BY: Foibe Shahepa
Tim Ekandjo extends his offer hand to children without shoes. He launched Project Never Walk Alone, which is a non-profit organization, aims to raise funds for Namibia’s barefoot children.
Ekandjo, speaking at the initial launch yesterday at Elim Primary School in Khomasdal, which was broadcast live on NBC and across all social media platforms, stated that a child without shoes is one of the most evident indications of poverty.
“Project Never Walk Alone was inspired by the Namibian child that we have forgotten, who walks barefoot every day and has never owned a pair of shoes in their lives,” explains Ekandjo.
Deputy Minister of Basic Education, Honourable Faustina Caley, gave the keynote address and complimented the project for what it will mean for the children’s confidence and dignity. “I am relieved to learn that the youngsters would receive brand new shoes rather than used ones, as they are not second-class citizens but equal citizens. I eagerly anticipate the launch of this excellent initiative,” she said.
The goal of this project is to raise N$2 million per year for the next five years in order to provide at least 6000 children across the country with brand-new pairs of shoes.” Project “Never Walk Alone” has formed a partnership with Shilongo Leather Works Cc, a 100% Namibian-owned company that will manufacture the project’s shoes.
Madam Monica Geingos, Her Excellency, the First Lady, gave her speech over the mobile device. “I’d want to express my gratitude to Ekandjo and his family for their kind gesture. This demonstrates that when we work together, we can do a lot more. I urge those who have more to share their wealth with Namibians who are less fortunate, as this is the only way we can build this country.” She said .
Mzwakhe Mbuli, the Peoples Poet, wrote an unique poem for the project, which was performed in his absence during the launch with powerful performances by Maranatha Goroh, DJ Luzendo, Footlos, and Fire 16.
Several Ambassadors, including Dr Helena Ndume, Cassidy Karon, Lindiwe Ekandjo, Twapewa Kadhikwa, Ms Namibia 2021 Chelsi Shikongo, Thebe Ikalafeng, Daisry Mathias, Honourables Emma Teofelus and Emma Pantema Gaomas, and Robyn Nakaambo, are supporting the project. Many companies have pledged their support ahead of the project’s launch, and the project has already raised N$1 million Namibian dollars.
Project Never Walk Alone, according to Ekandjo, will serve as a reminder to these youngsters that they are not forgotten, that their lives, hopes, and aspirations count, and that poverty is a mindset that can be overcome with the appropriate pair of shoes. A Board of Directors, a CEO, and a capable group of young, experienced persons who will work as volunteers will oversee the initiative.