40 years of advocating for children's rights

Mariselle Stofberg

29 September 2020 | Youth

Last Friday marked an important milestone in the rich history of Lifeline/Childline Namibia (LLCL), which celebrated its 40th anniversary.

“Being able to celebrate 40 years means you have survived the violence of being born and the teething ­problems of cutting your teeth into a challenging world. You had to crawl before you learnt how to stand on your own two legs and celebrated your very first steps into the world, learning to walk before you can run in life,” said Webster Gonzo, the ­chairman of the LLCL board of directors.

He added that as an organisation, it has gone through all of the ­above-mentioned stages in order to stand proudly as “arguably the most dependable organisation and brand in psycho-social services in Namibia”.

A multi award-winning gender programme, advocacy for male engagement issues, the fight for child rights and children safety issues as well as suicide prevention and extensive counselling programmes are just some of the successes and services offered at LLCL.



Relevance for Namibians

Gonzo said there are two reasons for the organisation's success over the past 40 years.

“The first is that in every part of our strategies, we first seek out ­relevance for our Namibian people. Our ­programmes must respond to an actual problem or challenge of a ­Namibian child or resident,” he added.

“The solutions must also be sustainable over a period of time to ensure a lasting solution for our people.”

He said these solutions must be tried and tested through their robust internal systems and continuous monitoring and evaluation must be done throughout the process.



Volunteerism

Gonzo further added that volun­teerism is the heart of the organisation, and the work done by 'LifeLiners' has been the backbone of their success.

“It takes a special breed of human being to dedicate your life to serving others. One must have heart, accurate empathy and a warm spirit of giving. Our people are spirited, passionate, highly motivated and dedicated to seeing the eradication of all social ills in Namibia,” Gonzo said.

He thanked all management, staff and volunteers for their dedication and hard work, adding that he is looks forward to the next 40 years.

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