“Love in Action”
Children’s Sanctuary Namibia Society (CSNS)
“Love in action is faith personified, healing manifested.”
(From a message channelled by Jimbeau Walsh, 10-23-20, by Clare of Assisi, posted on SoulTruth.ca)
The project DLSF supports is exactly this! It began when Al, Jeanne and others met Helge Mercker at the first Divine Love retreat the Fikes hosted in their Gibson’s home in 2012. Helge is a Namibian whose father owned a cattle ranch near Drimiopsis, a re-settlement community of San (Bushmen). In 1991, the San had been moved to Drimiopsis from their ancestral land-based way of life in the Eastern Kalahari to make room for cattle ranching.
The outcome for the San of the loss of the land that sustained their culture was dependence on mainstream society, unemployment due to a lack of transportation and available jobs, subsistence living and food insecurity. This has led to despair, hopelessness, and alcoholism, with many children becoming orphaned and vulnerable due to HIV/AIDS.
In 2012, together with the Chief of the San People, Ita Kambases, and Theresa Matengu, a local teacher, Helge established a charity, Children’s Sanctuary Namibia (CSN), to raise money to feed the children and work towards actualizing their vision of a Sanctuary for the most vulnerable.
Immediately after meeting Helge, Jeanne and Al began hosting fund-raisers for CSN. In 2014, together with Geoff Cutler, they travelled to Namibia and visited Drimiopsis. They saw first-hand both the terrible living conditions and the faith that motivated Helge, Chief Ita, Theresa and the CSN board to find ways to meet the needs of the children for food, shelter, safety, health care and education with few resources.
In 2017, Terry Adler went to Namibia and witnessed their loving efforts in Drimiopsis. Upon returning to Canada, she set up a sister charity to CSN together with Judy Dunbar, Betty Owen, Diane Mawson and Yvonne de Troye to which Canada Revenue Agency granted charitable status in April 2018. A few months later, Betty, Diane and Judy also visited Drimopsis. Here they are serving the children in the outdoor Soup Kitchen, with a photo of the Mother House and another of Zuma, the Handyman, tending to the gardens.
In the three short years since becoming a charity, CSNS has raised funds to develop the 4.5 hectares donated to CSN by the Namibian government. With active engagement of the community, the land was cleared, a home built for the most vulnerable children, a reliable water supply established by drilling a borehole/well and purchasing water tanks and stands. Community gardens of both Indigenous plants and vegetables were planted. The entire property was fenced for security purposes. The future home for 18 of the most vulnerable orphans was built and kitchen, toilets and washing facilities installed. Funds raised pay for the training and wages of two House Mothers and salaries for a security guard, a handyman and a gardener.
Donations to CSNS ensure a food program for the Sanveld Kindergarten, which feeds 50 children two meals a day, 5 days a week, and the Soup Kitchen which provides a meal several times a week for up to 200 children.
As soon as 18 children are approved by the Namibian Child Welfare authorities, they will move into the Sanctuary. CSNS continues active fund raising to equip the building, to complete its electrical needs and install sewage pumping systems. Another priority is to build a playground for the children.
All it takes is for one person at a time, joined by others, willing to put their love into action and help change lives! We invite your prayerful and financial support on this journey with the people of Drimiopsis, that faith and healing may be manifested in their lives.