Home of Good Hope feeds Namibia’s young for a full decade

Home of Good Hope feeds Namibia’s young for a full decade

Oak Bay woman continues work expanding soup kitchen in Africa to so much more

Lily Greene hopes to have 800 or so fidget spinners for her “brothers and sisters” at Home of Good Hope in Namibia this Christmas.

It started small when her grandmother took the Salt Spring Island youth to Oak Bay Marina for lunch. In a moment of spontaneity, Lily hit up the waiter for a donation to buy fidget spinners for the young people overseas. She scored $5. Then they headed for the bank, where she gathered another $50.

“She’s had a lot of health complications and I think it’s made her empathetic and resilient,” says her grandmother Eileen Greene of Oak Bay.

Eileen is the source of the ‘siblings’ overseas; they’re part of her soup kitchen Home of Good Hope, that celebrated a decade at work this year.

Eileen, a Canadian nurse, and Monica Imanga met and became friends at Katutura Hospital while Eileen cared for Monica’s daughter Maria, then 16, who died of AIDS. In 2007 they started a soup kitchen in memory of Maria and called it The Home of Good Hope.

“I started with 40 children, to honour Maria when she died,” Eileen says. “It was the height of the AIDS epidemic. Everyone thin that hospital was 25 and they were all going to die. It was devastating.”

Home of Good Hope began providing food for about 40 children who were HIV-positive. Eileen personally provided the funding and Monica did the cooking then took the food by taxi to nearby Katutura, a poverty-stricken township where many of the children lived. Food was doled out as the children squatted on the side of the road. They expanded to include more children, and buying school uniforms so kids could get an education.

The program grew from 40 kids to 800 over the decade and now they look to expand further, seeking to buy land or relocate to a building. Medical professionals routinely visit, donating services and kids thrive beyond the soup kitchen.

“You can see the success,” Eileen says. “They were playing with plastic bags when I first went there.”

The children did not even have shoes 10 years ago, she says. Recently, a member of the HOGH netball team was chosen by China and a member of the boys soccer team was chosen to develop and play in France. The Home of Good Hope soccer team finished third in the U/17 Khomas Youth League 2017.

There are no “danger zone” children like when she first went, and Eileen she still works hours in a day on the project, contacting the many Victoria-area donors and those overseas, continuing to provide administration herself.

“You can’t stop feeding kids. Who would ever let a child starve to death? I could never let that happen,” she says. “Once you start feeding children you can’t stop. You have to think of a legacy plan.”

That’s a phase the International Human Rights Award winner is in right now. The plan is to move to a new kitchen in January. This new site is close to the current soup kitchen and rent is reasonable. The organization recently made some strong political contacts they hope will favour purchasing land in a bid to build three shipping containers into usable space for the children.

During her visit in September, to celebrate the 10th anniversary, they threw a party the likes of which the kids had never seen. Graduates returned, parents came, there was a band and a chore and 500 goody bags. The event that was covered by media in Namibia as well as attracting international attention.

Find Home of Good Hope at canadahelps.org learn more at homeofgoodhope.ngo, 250-360-6712 or mail donations to 505-1178 Beach Drive, Victoria B.C. V8S 2MN.

Each young person needs:

Back pack – $12

School supplies – $ 10

Shoes – $8

School uniforms – $20

Cost per year for school – $40

Food $15 per month.

Cost per year $ 180

Health care, university tuition and sports activities are also supported

Visit homeofgoodhope.ngo for more information.


 

cvanreeuwyk@oakbaynews.com
Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

 

Home of Good Hope feeds Namibia’s young for a full decade

Home of Good Hope feeds Namibia’s young for a full decade

Home of Good Hope feeds Namibia’s young for a full decade

Home of Good Hope feeds Namibia’s young for a full decade

Home of Good Hope feeds Namibia’s young for a full decade

Just Posted

The entrance to one of the tiny homes in Victoria’s Tiny Home Village. (Kiernan Green/News Staff)
Victoria Tiny Home Village resident evicted for lighting small fire

No damage or injuries, but zero-tolerance rule stands

Saanich Fire Department is responding to a structure fire in the 3300-block of Quadra Street on May 18. (Devon Bidal/News Staff)
Smoking pot on stove ignites Saanich fire call on Quadra Street

Traffic impacted in northbound lanes of 3300-block shortly after 11 a.m.

The Victoria Police Department is seeking information on an assault that occurred in downtown Victoria on May 10. (Black Press Media file photo)
Police investigating downtown Victoria assault on youth

Witness also attacked after trying to intervene

A prowling coyote proved no match for a stray black cat who chased it out of a Port Moody parking lot Friday, May 14. (Twitter/Screen grab)
VIDEO: Little but fierce: Cat spotted chasing off coyote by Port Moody police

The black cat is seen jumping out from under a parked car and running the wild animal out of a vacant lot

Announced Tuesday, May 18 by Public Safety Minister Mike Farnworth, the province added gyms, dance and fitness studios to its list of places where face coverings are mandatory (AP/Steven Senne)
Masks now required at all times inside B.C. gyms, including during workouts

The province added gyms, dance and fitness studios to its list of places where face coverings are mandatory Tuesday

Reinhard “Bud” Loewen of Abbotsford has now been charged with 21 counts of sexual assault related to his massage business. (Facebook photo)
Former Abbotsford masseur now faces 21 counts of sexual assault

Bud Loewen of Bud’s Massage Therapy initally faced three charges

Over the years, police have worked with sketch artists to draw what the boys could have looked like at the times of their deaths. (Vancouver Police Department)
DNA breakthrough expected in cold case involving murdered Vancouver boys, 7 and 8

Forensic analysts are working to identify relatives of the children, whose bodies were found in Stanley Park in 1953

Livestock competitions have been part of the Pacific National Exhibiton for more than a century. (Maple Ridge News files)
B.C. provides $50 million to keep major tourist attractions going

Tour bus companies also eligible for latest COVID-19 aid

Derek Descoteau with his trusty dog Harvey. (Photo submitted)
Friends provide continuing comfort for family in wake of unresolved senseless B.C. murder

Case remains before the courts five years after Derek Descoteau’s abrupt stabbing death in Chemainus

The Nanaimo Timbermen and Victoria Shamrocks compete in Western Lacrosse Association action in Nanaimo during the 2019 season. (News Bulletin file photo)
WLA cancels another senior A lacrosse season due to COVID-19

Western Lacrosse Association, Major Series Lacrosse announce cancellation of Mann Cup

The top photo is of a real carbine rifle, while the bottom photo is the airsoft rifle seized from a Kelowna man on May 15. (Contributed)
RCMP issue warning: ‘Imitation firearms need to be dealt with responsibly’

A man brandishing his airsoft rifle in public had his weapon seized by Mounties on Saturday

Abbotsford Regional Hospital. (Black Press Media files)
Canada marks 25,000 COVID-19 deaths since the pandemic began

6 in every 10,000 Canadians died of COVID-19 since March 9, 2020

Most Read