She likes to spend time with her Mammadu friends and she is good at school. She is very respectful.
A SPECIAL BIRTHDAY
Mekupi (June 28) - Mekupi our young mother has turned 16! He is a very attentive parent, she showers her child (who is often with her in Mammadu) with love. Mekupi has a good relationship with others and you can talk about everything with her! Her motherhood made her grow up quickly, she is aware of it and demonstrates maturity by taking responsibility for it!
A MESSAGE FROM THE CHILDREN
My name is Sesiria and I am 14 years old. I attend Hermann Gmeiner Primary School. I live with my mother, my sister and my niece! A family of women! We live in Otjomuise and are building a new house. I don't really like sports but I play netball with my friends from school. My hobby is to read many books in one day and make people happy. My dream is to study history. My best friend is the best person I know, she likes to make people happy. We fight a lot but we are always very good friends. I love her very much. She lives on my street and she is 14 too.
Hi, my name is Augusto, I am 18 years old and I am in grade 11 at the German school. My hobbies are music, football and cooking. I like to travel to see new places and during my free time I like to visit and discover different areas of my city. I speak 6 languages because I live in a mutilingual country and I study German at school. We are currently in winter and I always try to stay warm. I hope this letter finds you well, greetings to everyone from Namibia.
My name is Josia and I was born on April 30, 2006. I have just turned 16 and I am very happy because I will be able to have my identity document. I live with my mother, my brother and my sister. Unfortunately my father lives with another family, sometimes he comes to visit us to leave some food, but I would have preferred him to be there and fasted! I am very sociable. I like to joke and enjoy my days with Mammadu's friends, but then I go home! I really enjoy studying and trying to get good grades and my hobby is drawing and I'm taking art exams these days! Interesting! I have been attending Mammadu for many years ... about 10, where I have support and a lot of encouragement. This is all of my life as a boy!
MAMMADU AND THE COMMUNITY OF OTJOMUISE
On other past occasions our center has been used for community uses. On May 13th there was a team of doctors (general practitioners, dentists, pediatricians, ophthalmologists) who visited and provided free medicines.
THE GARDEN OF MAMMADU
The children are trying their hand at cultivating the garden. You can imagine the challenge! A desert territory brings many difficulties to overcome ... but in the meantime a lemon tree has already produced fruit!
VOLUNTEERING AT THE MAMMADU CENTER
Volunteering is an experience that will change your way of thinking as it will open up a world that will be difficult to forget.
To be a volunteer you need to have an open mind, a spirit of adaptation and a lot of patience with children. You have to have a great desire to play and a thousand recreational and educational ideas. It is necessary to be available to help in the kitchen and in the distribution of meals to the children. Having knowledge of gardening, art, and music are characteristics that can be very useful.
Once these qualities have been discovered, the first thing to do will be to contact our manager, Mimma (Domenica), by e-mail (Domenica.email@example.com). Mimma is the direct manager of the Mammadu Trust center in Namibia and will give you all the instructions for obtaining a work visa (valid for no more than 3 months), a student permit or a work permit for those who intend to stay more than 3 months!
In any case, you will be sent forms to fill in and sign, you will be asked for the authenticity of your passport (in Italy to the municipality, in Germany to the court of the country of residence). Authentication for voluntary work is free, it does not require a revenue stamp.
The amount of forms and documentation depends on the type of visa to be applied for.
Having viewed the documents, Mimma will take care of starting the procedures.
- Work visa (approval requires 10 working days)
- Student permit (approval takes more than 3 months)
- Work permit (approval requires 1 month)
Costs vary depending on the visa required.
For the stay please contact Domenica.firstname.lastname@example.org
Dear Friends of Mammadu,
We hope you enjoy the attached Newsletter, filled with inforamtion and photos of the things happening at Mammadu because of your generous support.
We hope that this 2022 will again bring us the presence of volunteers at the Mammadù Center as a gift, their absence in these two years was a further difficulty that the kids and staff had to face: Mammadù was born to be a big family where everyone gives themselves a hand and for this reason we want to return soon to work in a group with great benefit for children and teenagers.
In the meantime, life is slowly returning to normal, since the beginning of the year we have already celebrated several birthdays and children and teenagers have started having fun again in the new playground that has been finally refurbished thanks to the help of our supporters.
We would like all of you to be ever closer to Mammadù and his boys and girls and we announce that we could have for you a big surprise that could, by the end of the year, give you a great opportunity to closer experience the reality of Mammadù. But it is too early to talk about it, still several things have to happen, know that we are working for you, because we hope the great family of Mammadù will be ever more united.
In this newsletter, we give you a seat on the school bus so you know who gets dropped off and picked up where. You will also find the latest news from the Center and some "gems" to get to know our young people better. I wish all of you and your families a happy Easter, also in the name of Mammadu Trust, of all the children and of our precious Staff.
