RUACANA – The Councilor of Ruacana constituency, Honorable Andreas Shintama appreciated members of support groups for their hard work in 2017. The Honorable Councilor could not hide his happiness when he was witnessing what Imangulula, Omwatuuva support groups harvested. The Imangulula support groups have about 40 members – 32 females and 8 males.
These two support groups reaped enough Omahangu, beans, groundnuts, pumpkins, and sorghum. Their field is 60 hectares in size. Due to some unforeseen events, the two groups produced all from a 16 hectares portion.
Andreas has strongly made a call for men in the constituency to join support groups. “I know some of the men regard support groups as a women’ activities, this is wrong and should be stopped”, said Andreas. “I am hereby to officially on behalf of the government to witness your harvest, please continue with this encouraging and united spirit to 2018”.
The right Honorable Councilor Andreas warned and denounced those in his constituency, who discriminating and stigmatizing people living with and affected by HIV. He reminded people who were present that everyone in Namibia is affected by HIV. “If you are not living with HIV, you are affected”, he said.
He further said, “if you are not living with HIV, in your family, there is someone infected, if no one in your family, there is someone you are close to in the country, this means the whole country is affected”. “Some of you, are stigmatizing people living with HIV while you do not know where you stand with your HIV status, we should all get tested it is a good thing”.
Gerson Mwanyangapo, a member of one of two support groups, has intensely requested men to stop labeling support groups as a female’ activities.
Gerson stated that “men have a trend of calling other men in support groups that they are doing women’ activities by referring support groups as female associations.” He informed attendees that such mentality is wrong and should be stopped. Gerson reminded the participants that “we are living in a developed world with opportunities for all. Men should stand up to identify good opportunities that in the good interest of our communities”.
“People who are did not accept their HIV positive statuses are not living a living a positive life and find it difficult to cope with challenges facing them. How can you access free services available for you in your communities when you are not free?” asked Gerson.
Tonata’s Programs Monitoring and Evaluation Officer, Silas Shoolongela motivated support groups’ members to continue operating in harmony in order to mitigate the impacts of HIV in our communities.