As part of this year’s Sixteen Days of Activism Against Gender Violence the Ama-Buruxa cultural group from Namibia will visit Johannesburg from 6-11 December 2007 to share experiences and hold theatre performances. Established in 2001, the Ama Buruxa group (Nama for “Simply Amazing”) group comprises children abandoned as a result of HIV and AIDS or gender based violence. Gender Links, a Southern African NGO that works in the governance, justice and media sectors, will host the visit with the support of a number of partner organizations. The visit is sponsored by a private South African donor who was moved to do so after hearing the children sing on their recently released CD ROM.
The group was formed to give theatre performances as a form of therapy and also to raise funds for the payment of school and examination fees for the orphans and vulnerable children in Maltahöhe. The 4000-strong village of Maltahöhe lies in the dry and desolate Hardap region of southern Namibia. Gateway to the Namib desert, the village is a stopping point for many tourists. Maltahöhe as a community is currently facing daunting challenges like HIV and AIDS, poverty, unemployment and the reality of high numbers of street children and orphans. Since the Ama-Buruxa Daweb Cultural group was set up in 2001 they have worked hard to turn the tide and to create a better future for the vulnerable children in the area.
The group currently comprises of 32 learners and two teachers: Simon Anton and Karolina Pieters who founded the group. Pieters, who is also Chairperson of the Village Council, has some 382 Orphans and Vulnerable Children (OVC’s) under her care: nearly ten percent of the village population. Most of these children have lost one or both parents to HIV and AIDS or gender violence. Cultural activities help to make sure the children never forget their roots and remain firmly grounded and provide a form of healing.
Activities planned in Johannesburg
During their visit to Johannesburg the group will:
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