Caring for the marginalised communities

Posted: 15 Apr 2018

The PUPKEWITZ FOUNDATION supports the Government’s call in the 5th National Development Plan to work towards integrating marginalised communities in the mainstream economy by 2020. The PUPKEWITZ FOUNDATION supports the San communities through the Ethel Pupkewitz Feeding Scheme, by donating monthly supplies of fresh eggs and fresh fish to the Nanofasa Conservation Trust (Nanofasa), who deliver the supplies to the communities.

Nanofasa is a non-profit trust dedicated to protect, manage and sustain the cultural and natural integrity of the San communities and their environment. The support from the PUPKEWITZ FOUNDATION is specifically aimed at addressing immediate food security concerns and challenges experienced by these communities.

Nanofasa operates within the traditional area of the Ju/’hoan San or Bushmen (as they are commonly known in Namibia). The San are considered the world’s oldest culture, being the first hunters’ gatherers, but now live in extreme poverty. They have been forced from their original lands, which are increasingly being used for illegal grazing cattle, leaving the San unable to survive in their traditional lifestyle.

Challenges facing the San communities are food security, few San learners complete their basic education and the illiteracy and unemployment rates are very high. In an area of 9000 km2, there are 2300 Ju/’hoansi San living and the majority are children without a hopeful future. The health status of the San is undoubtedly linked to their low socio-economic status, as the San life expectancy is 22% lower than the national average, at just 48 years.

Nanofasa acknowledges that the most difficult task of any organisation working with people is to ensure that all good intentions of helping leads to interdependency and not to dependency. It is a difficult task to empower people so that they can master their life without crutches. Against this backdrop The Barefoot Academy was established with the aim to provide training and ancient knowledge development for indigenous people. The Barefoot Academy is an educational, training and research centre, providing training, conservation awareness, and work creation and enhancing livelihood for the san communities within the Nyae Nyae Conservancy.