Our housemothers are the most important attachment figures for the children living in the Omaruru Children’s Haven. It is through them that some of the children experience love and a feeling of security for the first time in their lives, but also strictness and why rules are important when it comes to living together and that there are consequences, when those rules are being broken.
Volunteers and management alike are deeply impressed by the housemothers. The housemothers are living in the Omaruru Children’s Haven and are basically on duty twenty-four hours a day. The housemothers’ days often start at midnight, when some of the smaller children that are still wetting their beds are being woken up and briefly taken to the toilet. At 5 a.m. it is time to really get up, prepare breakfast, wake up the children, wash them, feed them and make sure they are ready for school. When the children are gone around 8 a.m. it is time to clean the yard and the houses, do laundry and prepare lunch.
The housemothers usually have their first short break of the day at 11 a.m. after six hours of uninterrupted work. And it is not getting easier in the afternoon, no, after the children return from school in addition to the other tasks to be done tears need to be dried, injuries treated, heads patted and reprimands and tasks be given.
If you now consider that Lena, Gerda, Appolonia, Sieglinde und Otilie only have four off-days per month and work for a salary of approximately 100 Euros, then you might grasp what these ladies are doing. With all due respect to Sam Nujoma and Nelson Mandela, but our housemothers are the true heroes of Africa!