In acknowledgement of what has undeniably been a challenging year for many with the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, Broll Namibia – a subsidiary of the Ohlthaver & List Group – and Wernhil have resolved to change the way they are celebrating Christmas this year by expanding their charitable initiatives.
The first change in festivities came with an adjustment in appearances. Although the shopping mall still sports its traditional Christmas lights and decorations, they have been noticeably toned down to divert more resources to its primary festive giving initiative, the Christmas Wish List competition.
Going for its fifth year, Wernhil’s annual Christmas Wish List initiative selects a winning child from motivational letters received, to be gifted with their Christmas wishes up to the value of N$6 000. The winning child also selects one of two partner schools, Dr. Abraham Iyambo Primary School and Monte Christo Project Primary School, to receive a charitable donation worth N$6 000 to meet their more pressing needs, and Wernhil gifts the other school with a donation of the same value. However, in the hopes of spreading festive cheer to the Namibian public in a more meaningful way this year, Wernhil gave away a share of N$68 000 to ten children, its two partner schools and – for the first time with the new Wish List Family Edition – 15 families. The Family Edition was added to offer greater assistance to households, so many of which have experienced financial hardship caused by the pandemic. Each winning family walked away with a grocery shopping voucher valued at N$3 000.
In addition to awarding the 15 winning families, Wernhil also recently congratulated their tenth and final Christmas Wish List 2020 winning child, Sem K. David, an ambitious 11-year-old boy and avid reader. In his letter, Sem explained that his mother had been retrenched due to COVID-19 and was struggling to support them financially. His Christmas wishes were a new school uniform, stationery, books, soccer ball with his favourite sports brand, and a full soccer kit, which Wernhil will grant him to the value of N$ 6,000.
Sem also suffers from an eye condition which has compromised his peripheral vision since birth. Wanting to enrich Sem’s life as much as they could, Wernhil sought the advice of Optic Exclusive Wernhil, who, after running specialised eye tests on Sem, prescribed a pair of glasses which would improve his vision. Touched by Sem’s story and inspired by Wernhil’s Wish List initiatives, Optic Exclusive Wernhil offered to donate the lenses to Sem and Wernhil funded the frame. Sylvia Rusch, Head of Marketing and Public Relations at Broll, extended her appreciation, saying, “Wernhil Centre Management would like to express our sincere gratitude to our valued tenant, Optic Exclusive. We believe Sem is now surely ready to head back to school next year and can enjoy his reading and vocabulary building with clear vision.”
Sem selected Dr. Abraham Iyambo Primary School to receive a charitable donation, but as is customary, Wernhil will give the same to the second underprivileged school, Monte Christo Project Primary School. Both schools will receive their donations at the beginning of 2021.