The Bonny Vainö Idhenga Foundation (BVIF) was necessitated by the tireless commitment and assistance remanded to the Kaokoland community by the founders since 2003. BVIF is a nonprofit organization that helps build bridges to foster cultural understanding and community development. It was founded based on the passionate belief and desire to make Namibia a better place in which to live and to contribute to the alleviation of poverty in the country.
The main activities of BVIF are as follows:
• The donation and distribution of charitable goods or aid to the needy in Namibia;
• The coordination of specific skills of professionals or institutions to provide services to the needy in Namibia, and;
• The Hand-in-Hand for Africa & Namibia literature Award.
BVIF is supported by a variety of donors. These include Hand-in-Hand for Africa, BVIF’s Board of Trustees and Technical Team members, as well as, private solicitations by Mr. Bonny Idhenga of his close friends, family, associates, and friends of Namibia. However the main supporters of the life changing activities carried out by BVIF have been Hand-in-Hand for Africa e.V (HiHFA), a non-profit organization based in Cologne, Germany.
Over the last thirteen (13) years BVIF and Mr. Idhenga have assisted countless Namibian children, brothers and sisters through a variety of projects, which include:
Hand-in-Hand for Africa contacted Mr. Bonny Idhenga, while he was serving as a Diplomat at the Namibian Embassy in Berlin, Germany, to set up charitable facilities for the poor in Namibia. Mr. Idhenga worked at the time for the Namibian Embassy as a First Secretary in charge of Namibian National Welfare and Assistance, as well as, Political, Education, Tourism and Cultural Affairs. During that time Mr. Idhenga identified various poor communities for assistance by international donors.
Through the years Hand-in-Hand for Africa consequently build and donated a Hospital and two staff houses to the Tsumkwe Community. The clinic was fully furnished with sate of the art equipment and the staff housing was built so as to motivate qualified staff to relocate to the area. They also donated a fully equipped ambulance and twenty-one (21) bicycles. The bicycles were meant to assist the community with mobility especially when faced with urgent medical emergencies. Over the years, Hand-in-Hand for Africa also built Mangetti Dune Primary School, hostel facilities and a soup kitchen, where they give numerous daily meals to needy San children. They provided solar power panels and a generator for the clinic at Mangetti Dune. Hand-in-Hand for Africa also has another soup kitchen in Okahandja Park, Windhoek. It too is delivering numerous daily meals that are very much needed. Their donations also include a kindergarten that was built in Golgota, Windhoek and, as well as, teachers’ living quarters that they built at Kanovlei Primary school, in Otjozondjupa Region.
In addition to this, they have a yearly donation of a forty (40) feet container of new clothing, shoes and equipment, among others. All things considered, Hand-in-Hand for Africa currently assists in the provision of feeding and schooling for over 800 children in Namibia. Hand-in-Hand for Africa also regularly maintains all the facilities it donates.
Mr. Idhenga also assisted Namutenya Hamukoto, a Namibian girl who was infected by the Noma disease. Noma infects children under 12 years of age and is a rapidly progressive, polymicrobial, often-gangrenous infection of the mouth or genitals. It is also referred to as cancrum oris or fusospirochetal gangrene etc. Namutenya was referred to Murnau Hospital Clinic in the southern part of Germany for treatment but the contributions she received quickly ran out. Unfortunately the money ran out while she was in the Intensive Care Unit, awaiting further operations. At this point Mr. Idhenga approached Hand-in-Hand for Africa who then paid of the remaining balance of N$200,000.00, and allowed for Namutenya to complete the much needed operations.
Mr. Idhenga facilitated the donation of five hundred (500) bicycles from Switzerland to the needy and marginalized San Community in the Onesi Constituency, and other marginalized communities of Omusati Region.
Mr. Idhenga led a team of close associates and family on a visit to Opuwo in Kunene Region to assess the needs of the Himba people in Kaokoland.
Follow up visits were however challenging, as we were unable to properly collect a sizeable donation as per the assessed needs.
Mr. Idhenga organized donations of food items, clothing, toys and household equipment for the assessed communities in Kaokoland.
Mr. Idhenga organized donations of bicycles, sporting equipment, household equipment and a large assortment of toys for the assessed communities in Kaokoland.
Mr. Idhenga conducted follow-ups on Namutenya Hamukoto’s medical condition, to ascertain if she had continued with the treatments as prescribed in 2003 by her surgeons. Shockingly none of the follow-ups had been made and she had no medical records to refer to. Mr. Idhenga then decided to solicit further assistance from Hand-in-Hand for Africa. Mr. Idhenga proceeded to assist Namutenya in creating new medical records that were requested by the German surgical unit that would be operating on her. Mr. Idhenga in partnership with Hand-in-Hand for Africa was able to arrange for her passport and travel visas to Germany, while Hand-in-Hand for Africa paid for her air ticket, travel insurances and all necessary arrangements in Leipzig, Germany. Namutenya was consequently booked for follow up surgeries in February and September 2015 respectively. Surgeries were to create necessary conditions to implant an artificial right side eye and to even out her jaw, amongst other procedures.
Mr. Idhenga was approached by Model Prayer Ministries; a Windhoek based Pentecostal Church, to assist with social projects for Outapi District Hospital, a major medical center for Outapi Town in the Omusati Region.
Mr. Idhenga decided to take up the provision of baby incubators for the Maternity Ward of the hospital. A total of One Hundred and Fifty–Two Thousand Namibian Dollars (N$152,000) was solicited from Hand-in-Hand for Africa for the acquisition of the incubators. Once the acquisition was made Erongomed was solicited and accepted to donate a baby scale, as well as the transportation, installation and maintenance of the donated items for their foreseeable lifespan.
