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Image by Zach Vessels

STORY

At the age of 60 and after 35 years of service, high school teacher
Lore Bohm made her dream come true and emigrated to Namibia

In October 2003, Lore Bohm “discovered” “DRC” (Democratic Resettlement Community) by accident: This is an illegal housing estate and thus the slum of Swakopmund, which was about five kilometers outside of the city and thus remained invisible to the “normal” visitor.

 

This residential area has grown so large that it now borders the city and today (2022) is home to around 32,000 people who are victims of the classic rural exodus. Unemployment here was already extremely high at around 80 percent before Corona, and the unemployment rate now fluctuates between 90 and 95 percent.  Nevertheless, kindergartens have been set up in the DRC on the basis of private initiatives by black women. They often do not even earn enough money to ensure their own survival. In 2022 there were 72 kindergartens across Swakopmund.

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Lore Bohm gets greeted

by the children

from a kindergarten

After years of constant work, the Projekt Kleine Engel has grown steadily and has long since exceeded the status of a service of friendship. Above all, institutions such as the Schillergymnasium from Münster, the Westfälische Nachrichten with its editorial office in Lengerich, the project Aktion Kleiner Prinz from Warendorf and many private individuals regularly support the project.

Some are representative:

The Kartusch couple from Vienna have been supporting the Kleine Engel since 2008. Jörg Wintersieg is now a regular guest at the Kleine Engel, who is very personally involved: First he donated his annual leave and during this time he helped with the construction of a new kindergarten. His employer awarded him a prize for his commitment, which he in turn donated to the Kleine Engel. Hats off! In addition, the Kleine Engel of Swakopmund are one of 12 worldwide projects supported by the Aktion Kleiner Prinz Campaign (Warendorf).

 

Details about developments over the past few years can also be found in the annual reports, which you can find in the download area. Four kindergartens with 123 children are currently being looked after by the Projekt Kleine Engel (as of 2022). A trained specialist works in each of the kindergartens, supported by an assistant. The kindergarten teachers are there for the children from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., about half of the children go home at lunchtime when siblings come home from school.

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A normal kindergarten in the township from Build Together

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In addition, the Projekt Kleine Engel also helps people who do not directly belong to the kindergarten in emergencies.

 

This included, for example, Amon, a then 13-year-old boy who lived with his alcoholic parents near a kindergarten, had malaria and was deaf and mute. Both parents were severely addicted to alcohol and unable to take care of their son.

 

Amon is now malaria-free with the help of the “Kleine Engel” project and has been attending the only school for the deaf, “NISE” in Windhoek since January 2008, supported by Dr. Scholtis from Frankfurt.

 

Another example is 9-year-old Christy Swaartboi, who was diagnosed with stage 1 diabetes. This diagnosis is tantamount to a death sentence for a township child. Luckily we were notified by Gesina Sparenberg and were able to help early enough.

 

A fundraiser was set up for Christy by Susanne Webers (a veterinarian from Albbruck who personally visited the Projekt Kleine Engel) that was used specifically to pay for Christy's insulin.

 

Tjimamutja Muzuma or Sunshine is also an example that the Projekt Kleine Engel has helped. The boy is physically and mentally handicapped and initially attended a kindergarten for normal children that we support. He could only crawl on the floor because it was not possible to use a wheelchair in the kindergarten (sandy floor).

 

In addition, the kindergarten teachers were not trained and had no experience in caring for a disabled child. The project got Tjimamutja a place at CHAIN and since then has covered the costs at CHAIN and the medical expenses incurred.

 

Since 2011, Lore Bohm and three other partners have been planning the construction of a new facility for children and young people with disabilities. The CHAIN association (Children with handicaps action in Namibia), which was founded in Swakopmund in 1999 and had set itself the goal of replacing the home that had meanwhile become much too small with a larger facility, was in charge. After long difficulties, the building permit was granted in May 2017, and the groundbreaking ceremony took place in the same month.

 

With generous support from Germany, the help of municipal companies and private individuals, the new building was completed and all 25 children from the long waiting list could be admitted to the much larger facility. CHAIN had made it and was finally able to realize the hearts desire of the association.  

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