German Embassy funds ‘Taking Hands Trust’ to help build a new Educational Center
Child and staff of the ‘Taking Hands Educational Center’., © German Embassy, Windhoek
The German Embassy supports the building of a new facility with two classrooms for the ‘Taking Hands Educational Center’ in Omaruru through its micro-project fund.
The center provides care for children with disabilities and integrates them into a common kindergarten group. In addition, homework supervision for schoolchildren and a healthy lunch is being offered in the afternoons. This gives them a quiet learning environment, tutoring and a healthy meal every day.
There are no classes in any of the primary schools in Omaruru for learning assisted education and no affordable schools or institutions for children living with disabilities in the region. This has caused many children with learning and behavioral challenges having been suspended from school and thus sitting at home. Children with disabilities often do not receive the much-needed treatment and are excluded from community life. The center, with its valuable work, tries to give these children a chance to better their circumstances and provides them with adequate support.
The funding of 432,000 NAD (approx. 25,000 EUR) will be used for the construction of a larger and disability-friendly building that is located in a more accessible place and can accommodate more children. The new rooms will not be overcrowded, therefore more effective teaching is possible. The bathroom facilities are planned wheelchair friendly, making it more accessible for the children with disabilities.
The Center will move into the new premises at the beginning of 2024.
The work of the ‘Taking Hands Trust’ consists of an integrative Early Childhood Development Center with 22 children of which 5 live with disabilities and an afternoon homework center with 35 children, ranging from preschool to grade 8. There the children have access to WIFI and a printer to work for their research projects and are tutored in reading, English, Maths, Ondonga and Koekoegowab. All the children get a healthy cooked meal for lunch. Children are also being assisted with purchasing spectacles and school uniforms where necessary and special programs for kids with learning disabilities and physical disabilities are implemented.
The project is aimed at children - with or without disabilities - of low-income families that do not have equal opportunities in life due to a lack of financial resources, lack of access to therapy or missing support to do their homework and learn. It also provides relief for mothers who are caring for their disabled children and are unable to work.
The ‘Taking Hands Educational Centre’ has been operational since September 2021.