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Ethical giving September 25, 2007

Posted by isabelleinnamibia in Culture, Goodness, Home and away, Money, Namibia, VSO.
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Earlier this year, my old housemate Matthias went home for his father’s 60th birthday. It sounded like they had quite a party, but with a warming message: instead of receiving any presents, Matthias’ father would rather accept money to donate to worthy causes that Matthias knew of in Namibia. Together they raised over 3000 Euros, a hefty amount by any standards. (more…)

The Bank of Cow July 10, 2007

Posted by isabelleinnamibia in Cows, Culture, Home and away, Money, Namibia, Oh..interesting, Ovitoto, The job.
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As I have mentioned before, Ovitoto is a rural farming community. This is not the ploughs-and-tractor type of farming, but more livestock farming. Especially cows. The Hereros are well-known for their love of bovines. Cows are everything: money, status, livelihood, food, gifts. The women even traditionally wear hats which resemble cow horns, coupled of course with an abundance of Victorian-style dresses, layered one on top of the other.

Hereros, like many African groups, don’t tend to use banks as readily as people do in the West. They instead use the Bank of Cow, with their money tied up in cows and other livestock. This makes a lot of sense really. Livestock grow, they reproduce and create offspring which will also reproduce, which means your investment will increase naturally – a better inflation rate than any bank will offer. (more…)

Closing down May 28, 2007

Posted by isabelleinnamibia in Communication, Money, Namibia, Ovitoto, Reality, The job.
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As I mentioned before, Phase 1 of the Ovitoto Environmental Community Outreach Centre (ECO-C) Project came to an end at the end of March 2007. Since then, I have been working on the report, evaluation and financial report for the entire project, which was finally handed in last week. Hooray! Well, kind of….

Since my role since I’ve arrived has been assisting with and then managing the ECO-C project, and that we now have no money left, I’m in a bit of a limbo. There are various interim activities that we have planned, like follow-up business training for anyone wanting to set up a business using the skills that they learnt in our trainings, and also an alcohol awareness campaign, for which I received some money from the British High Commission through VSO. But it is all a bit tricky when we don’t really have enough money to pay for the petrol for me to get up there, let alone stay there for a few days. The pressure seems to be off for the moment, and I do have the chance to tidy up a few bits of the project, so long as it doesn’t involve any money.  (more…)