Our long-time experience in humanitarian aid has taught us one important thing: You need really good, reliable partners on site to ensure everything can be delivered to its destination.
That’s why it has become a Human Plus maxim to co-operate with reliable, local organisations. In Namibia, our partner is the Catholic Church, and the now 85-year-old Sister Irmburga devotes herself to providing aid.
Worth approx. 115,000 Euros, our last delivery of aid supplies was distributed to the people of the Namibian city of Mariental and its surrounding area in April 2014.
Mariental is located around 300 km south of the country’s capital, Windhoek. The people here are predominantly Nama, who were depreciatingly referred to as Hottentots in historic colonial literature.
The now 85-year-old Sister Irmburga is our kind soul at the local hospice set up here for the seriously ill. Until the country’s independence in 1990, this hospital was reserved for black and coloured patients.
Our 18 pallets of baby food and 480 boxes of clothing are intended to help the families of the patients, who, through fate, suddenly find themselves facing hardship.
The sisters have also included the neighbouring country of Angola into their work, and Sister Irmburga seeks to ensure that this new project is also supported with Human Plus aid supplies:
“Three sisters from the Ovambo tribe work there, primarily with children and many of the poor. They then also get a bit of your wealth from us.”
“Please, please, only if it’s possible, and it doesn’t have to be the whole lot,” wrote Sister Irmburga to Anestis Ioannidis, president of Human Plus, who tirelessly and regularly enquires about the items most urgently needed.
Sister Irmburga and Ioannidis have been maintaining a friendly and trustworthy relationship since 2005.
In recent years, Human Plus has regularly supported children’s homes, hospitals, missions for people infected with AIDS, and people in need in the communities with which Sister Irmburga maintains frequent contact by providing the following:
Baby formula and baby good, nappies, clothing and shoes, cellulose underlays for adults, bandages and pads, disposable gloves, pain-relieving ointments, detergents and sanitary items, bed linen/sheets, toys, food, biscuits and sweets.
n 2011, Human Plus was able to provide hospital furniture and medical equipment for people in Namibia through a donation by the Nettetal municipal hospital.
Tables, chairs, examination tables, bedside tables, various suction pumps, mobile operation lights, and even an ultrasound device were sent to the medical facilities in Namibia by sea.
As part of the ongoing “help with self-help” initiative, Human Plus has been running a vocational training project at a sewing school in Namibia’s Ovamboland region. The first 15 young girls and women were trained to become seamstresses here in 2009.
“Along with school education, vocational training is the best way of securing a future,” says Ioannidis. In 2011, another 39 classic sewing machines – all reconditioned by Lobberich entrepreneur Backes – were provided to the Ovamboland sewing school.
In June 2014, Archbishop Liborius Ndumbukuti Nashenda came from Windhoek, Namibia to visit us in Nettetal. Sister Irmburga – given the title of venerable mother and “Archangel Irmburga” by the bishop – was unfortunately unable to make the long journey due to health reasons.
“I would once again like to thank you, and shall remain your Sr Irmburga in cordial solidarity with you for as long as I may live,” she wrote to Anestis Ioannidis on 25/5/2014. We hope Sister Irmburga can keep helping the needy in Namibia for several years more, and will assist her to the best of our abilities.