Established in 2014 to formalise Lithon’s commitment to Corporate Social Investment, the Lithon Foundation exists to bring hope and possibility to people and communities.
“Do all the good you can, in all the ways you can, to all the souls you can, in every place you can, at all the times you can, with all the zeal you can, as long as ever you can.” – John Wesley
One of the organisation’s key areas of focus is orphaned and vulnerable children, who, in 2016, according to the Ministry of Gender Equality and Child Welfare, (as reported on in The Namibian), accounted for over 190 000 of the country’s then 2,35 million population.
“Poverty and the HIV/AIDS pandemic have left a significant percentage of Namibia’s children in need of ongoing care and support,” says Lithon CEO Adriaan Grobler. “As a business committed to making a tangible difference in the lives of others, we are privileged, through the Lithon Foundation, to work alongside several inspiring organisations doing incredible things in some of the most impoverished communities in Namibia. If, by shining a light on their actions, we can encourage others to get behind them, or organisations like them, and support their life-giving initiatives, then we are one step closer to achieving our objective as a business and as human beings.”
Since 2006, the Oonte Orphans and Vulnerable Children (OVC) Organization has been supporting orphans, child-headed households and vulnerable children living in and around Ondangwa, a small town in the Oshana Region of northern Namibia.
It was founded by Petrine Shiimi who was deeply touched by the plight of the many children who had lost their parents to HIV/AIDS – as well as the grandparents left trying to support them – while travelling through the region on a church outreach in late 2004.
Supported by several organisations, including the Church Alliance for Orphans UNICEF, NIP and the Lithon Foundation, Oonte offers meal programmes, psycho-social support, home-based care, cultural clubs, HIV/AIDS awareness, computer literacy classes and vocational opportunities. It also pays school fees for many of the children it supports, ensuring that they are able to continue their schooling and creating the opportunity for a hope-filled future.
The Walvis Bay Kids’ Haven was started in 2009 by Maureen Baard as a home and place of safety for abused, vulnerable and neglected children in the Erongo Region of Namibia.
Intended “to provide a permanent, stable, safe, nurturing, caring, loving and family home environment for children to grow up in”, this haven aims to “ensure that children have a stable continued access to education and school” and to “restore self-worth and dignity of children, as well as to encourage healthy social interaction as part of the healing process”. It also offers the only Babyline facility, for unwanted babies and those whose mothers are unable to care for them, in the region.
The Walvis Bay Kid’s Haven relies solely on the private sector and community for financial support and has been a Lithon Foundation beneficiary since 2011.
Dordabis is a poverty-stricken rural community, 80 km east of Windhoek Namibia’s Khomas Region, battling high rates of unemployment, teen pregnancies and HIV/AIDS. In 2005, Marilene Joubert, a teacher living on a farm near the settlement, rallied local farmers and Windhoek-based corporates to come to the aid of the community’s primary school, which was in desperate need of help.
Three years later, she used the N$400 000 she was able to raise, to build a pre-primary school for the children of Dordabis. Marilene still manages the school, which relies on donations from businesses and organisations like the Lithon Foundation. All donations are used to operate the school and provide balanced daily meals, clothes and shoes to its learners, many of whom are raised by grandparents who cannot afford to care for them.
Looking forward, the hope is to expand the school’s kitchen and to build a recreation room with a library so that older learners can enjoy afternoon activities like cooking, baking, knitting and sewing.
Dagbreek School, in Windhoek, may have a rather different focus to the other children’s charities the Lithon Foundation partners with, but its work is certainly no less critical.
Founded in 1970, it is one of only two government schools in Namibia currently supporting intellectually impaired learners. Here, 120 children with Down Syndrome, Autism Spectrum Disorder and other disabilities are given every opportunity to reach their highest potential.
The Lithon Foundation has sponsored class assistants who work alongside teachers to help learners at the school acquire those life skills necessary to help them live happier, more productive lives.
If you would like to get involved in these initiatives or simply start a conversation with the Lithon Foundation, contact us here.
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