Gender Ministry Rescues Destitute Woman

The Ministry of Gender Equality and Child Welfare will assist a woman who together with other homeless people has lived under a bridge in downtown Windhoek since independence.

The Deputy Minister of Gender Equality and Child Welfare, Angelika Muharukua, briefed New Era on Tuesday at the ministerial headquarters on what immediate interventions would be undertaken by the ministry in direct response to the plight of the destitute “Queen”.

New Era recently carried a news story on Queen, a middle-aged woman who has for the past 24 years lived a life of incredible poverty, misery, suffering and humiliation.

Muharukua expressed her disappointment and sincere empathy for what this woman has endured. “As a woman my heart is broken to observe that there are still fellow Namibian women out there living under such harsh conditions, exposed to all kinds of dangers and abuse,” lamented the deputy minister.

Muharukua furthermore informed New Era that the ministry would first address two areas of concern.

“First of all Queen will be moved from the bridge to one of our temporary shelters where we accommodate women suffering from abuse,” Muharukua said.

“This will protect Queen from abuse at the hands of men she shared accommodation with under the bridge,” Muharukua added.

“Once settled Queen will be taken to hospital for the purpose of thorough medical examination and treatment if need be.

“The ministry will then look into the possibility of providing skills enhancement training andor assisting this woman by means of income-generating projects,” said Muharukua.

According to Muharukaua the ministry is also concerned about the large migration of Namibians from other regions to Windhoek in search of jobs and a better life.

“This lady (Queen) came from Luumlderitz via Keetmanshoop to Windhoek, ending up living under a bridge which is not good. People should wait for economic development to come to their regions and work hard as a nation, instead of coming to Windhoek to live under bridges, expecting assistance from the government,” she added. “Investigations will from now on be carried out at all similar temporary shelters in order to identify more cases like Queen’s and also to establish if there are small kids or orphans living there, to grant the necessary assistance where needed,” Muharukua said.

Muharukua expressed her profound gratitude to New Era for coming up with such a brilliant initiative to inform not only the government but also the Namibian nation as a whole of the plight of others who are not as privileged as the rest. “I really appreciate the effort that you (New Era) made to inform my ministry about Queen, thank you for what you did for the community. I am however hereby calling on other newspapers not only to criticize the government, but rather come up with similar initiatives like New Era did,” Muharukua said. New Era on its own initiative recently visited some of the poor homeless living in a temporary shelter under a well-known bridge in the central business district of Windhoek. In a follow-up article for the homeless the nation has been made aware of the difficult circumstances under which these destitute people have to survive.

Source : New Era