Launched in December 2016, the annual Wernhil Park (WP) Christmas Wish List Competition has grown to become a signature event on WP’s calendar, which has evolved into a highlight activity for WP shoppers.
Sylvia Rusch, Head of Marketing & PR at Broll Namibia – owner and custodian of Wernhil Park, and subsidiary of the Ohlthaver & List (O&L) Group - says the entries and interest in participation of this annual initiative has grown significantly since inception 2 years ago. Rusch: “We did not expect the annual Wernhil Park Christmas Wish List Competition to grow as fast as it did in such a short period of time. We were once again overwhelmed with this year’s entries. It is absolutely fantastic!”
Each year Wernhil Park makes a child’s wish come true through the Christmas Wish List competition. Open for children between the ages of 6 -12, the competition requires participants to complete a wish list letter together with a motivation as to why they deserve the gifts on the list. The winning child receives all the items on the list up to the value of N$6,000. The winning child will also choose between one of the two schools in the Havanna Resettlement Area – the Dr Abraham Iyambo Primary School and Monte Christo Project Primary School - to which Wernhil Park will make a charitable donation, to the value of N$6,000. Rusch: “And because it is the time of giving, Wernhil Park will also donate the same amount to the other school. This initiative is inspired by, and speaks directly to the O&L purpose of ‘Creating a future, enhancing life’.
Last year’s winner (2017), 12-year old Julian Gawaseb has undergone a complete life-changer. Rusch: “His motivation about kids teasing him and calling him drunk, due to a sleepy eye, touched our hearts. He wanted to have his eye fixed. We found out that his parents could not afford the excess payment. Wernhil Park decided to fulfil his wish by settling the excess payment for a procedure to help lift his eye lid. The ptosis repair operation was performed on 17 August 2018, and we are happy to say that the operation was a success.”
Furthermore, Julian’s broken prescription glasses were also replaced, courtesy of Torga Optical at Town Square who was touched by Julian’s story and decided to support him in that regard. Wernhil Park continued to fulfil the rest of Julian’s wish list, which was a bicycle. The bicycle was handed over to little Julian on 15 November 2018.
The Monte Christo Project Primary School was Julian’s choice of school to make a charitable donation to. In response to the outbreak of Hepatitis E in the beginning of 2018, Wernhil Park Shopping Centre, on Wednesday, 07 March 2018 contributed to the upliftment of hygiene care through the donation of bucket tap containers, specifically for hand-washing and water consumption purposes to each class of the Monte Christo Primary Project School, and the Dr Abraham Iyambo Primary School, at the Havana resettlement area in Katutura, Windhoek utilising the funds made available through the Wernhil Park Wish List competition.
Rusch: “Julian – who has grown close to our hearts - was also made the face of Wernhil Park as the model on the promotional material for this year’s Wernhil Park ‘Wish List’ campaign 2018.”
The 2018 WP Christmas Wish List competition just ended with 8-year old Sibusiso Angula as the winner. Sibusiso’s wish is for a professional chess board and chess timer. He is a professional chess player and represents Namibia in other countries. Rusch: “However, his parents do not have the funds to provide him with the professional chess equipment for him to train and better his craft. Wernhil Park is excited to fulfil his wish, and support him in his passion for chess.”