Operating in a municipal owned community center located in Freedomland, Katutura, Kids’ Soup Kitchen (KSK) has been serving as a kitchen away from home, a kids’ play ground and an educational facility to children in the neighborhood of Freedomland since 2006.
The initiative was founded 16 years ago by Shikalepo Kadhikwa, Tommy Ephraim, Samuel Kapepo and others to feed the street kids, but was later changed to accommodate kids from all backgrounds.
KSK is a Wednesday and Sunday afternoons home to kids from Ombili, Hakahana, Freedomland, Okuryangava and all nearby locations.
News Wave Media recently visited the place and were greeted by overjoyed and busy kids, jumping, singing, skipping ropes and playing games, cards and football among other activities. That’s what the kids love. That’s what keeps them coming to this famous place.
While doing that, the KSK kitchen is also busy preparing a meal that will be served later before they all call it a day. This is courtesy of brave volunteers from surrounding locations. Among them are the previous beneficiaries of the initiative, today volunteering to help their juniors.
“45% of the people helping here are former beneficiaries of this organization. They are now big men and big women, but they did everything that these kids are doing here today,” said Johannes Nghifikepunye, chairman of Kids Soup Kitchen.
“We don’t just feed them. We also have a number of volunteers who also teach them how to read English… those that are helping them to do their homework in any subject when they are available,” said Johannes.
The initiative’s help to the Namibian child goes beyond the Sunday sessions. Johannes highlighted that through the volunteers, they helped a kid to go to school who was not able to do so due to parents not having required documents.
Having a lot installed for these kids, Johannes said the time they have to use the facility is too limited as they have to share it with other programs. Accommodating the growing number of kids in a small place and lack of modern entertainment infrastructure, shortage of volunteers, especially during weekdays, are some of the biggest constraints.
Their obvious option is to have the program running from Monday to Sunday, something that couldn’t be done under the current circumstances.
KSK are, however, optimistic that things will change for the better should CoW approve their application for a plot which they applied for. This will enable them to address some of the challenges and also expand their help including investing more in art.
Johannes said that any help to make this project grow will be highly appreciated.