A crisis of children, mostly female, roaming around the streets and malls of the capital, selling wooden goods and begging for coins, has become a concern.

It has become an everyday occurrence for one to encounter these children from neighbouring Angola walking along streets or malls in Windhoek, begging for money to buy bread, all repeating the same phrases as if trained.

Looking into the eyes of these children can be a traumatising experience, as they look worn out, emotionless, and neglected.

During the day, they hustle, and at night, they sleep on the floor under an open sky, like they do here at Okuryangava's Stop and Shop.

nbc News teams trailed these children during the wee hours of the morning and found them sleeping in deplorable conditions.

They do not know their ages and lack any form of documentation. 

Most appear to be between the ages of three and sixteen and identify only by their first names, such as Maria or Sabelo. 

A general suspicion is that the children are from the Kunene Region and associated with the Himba people, judging from similarities in their dress and hairstyles. 

Upon inquiry, though, the nbc News team has established that they are originally from Angola. 

The few elderly often sit in corners, at a distance from the begging children.

They tell our news team that they were forced to migrate to Windhoek because of hunger experienced in some parts of Angola.

Members of the public describe the condition of the children as neglectful and inhumane.

Getting answers from authorities has been an uphill battle due to ongoing investigations from different stakeholders.

However, the Ministry of Gender Equality, Poverty Eradication, and Social Welfare says, that due to ongoing discussions led by the ministry and stakeholders, not much can be divulged at the moment.

However, the Ministry says they are aware of the situation, are attending to the matter, and will update the nation in due course.

The Angolan embassy says they have been working with the Namibian authorities to find a solution to ensure the affected children's dignified family and social reintegration.

Photo Credits
nbc Digital News


Selima Henock