Some members of the Homeless People’s Parliament seated in the National Council Chamber
Story by Rafael Hangula
The National Council has launched the Homeless People’s Parliament on Wednesday 16 May 2018, a project aimed at giving homeless Namibians a national platform on which to discuss issues affecting them and make proposals on their concerns through a one day model parliamentary session in the National Council Chamber.
The one day session of the Homeless People’s Parliament is Thursday 17 May 2018 from 14h00.
Former First Lady of the Republic of Namibia, Madame Penehupifo Pohamba officially launched this Parliament in the National Council Chamber under the theme “Voice of the voiceless, dignity restored”. She said the Homeless People’s Parliament and the interventions to follow will give Namibia a unique opportunity to examine challenges that the homeless people face.
“Homeless People’s parliament is not only meant to get people off the streets, but also of law makers to work hard and find lasting solutions. “I want us to change our attitudes towards homeless people. We must get away from stereotypes and look at the primary causes of homelessness. There is no single reason why people become homeless,” she stressed.
The Chairperson of the National Council Hon. Margaret Mensah-Williams during the official launch of the Homeless People’s Parliament said; “We brought you here to give you back your dignity because you are dignified and we as human beings we don’t have the right to treat you without dignity. We are here to give you a voice, to pull you up and give you a voice, as the President used to say ‘No one should feel left out. I also like to call upon service providers in all sectors of the country to provide needed basic services to these people,” she added.
She encouraged the homeless people by saying that “the seeds that we plant here today should grow and bear more fruits many many seeds so that one day they should testify that they were once homeless people but have moved out of their circumstances.”
“I want you all to be proud of yourself because your circumstances don’t determine your character, and your character is what you build. Keep on shining,” she echoed.