For the seventh year running, Wernhil, managed by Broll Namibia – a subsidiary of the Ohlthaver & List (O&L) Group – has made it its mandate to make meaningful contributions to people’s lives through the Wernhil Wish List initiative. This year, on 20 December 2022, the wishes of seven-year-old winner, Matthew Smith, were granted by the shopping mall.
Matthew has been diagnosed with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) as well as a rare, noncontagious skin disorder, Epidermolysis Bullosa (EB), a condition that leaves the skin fragile and susceptible to blistering. As EB is incurable, treatment tends to involve managing pain, lesions and infections. This condition has not only been a challenge physically for Matthew, but emotionally too as he has faced bullying because of his condition.
As the winner, Matthew will receive all the items on his wish list which include a school bag, bicycle with helmet and toys, all up to the value of N$6 000 sponsored by Wernhil.
The Wernhil Centre Management also learnt from Matthew’s mother, Jade Smith, that their medical aid had already been depleted for the year and support towards Matthew’s daily medical supplies would be appreciated. To help meet these needs, Wernhil in partnership with Dis-Chem Wernhil and Wernhil Pharmacy will sponsor supplies to treat Matthew’s EB. Thanks to the sponsorship of Wernhil Pharmacy and Dis-Chem Wernhil, Wernhil will also be able to gift all the school stationery Matthew will need for the new year.
Jade Smith is working to create awareness around EB and runs a Facebook page called “Butterfly child (Namibia)” to help achieve that. The term “Butterfly children” likens the sensitive skin of those with EB to butterfly wings.
As part of the Wish List initiative, the winning child may choose one of two schools – this year being Inges Kindergarten and Môreson Special School for the Cognitively Impaired – to also receive a Christmas gift according to their needs. Matthew selected Môreson Special School for the Cognitively Impaired to receive a donation valued at N$6 000. In the spirit of the season, Wernhil will grant Inges Kindergarten its wishes up to N$6 000 as well. Both schools will receive these donations in the new year.
More information about the initiative:
Every year, Wernhil makes a Christmas wish come true. The competition was first launched in December 2016 and has since become Wernhil’s annual signature event. The competition involves children between the ages of 6 -12 filling in a wish list letter together with motivation as to why they deserve the gifts on the list. From all the letters, 10 finalists are chosen who all receive a gift hamper to the value of N$300.00. From the 10 finalists, the winning child receives all the items on their wish list up to the value of N$6 000.00. Wernhil is also dedicated to continuously support two underprivileged schools through the initiative. The winning child chooses one of the two schools to which Wernhil makes a charitable donation to the value of N$6,000.00 and because it is the time of giving, Wernhil also donates the same amount to the other school.