Lost in the middle of a desert in southern Namibia, lies a little town called Maltahohe. Like many other places in Africa, the village has been hit hard by the spread of AIDS. Many children have lost not one, but two parents, and are orphans. There is not much to do or see in the 6000-inhabitant municipality located more than a hundred kilometers from Mariental. Hopes for higher education and a better life are dim.
In 2001 a choir of young children between the ages of 10 to 18 was formed by two teachers determined to offer them the chance to grow and develop their skills. The choir performs shows based on traditional Nama and Tswana culture. They learn values such as organization, perseverance and discipline, and are given the opportunity to learn and practice English. The show lasts about an hour and consists of songs and dances inspired by scenes of daily life in the Nama community. The children wear beautiful colorful traditional costumes and makeup.
The choir has proved to be successful in helping the children. Many of them have stayed in school and have gone on to study or get a job in the capital Windhoek. Tourists come by, stop for half a day, and pay to listen to them. A European filming crew came in May 2013 to shoot a documentary about them. Brian Padwick, a French-South African man who owns an art and craft store in this unknown part of the world, helps promote the choir with the local tour operators and secure performances for the children.
Ynvolve decided to help after one of its employees visited the craft center and saw the show. With the logistical support of Ruben Nadimi of OITS, they asked the children to make a list of items they would wish to get the most. The list was duly completed, returned, and then forwarded to a general store in Mariental with the purchase order. The employees prepared and packed the goods (together 35 toiletry packages specifically adapted to each child’s wishes) and Brian picked up all of the items just in time for a joyful Christmas celebration in December. The children were extremely excited about receiving the goodies as Kovisa’s comments show: “Thank you! I have very little; you gave me a great T-shirt, toiletry kit and shoes.” They partied, sang, danced and enjoyed a hearty Christmas meal.
Ynvolve is happy to be offered the opportunity to share its success by helping local initiatives in countries where the Infinite Group is located. If you wish to help the children choir Ama Buruxa, please contact Brian Padwick at the Oa Hera Namib Backpackers & Cultural Center (firstname.lastname@example.org). You can also visit their website: www.oaheraart.com.
Click on the video icons to watch the children of the Ama Buruxa Choir.