The people that makes things happen...
Side by Side is a registered non-profit organization under Section 21 (Reg. Number: 21/2013/0487) founded by Sandra Hollweg and Anita Nangombe. They started and funded this project mainly through German donors. Sandra, the former director of Side by Side, used her profession and knowledge to create a strong supporting system within the harsh environment of the township communities. Due to the lack of support for Early Intervention and Pre – primary education for children disabilities, her investment over the last years has made a tremendous impact in this communities. Her passion for children with disabilities and their development is contagious and inspirational.
In December 2017 Sandra Hollweg returned to Germany and Huipie van Wyk took up the position. As a mother of a child with a Severe Disability she understands the importance of Support in the community but mostly in the medical field. She is using her drive, knowledge, experience and contacts she has gained over the last 7 years to improve the services that Side by Side offers and to maintain the pace at which the Centre needs to grow to meet the demands of the community and the children of Namibia with disabilities.
Through ADVOCACY we hope to strengthen services of EARLY DETECTION, EARLY INTERVENTION, AND COMMUNITY-BASED REHABILITATION. We believe that every child with a disability has the right to:
A healthy, educated, and informed family
Easy Access to medical support
Easy access to equipment
Easy access to therapy
Social and education inclusion
• Daycare Center (Rehabilitation): The daycare centre is operational from Monday to Friday for 24 children with multiple/severe disabilities. We also provide a healthy breakfast for these children.
• Early Intervention Services: Accommodate approximately 44 families for early intervention sessions at the centre, helping babies and toddlers to achieve their developmental milestones or maintain their physical needs.
• Neuro Natal Clinic: Side by Side attends the Neurodevelopmental clinic every Thursday to follow up on children born with a high chance of having developmental delays. Through this, together with a team of doctors and therapists we diagnose the children early and effectively implement the process of Early Intervention.
• Home Visits: Home visits carried out in Okuryangava, Khomasdal and Goreangab for children who find it challenging to travel due to the severity of their special needs.
• Parent Workshops: We provide staff, parent, class assistant and kindergarten teachers training on Early Childhood Development topics throughout the year. This program is managed by a team of professionals along with Side by Side as the event coordinators. The monthly training focuses on a variety of topics that will benefit parents, caretakers, teachers and the community. Emotional, physical and economical tools are given to sufficiently support these families and communities.
Support Groups: Assisting parents/caregivers dealing with the emotional aspects of caring for their children with the limited resources available.
• Special School Readiness: Focusing on preparing children to enter a special needs school or even a mainstream school.
• Individual sponsorship programs: We also take on Individual programs where we run smaller projects, allowing us to provide relief to a caretaker when a child’s condition is severe and needs immediate attention. This is usually a short-term solution, aiming to get the family back on their feet. The photos below are of the 3 current supported families. They are Herman, Erican and Rauna. We are supporting them with medical equipment, food, diapers and transport fees.
LONG – TERM GOALS (3 to 5 Years)
• Expand the Daycare and Early Intervention Center: The need in Namibia is undeniable. Expanding this means that we can reach out to not just families living in Windhoek, but all-around Namibia. Starting small therapy Centres in rural areas.
• Rehabilitation Home: Between 6 and 8 mothers will be given an opportunity to live in one house, managed by a team of professionals working on a program over 6 months teaching these parents how to become the best version of a special need mother/caretaker. They will be taught life skills, management skills, punctuality and entrepreneurship.
• Education Centre: We would want to grow from an Early Intervention Centre to a School facility catering to children from birth to 18. The school will provide an inclusion system for children not only with intellectual disability but also with a physical disability.
• Information Centre: This Centre will provide immediate backup and information to the families. We are already achieving this through the DUN setup. The DUN directory is available on our website to download.
• Expanding our service to the rest of Namibia: Side by Side will provide a training facility where these parents and therapists come for training to extend our centres to more areas around Namibia. Due to the vast spaces in between rural areas 5 facilities will be needed to cover the North, and 2 in the South.
SHORT – TERM GOALS (1 Year)
• Disability awareness in Namibia: Increased awareness has a double benefit. It can assist with the prevention of disability as well as with maximizing the potential of all children with disabilities. This awareness is currently an active campaign we are running through the support of the El-Andri Early intervention Trust and their butterfly project.
• Transport: We will need to invest in a bus as transport for some of these children is a huge challenge. There is a great need for transport to and from appointments and workshops. This will need to be a donation.
• Information Centre: This Centre will provide immediate backup and information to the families. We are already achieving this through the DUN setup. The DUN inventory will also be made available on our website within the next 2 months, so that would mean by the end of August 2019.
• Swimming therapy: Swimming therapy supports sensory and motor development, especially for Cerebral Palsy clients. (Action date 2020)
• Bigger premises: Side by Side Early Intervention Centre is growing rapidly, and we need to grow in space as well, to achieve our goals.