Walters wants self-sustainable childcare facilities

15 September 2021 | Social Issues



Ombudsman John Walters has recommended that childcare facilities across the country initiate income-generating projects to fund their operations and reduce their dependency on donor funds, thus ensuring sustainability.

He made the recommendation in the 2020 annual report of the Office of the Ombudsman tabled in the National Assembly recently.

In his report, Walters said his office visited several facilities across the country in 2020 and found that the Covid-19 pandemic has had a negative impact on the daily operations of many facilities as it has clearly shown the risks and threats that dependency on donor funding has on the sustainability of facilities.

“Some facilities lost their donor funding whilst others were facing the possibility of losing their funding with donors, who indicated that they will have no other option but to withdraw their funding if the pandemic and its subsequent restrictions do not subside,” Walters said.

Food shortage

He added that other facilities did not have enough food to feed all the children and primarily depended on the managers’ personal income and allowances to fund their operations. One-off donations from individuals also sustained them during the lockdown periods.

Walters commended facilities that have embraced the concept of food production for themselves by way of growing vegetables and other produce, noting that some have small gardens while a few introduced a few projects such as poultry farming and goat farming from which they are able to provide food.

Another concern raised upon their visits was the grant of N$473 per child placed in a childcare facility, which is said to have remained static for the past 20 years despite changes in the economy.