Reinhold Mangundu & Justine Braby

In June 2018, the For Progress Namibia Project started with its pallet project for the residents of the Sonder Water community. Sonder Water is a relatively small unknown area located behind Shandumbala and consists of about 150 residents under land-insecure tenure circumstances. Many residents here are unemployed and find it difficult to make ends meet every day. Their homes are made from plastic bags and old metal scraps and they have been living there for many years now. During these months as winter has continued to showcase bitter-cold nights, pieces of a burned down shack are visible in the area, a sign of the aftermath of people desperately trying to keep warm in winter.

Due to the high number of unemployed people within this community and the circumstances they live in, the project therefore reached out to Coca-Cola Namibia early this year to get old pallets monthly as well as a small donation to buy a set of small tools to help residents improve their livelihoods through small-scale self-employment as well as small-scale mobile infrastructure and furniture development. Initially, it also hoped to work towards enhancing the amenity of the area and creating a better and safe-looking environment.

Today with the voluntary help of 25 contractors, the group of residents currently only made up of 4 men and one lady ‘’Meme Erna ‘’ who is their community leader, enthusiastically started attending weekly workshops at KAYEC Namibia. The workshops run from Tuesday to Friday every week and will continue for the next two months. During the workshops, participants are taught how to make pallet furniture as well as how to market and sell their finished products to possible customers.

The 25 contractors under the lead of Herman Munghanya, is a youth run enterprise formed by a group of youth out-of-vocational training. They all recently graduated from AYEC vocational training school and have been working towards offering low cost services and employing more youth and offering quality and effective and efficient services to their community. Over the two months, the residents have been working very hard to produce as much furniture as possible. It’s incredible to see how far they have come so far, already they have produced about ten sets of indoor and outdoor furniture.

In the first week of September, the residents are planning to have an auction where we will see them showcase and auction the furniture they have made. The project hereby asks for the support of the public to come and support the residents. For any other support (donations, technical, voluntary or financial), please contact our Programmes Coordinator Mr Reinhold Mangundu at info@progress-namibia.com.

Photo source: Marta Magnuszewska