Steps for children

stepsforchildren1Steps for children at the project site Gobabis


Now that the first project of the steps for children foundation has been established in Okakarara, we have taken the next step and started a second project in Namibia – in the town of Gobabis. This is situated 200 km east of Windhoek and 100 km from the border to Botswana. It is a town with a population of approx. 19,000, most of whom live in great poverty in tin huts in the slums at the edge of the town. The unemployment rate here is at least 65%; there is no running water in the huts, and there are no toilets or electricity. HIV/AIDS and tuberculosis are extremely widespread. Many children don’t attend school or only do so for a short period of time. In the winter, when temperatures sometimes drop to -10 C°, people in the slums die if they are too weak to move.

In 2010 we entered into cooperation with the existing project Light for the Children in order to support a soup kitchen and a pre-school with approx. 300 children. The project is situated in the informal settlement Epako, directly on the edge of a slum area and in fact forming part of it. We have already set up several small businesses that are generating their own income such as a carpenter’s workshop, a computer school, a guest house and a mushroom farm. At the carpenter’s workshop we produce various solar-powered stoves for cooking, for example. By setting up the small businesses and recruiting teachers and supervisors, we have been able to create many new jobs so as to reduce unemployment here, too. We provide direct and indirect support for up to 100 people since every employee provides for approximately ten other family members. 

Soup kitchenstepsforchildren3

The soup kitchen (founded by Light for the Children) provides a hot meal for between 250 and 300 children a day, depending on the number of school students.

These are often the only meals the children get each day. The cooking used to be done on a fireplace in the courtyard, now there is roofed kitchen. Two cooks prepare the meals with the help of volunteers, parents etc.

Salary of a cook: EUR 1,320 (EUR 120 / month for 11 months / year)
Meals for 250 children: EUR 14,300 (partially funded by steps each year)


Support stepsforchildren4for school children - Guardian Angel program

In the academic year 2016, steps for children is supporting a total of 85 Guardian Engel children, 25 in Gobabis, who previously attended the pre-school Light for the Children. At EUR 192 per child we are able to provide the children with school clothing and the necessary textbooks, exercise books and writing utensils. They also get a hot meal at our soup kitchen and receive homework tutoring from qualified teachers.

Without our support, these children would not be able to attend school since their families lack the necessary funds. This would then perpetuate a vicious circle of poverty: with no education, there is a greater risk of unemployment, alcoholism and AIDS. After school, the children supported by us come back to the project center for a meal and our teachers give them expert and caring support in doing their school work.

The children who attended our pre-school and continue to be supported by us during the afternoon have all achieved significantly better grades and reports than their class average.

We require support for ten more Guardian Angel children: EUR 1,920

Stepsstepsforchildren5 homes

At our project site Gobabis, steps for children has expanded its social programs by establishing so-called steps homes. Here, mothers or families are supported to provide foster care for a number of orphans in addition to their own children. Otherwise left to live on the street, the children are given a home and loving care in this way. In addition to daily provision of food, the focus is on providing them with access to education.

Our steps homes families are supervised by the social worker employed by us, Jacob Bartmann, who was previously the director of a school home.

stepsforchildren6We would like to set up five more steps homes families in Gobabis, thereby providing a new home for ten to 15 orphans.

5 steps homes families: EUR 8,700 ( EUR 1,740 / family / year)


The foundation steps for children

The foundation steps for children was founded by Hamburg entrepreneur Dr. Michael Hoppe in 2005 and supports children and young people in Namibia who are in need of help. Many of them are AIDS orphans or their families are affected by HIV/AIDS. Social programs and educational measures give the children the opportunity of a life beyond poverty and hopelessness. The foundation runs its own operations in the field, collaborating with local sponsors in Namibia. The steps for children projects and partners currently support more than 1,000 children and young people on a day-by-day basis in social subprojects such as nursery schools, pre-schools, soup kitchens and afternoon childcare.

A particular strength of the foundation’s concept is that it introduces measures that generate income. These small businesses (such as guest houses, market gardening, sewing shops and carpenter’s workshops) are financially self-supporting and also generate funding for the social projects. Steps for children also creates new jobs for adults and youngsters.

steps for children foundation
Markusstraße 7
20355 Hamburg
Telephone: +49 (0) 40 389 027 – 88
E-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

We are contributing EUR 26,240 to this project.