What we do
Side by Side operates as a day care and early intervention center for families of children with special needs.
Our Mission is to provide early childhood development in children with special needs, to train parents as well as the community and caregivers. Allowing for easy access for these families, we are situated in Goreangab, Windhoek.
Children with the following disabilities are served by the Side by Side program - Autism, Cerebral Palsy, Brain Damage, Down Syndrome,Hydrocephalus and developmental delays.
We work closely with therapists and medical staff in Katutura and Central Hospital to achieve the combined goal of community upliftment and comfort for these children.
• Day care Center (Rehabilitation): Monday to Friday for 20 children with multiple / severe disabilities. We also provide a healthy breakfast for all of these children.
• Early Intervention Services: Accommodate approximately 18 families per week for early intervention sessions at the center, helping babies and toddlers achieve their developmental milestones.
• Home Visits: Home visits carried out weekly in Havana, Okuryangava, Khomasdal and Pionierspark for children younger than twelve (12) months.
• Training: Provide staff, parent, class assistant and kindergarten teacher trainings on Early Childhood Development topics throughout the year.
• Support Groups: Assisting parents/caregivers dealing with the emotional aspects of caring for their children with the limited resources available.
• Special School Readiness: Focusing on preparing children to enter a special needs school or even a mainstream school.
Short term Goals
- Expand the Day Care and Early Intervention Centre: We will assist twelve (12) more families. (Predicted action date Feb 2018) This will increase the amount of families getting support up to 40.
- Disability Awareness in Namibia: There is very little, to no awareness being done in Namibia. More awareness can assist with the prevention of disability as well as increase the comfort of children with a disability.
- Parent Support Group: Play groups for parent to interact with their children and learn from professionals as well as each other.
- Dietician Needs: Providing training on dietician needs in children with Cerebral Palsy and other Brain Damage, in a community with very little resources. This will teach them how to use the food they have available and can afford, to its optimal potential to benefit the child. (Predicted action date June 2018)
- Information Centre: This Centre will provide immediate backup and information to the families. Early intervention is very important as it allows for quicker progress and better quality of life. (Predicted action date Feb 2018)
- Swimming Therapy: Swimming therapy support sensory and motor development, especially in children with Cerebral Palsy. Strain put on their muscles is reduced by the water. This makes therapy less painful.
Long Term Goals
- To expand services to other locations in Namibia small towns and rural areas.
- To provide a rehabilitation Centre for all families all around Namibia.
- Written personal programs and home follow ups.
The first hand experience of a mother
As a mother with a severely disabled child it was difficult finding support in Namibia for Elandri, our daughter and our family’s very different needs.
Information and professionals were difficult to find. We have medical insurance, so I have traveled across borders to find answers for my questions. I needed a crash course in Physio, CPR, feeding tubes and medical terminology while trying to keep myself and my family together emotionally. As the years went by I realized that in our poorer communities this situation was much worse than anticipated and the many obvious needs were not documented. Information and professional support is almost impossible to find if you do not have the funding.
Many parents and families are struggling to maintain themselves, and having a child with a disability, can influence the standard of living for a family negatively. Often diagnoses are not made in hospitals and information gets lost in translation.
Due to this, parents do not know what is wrong with their children and sometimes years go by without receiving any therapy or professional help. This makes early intervention nearly impossible and takes away any chance of an optimal life for most of these children.
Side by Side is a registered non-profit organization under Section 21 with the Ministry of Trade (Reg. Number: 21/2013/0487) founded by Sandra Hollweg. Sandra started and funded this project mainly through German donors. She used her profession knowledge to create a strong supporting system within the harsh environment of the township communities.
Due to the lack of support for early intervention and pre – primary education for children with special needs, her investment over the last 5 years has made a tremendous impact in these communities. Her passion for these children and their development is contagious and inspirational.
We need funding to secure the future of our centre and ensure that we can continue to offer early intervention therapy to children who desperatley need it, and who otherwise would not have access to it.
Our Monthly Expenses include;
N$ 5 000.00
- Water and Elect
N$ 1 200.00
- Caretakers Salaries
N$ 24 250.00
N$ 22 000.00
- Food for breakfast
N$ 1 500.00
N$ 1 500.00
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