Feeding the vulnerable

At the age of 17, Linekela decided to assist his community by gathering funds and food items to feed the needy community members of Oshakati.

16 November 2021 | Youth

Tunohole Mungoba – Oshakati

Linekela Josephat Shigwedha, a 19-year-old learner at Eduace Tutorial College in Ongwediva, created Feed the Earth Foundation with his good friend Londie Lefelatsa in 2018 with the aim of helping vulnerable families in Oshakati.

Living in the informal settlement of Evululuko in Oshakati, Shigwedha says he witnessed a lot of suffering and saw how many families were struggling to make ends meet.

“Many people here try everything to make money for food, such as begging to clean someone’s yard for a few dollars. I knew I had to do something to assist others,” he said.

“I introduced the organisation in high school (Ekwafo Secondary School) and I received a positive response from my learners. About 35 learners joined and every Friday after class before we go home, we would meet up and share ideas on what to do during the weekends to identify the homes that need the most help. We got a brilliant idea of going to informal settlements, conducting investigations on those that need help in terms of food, clothes and everything possible we could get from other learners that we can donate,” says Shigwedha.

In May this year, Shigwedha and his team visited Oshakati State Hospital and he realised the foundation still has a lot of work to do.

“During this investigation, a disabled man came up to me said he had been praying for this day to come as God will send people to help him. He told me he has a plot, but due to his condition, he is unable to work and build himself a house. This is so far my biggest project and I really intend to help this man and I am currently in contact with the manager of Yetu Pharmacy in Oshakati to assist this man,” he said.

Assistance needed

The organisation’s biggest challenge is a lack of funds due to no sponsors as the mouths to feed are many. “Sometimes we would ask our teachers to help us and most of them are always willing. Most of the members of the foundation are learners so we also do not have our own money. We came with an idea that each member should give 30 dollars every Friday to then give it to our treasurer to buy food parcels,” he said.

“I intend for this foundation to grow because, I believe that this is my passion. Making people happy brings joy to my heart. So, in the next five years, I would love to get more members of the group to share more ideas every day. I would also like to get sponsors so we help out the less fortunate in the whole country to eradicate poverty because currently, we only based at the North. It would be great that we show humanity is within our country so all less fortunate people will be granted hope and love from this foundation,” said Shigwedha.

Photo: Linekela Josephat Shigwedha, founder of Feed the Earth Foundation, with Aili Shilongo of Dr Frans Haupa Indongo Special Care Centre, one of the beneficiaries of the foundation.

PHOTO: TUNOHOLE MUNGOBA

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