Following the numerous charitable activities and assistance provided in many different types and forms over the years, it was decided that a formal legal structure would be needed to continue and expand assistance to needy communities in Namibia. In this regard the registration of the Bonny Vainö Idhenga Foundation (BVIF) was then instituted. BVIF was instituted with a vision to aid in the formation of a Namibia where all people hold the power to create opportunity for themselves and their communities, even those that are nomadic and live in the most remote areas.
Through the registration of BVIF, a legal structure was then obtained that allowed for the organization to structure itself as a fully functional charitable institution and therefore leverage the skills, talents and abilities from a wide range of trustees and technical team members. This process also allowed for BVIF to receive all kinds of charitable donations especially for the various targeted marginalized Himba communities and others. It also allowed for larger and more adaptable donations from international partners such as Hand-in-Hand for Africa.
BVIF solicited and received a large clothing donation from Hand-in-Hand for Africa in 2015.
Donations were sub-divided for three marginalized communities from Kaokoland. These were the Otjisokotjongava Village, situated about ten (10) kilometers from Opuwo; the Kaoko Community Center and Ouranda location, in Opuwo respectively.
BVIF solicited for and got a vehicle, as well as, fuel, travel and lodging costs for all donation trips to marginalized communities.
BVIF trustees contributed monies for the purchase of blankets that were also donated and distributed to the above-mentioned marginalized communities in Kaokoland.
BVIF trustees solicited for toy donations, as well as, donations for household materials and containers for water/milk storage. These donations were also distributed by the BVIF team to identified marginalized communities in Kaokoland.
Large donation of clothing, shoes and sports equipment from Hand-in-Hand for Africa.
Sports donations were distributed to Namibia Physically Active Youth (PAY). PAY is a community-based project that focuses on the healthy development of people in low-income communities.
BVIF received an appeal by Namutenya Hamukoto to help Mrs. Maria Schneider, a Namibian mother of about 75 years of age, battling cancer, while taking care of twenty (20) children. BVIF assessed the living situation of at her household and found that her children were without adequate basic clothing and shoes. BVIF then decided to help with a donation of different types of clothing, shirts, trousers, shorts, shoes, sandals, leggings, underwear, socks and warn jackets/ jerseys.
BVIF assisted the Ouheke Orphan Village Project, a community based project catering for about 35 orphan children in the Engela Constituency of Ohangwena Region. They were assisted with clothing, boots, shoes, socks, shirts, jackets, toys and blankets.
BVIF provided help to Ms. Felicity Gouws, a warm hearted lady who took responsibility for baby Mpho, who was dumped by her birth mother. She was assisted with clothing, shoes and warm clothing for the baby. BVIF makes is a point to regularly assist various caretakers of dumped babies.
BVIF assisted the family of Mr. Boas Ekandjo, Namutenya Hamukoto’s godfather and guardian. As a token of appreciation for his family’s kind assistance to Namutenya BVIF donated clothing, shoes and jackets for the entire family.
BVIF assisted the family of Mr. Leon Lerm, a previously advantaged Windhoek based pensioner who in the last few years has been hit with massive health challenges, a situation which has left him unable to continue to work continuously, or care for his family. BVIF donated clothing and shoes to his wife and their children.
BVIF assisted a family of migrant Ethiopians headed by Mr. Muleta Kito, who applied for assistance due to his current deplorable situation both here and in Ethiopia.
BVIF currently assists Ms. Tjiningire Veisiruavi and Ms. D’Almeida Shilongo, two Himba girls from Kaokoland, who are currently attending Grade 10 & 12 respectively at Concordia College in Windhoek. The foundation has helped with clothing, shoes, leggings and toiletries, as well as, warm winter clothing. The girls have also been assisted financially with pocket money.
BVIF solicited and has concluded a preferential admission partnership with the University of Namibia (UNAM) – Medical School Faculty in Windhoek. This new admission program creates a quota system that will see five (5) Himba students admitted to the school on a preferential basis. Under the terms of the partnership BVIF will identify these students and have them prepared for the Medical School program. Plans are underway to assist these underprivileged students with the academic and other related costs that this opportunity will entail.
BVIF in partnership with Hand-in-Hand for Africa, have established a literature award. The award is valued at thirty thousand Namibia dollars (N$30,000) and focuses on recognizing and rewarding people who are engaged in scripting Namibian literature and thus they are recognized as bringing positive changes to the future of Namibia. BVIF believes that encouraging authors and giving the public access to their literature will stimulate a reading culture. This will also assist in the alleviation of poverty, as it is proven that reading and writing contribute to education and therefore to development. For more information please refer to the BVIF website (www.bonnyidhengafoundation.org).
BVIF created a board of individuals from the targeted communities that are tasked with identifying local needs and alerting BVIF of these needs.
The Kaokoland Communities that are assisted by BVIF have made a request for an Early Learning Education Centre so as to give their young children a strong basis for structured school education. In addition, a request has also been made for a training institute that will cater for the young men and women that do not currently have formal education, to be trained in vocation skills.
Taking into consideration the above mentioned projects and looking into the future operations to achieve the objective of the foundation, it was therefore decided, the foundation create proposal for the Upliftment of these Kaokoland nomadic Communities. The Kaoko Community Upliftment Project was thus born from this need.
We wholeheartedly thank Hand in Hand for Africa for their support, without whom our work couldn’t have been realized.
For more information, please refer to our websites: