Queen becomes foster mother

31 January 2018 | Cultural

Queen Martha Mwadinomho Kristian Nelumbu of Oukwanyama has turned her palace at Omhedi into a foster home.

During a press conference at Omhedi last week, Nelumbu said she was a caregiver to many homeless or parentless children living with her in the palace.

Nelumbu did not give the exact number of children but said the palace was full of children up to the age of five.

She said some of the children were brought in by palace workers and others were brought in by people from the surrounding area.

“Child neglect and the abandonment of children is a worrying trend in northern Namibia. Some grandparents, whose care the children are left in, consume alcohol and do not take proper care of the children, thus making them vulnerable,” the queen said.

She said these children were welcome at Omhedi, where many other children were being taken care of.

The spokesperson of the traditional authority, Ndjeimo Popyeninawa, said the traditional authority took care of these children and budget for them every month.

“The palace is full of children from the age of zero to five years old and they are being taken care of by the traditional authority. Every month we budget for their basic needs because they are here just as children of the palace,” Popyeninawa said.

He added that when the children were ready to go to school there was a kindergarten outside the palace where they could start.

In 2015, Nelumbu urged young mothers to bring their unwanted babies to her instead of abandoning or killing them. So far only two such babies have been brought to her, she said.

ILENI NANDJATO