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.