Government allocates millions to subsidise shelters

Martin Endjala

Doreen Sioka, the Minister of Gender Equality, Poverty Eradication, and Social Welfare, announced that the ministry has allocated N$2 million annually to subsidise 18 residential child-care shelters and Gender-Based Violence (GBV) facilities across eight regions.

She emphasized that the ministry, by court orders, places children requiring care and protection in these essential facilities. Such facilities play an indispensable role in safeguarding the well-being of the country’s most vulnerable children.

Addressing the parliament on Tuesday, regarding the operations of government-owned GBV shelters, Sioka responded to recent reports about staffing shortages in these facilities.

She acknowledged the gravity of GBV issues in the nation but cautioned against letting isolated challenges overshadow the ministry’s broader efforts and unwavering commitment.

“Addressing GBV is a multifaceted and enduring initiative. The ministry is actively working to resolve staffing challenges and fully restore the government-owned shelters,” she stated and added: “We are resolute in offering essential care and support to GBV survivors. The safety and welfare of our citizens are of utmost importance. We remain dedicated to ensuring our shelters stand strong against GBV threats.”

The Minister also highlighted the collaborative efforts between the government and private sectors, as well as Non-Governmental Organizations, in providing vital support under the guidance of social workers.

She urged other potential partners to assist the ministry and the broader government initiatives.

Currently, these shelters house 12 adults and 14 children, offering them refuge from their challenges. However, Sioka noted, that this count doesn’t include individuals residing in two privately run shelters that receive government subsidies.

Concluding her address, Sioka praised the significant contribution of private shelters in supporting GBV survivors and reiterated the ministry’s unwavering commitment to its duties and responsibilities.

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