We are filled with gratitude for your continued support!
THE MOST WONDERFUL TIME OF YEAR FOR GRATITUDE We thank, with all our heart, those who have contributed and who continue to contribute with their donations to support the Mammadu project.
ONE OF OUR CHILDREN IS NOW A NEW MOTHER! As you know, one of the Mammadu students became a mother recently. Both mother and baby are doing well and we are happy that she continues coming to Mammadu to further her education and studies. The new mother’s health is being monitored consistently and her baby is developing well. In fact, she is now eating almost anything that is on her mother’s plate.
PANDEMIC SITUATION The Mammadu center was closed for two months due to Covid. It was a difficult time for everyone, both for children and for the staff working in the center. However, we have taken steps to serve lunch and a takeaway snack to all our children. We have had an internet connection in the center for a few years now. It proved very useful to 5 of our children who were allowed to attend the center to be able to follow the school lessons online.
VOLUNTEERS The pandemic has resulted in a total lack of volunteers. It has only recently been possible to volunteer at the center again. The first volunteer comes from Italy and some local students attend the center for school reasons.
THE PLAYGROUND Thanks to the donations received, we can now restore the playground which had been unused for some months due to the precarious conditions of the structures. Imagine the joy of the children following the restoration work!
THE SCHOOL The situation has now improved compared to before. The school that has been able to follow the indications of the ministry of health have reopened normally while other school have adopted the frequency every other day.
STRUCTURAL RESTORATION Thanks to your donations, in the coming months we will start some restoration work at the center. The years, the intense use and the weather conditions have caused some damage. Repairs to the fence, bathrooms and plastering of the premises are now necessary.
A VERY SPECIAL BIRTHDAY Our Augusto turned 18 on August 4th. It is our first "child" who has come of age. He has been attending Mammadu since the opening of the center. Augusto grew up with Mammadu and Mammadu grew up with him. You can imagine what a great celebration this special birthday accompanied him. Studious, very intelligent, over the years he has given us great satisfaction. Always ready to help others, over the years he has become one of the reference points for the little ones. He attends the DHPS school in Windhoek, where he attends the 10th grade His study plan ranges from medicine to engineering or engineering biomedicine and he would like to study in Germany or in UK. He doesn't have a girlfriend at the moment. He dreams of being able to travel the world and above all to visit Italy and maybe find a girlfriend there! That he was a special child was understood from an early age. Stefania Rabotti, president of Mammadu Onlus, remembers him in a particularly significant situation, which testifies to the great heart of Augusto: "I seem to remember it was the year 2012. I accompanied a group of tourists visiting the Mammadu center. A Roman girl gave the children crayons, markers and sweets brought from Italy for all of them. Augusto immediately went to work on her to create a drawing for her to give as a sign of thanks. As we were getting ready for our bus to leave, behind us we heard the little voice of Augusto calling the girl "Here your pastels, don't forget it!". Augusto wanted to thank her for having had the opportunity to use the pastels on loan. A lesson in spontaneous education that moved everyone! Happy birthday Augusto and we wish you the best!
As the rest of the world is also seeing it, Namibia has been hit with a spike in COVID-19 cases. It touched home when a staff person from Mammadu was confirmed as positive. Thankfully, she has fully recovered, and no one else got it. We have been very diligent to follow the rules set forth by the government, even though we know what that means- the children may not have regular meals, they are not schooling consistently, their families may be losing their jobs, and the livlihoods of everyone are at stake.
During this last quarter, the Khomas region in Namibia (which is where Mammadu is located) has seen a spike where the cases were exceeding 1400 per day. This is a lot for us because Namibia is not densely populated and has just over 2.5 million people in total. Beause of this, Mammadu became a hub for the community and our services changed a bit. We no longer provided schooling and food to just our students, but we had to broaden our scope to support the families of our students and the community as a whole. As you can see in the picutres, we put together bags of food and passed them out regularly.
In our most recent lockdown, Mammadu's cook was making food and those who needed it would come with lunchboxes to get a "take-away" meal. At some point, the students who attended private school were allowed to come to Mamamdu to take classes via Zoom (using Mammadu's internet). They adhered to strict social distancing, wore masks, and sanitized regularly.
As of Mid-July, the President of Namibia opened schools again for students to attend in-person. We will welcome the children back with open arms, but will still adhere to strict guidelines to keep everyone safe and healthy. We know schooling is important long-term, but nutrition is most important in this moment because it could mean the difference between life and death for our students and their families.
We know that times are tough worldwide, so we thank you all from the bottom of our hearts for the prayers, donations, and other means of support that you all provide. We are truly grateful!
Stay safe and take good care of those around you!
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