The fire might have faded along with the memory of that night. But memories of his mother will not fade so easily. Godfried Siwombe (7) was a normal boy from Tsumeb in the north of Namibia, who loved running in the rain. The rain brought more than childhood bliss on that windy night. Lightning struck the shack that he and his family were sleeping in, causing a fire that would forever burn deep inside.
His mother, his aunt, and a sibling would not survive the night, leaving Godfried behind to recover from his emotional loss, as well as the loss of his right foot, a reminder of the childhood lived yesterday and the reality he faces today. Never again will he run in the rain with the same innocence as before, or towards the welcoming arms of a mother’s embrace.
Over the last couple of years, efforts have been made to ease the pain caused by that night’s ordeal, but due to circumstances facing people in that region, very little to no relief has been given to Godfried, who lives in an area of Namibia where playgrounds are stone covered streets, sports fields covered in thorns, and the normal means of getting from one place to another means walking.
Hollard first heard of Godfried’s story in the local press, we read about the attempts that were made in vain to make a difference to the life of this little boy. It is natural for any corporate to strive for the greatest results in regards to CSR projects. Hollard is by no means different in that regard, as our mandate will always be large-scale sustainable change, meaningful impact, to either a community or cause.
But we simply cannot idly ignore the plight of a boy for something like the dream to walk, run, play and do all the things the other children do every single day.
Godfried was brought to Windhoek for an appointment to see the extent of the damage his right leg suffered, and what prosthetic solution would be best suited.
We reached out to everyone for the help, and stand here today awestruck at the support offered from those who heard of Godfried’s story. Arebbusch Travel Lodge stepped in and offered free accommodation for Godfried and his aunt, ensuring that their stay in Windhoek was a comfortable one.
Dr. Norman Campbell from Advance Orthopaedics Namibia offered his services for free, leading the way to provide Godfried with a brand new tailored prosthetic boot.
On Tuesday 19 September 2017 Godfriend’s dream was realized, as he put on the brand-new boot (along with an awesome pair of Puma sneakers) for the very first time. You could see that the sensation of being able to walk normally was a feeling that little Godfried would have to get used to again. It is a wonderful feeling to see the eyes of a child light up with excitement as the realization sets in that he could once again do something that almost all of us take for granted, the ability to walk.
We as Hollard cannot say how proud we are to play a role in the life of this little boy. Knowing that we are part of a wonderful team of people who selflessly helped Godfried in making his everyday life more comfortable. They say an epic journey starts with one step, we walk with Godfried.
Godfried will need a new boot annually as his foot grows, Hollard hopes to be able to assist with this cost until his final boot gets fitted.
Assistance is still needed to uplift his current living conditions; his guardian is currently unemployed and we please need the local Tsumeb community’s assistance to help her generate an income to look after Godfried. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org if you can assist.
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