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SCI Blue Bag

The chapter has several members who have participated in this incredible program over the years. Currently, the chapter has a practice of donating matching funds up to $250 per Blue Bag donation to any member who takes a bag on a hunting trip with them. All members who have participated agree that taking gifts to these children who have so little is the highlight of their trip! Our chapter contributes to several SCI Blue Bag families each year.  If you have a hunting trip coming up and would like to contribute, please contact one of your KYSCI board members.

Blue Bags are filled with supplies and may include medical, educational, and other relief supplies, or clothing and toys.  The Blue Bag is then taken to remote areas of the world by hunters who have planned hunts in these regions. The supplies are delivered directly to villages, clinics, orphanages and schools, doctors, caretakers, and teachers to use with people in need.

KYSCI Chapter Members Deliver Warm Winter Coats!
By Marinda Van Der Merwe
Panache Photographic Safaris
Namibia Safari Corporation

Place: Farm Borodino, Windhoek District, Base Camp of Namibia Safari Corporation

          On August 3, 2021, thirty children from Farm Borodino, mostly children of workers on the farm, each received a brand-new warm winter jacket/coat to keep the winter cold out.  The Whitworths informed us well in advance before the start of their safari in Namibia about their intention to fill a couple of Amy Bell SCI Blue Bags to the value of $650 ($250 of which was donated by KYSCI) with things that the children who lived on the farm might need. In Namibia, we experienced an unusually cold and long winter in 2021; therefore, we thought a brand-new warm jacket for each child would make a huge difference in the lives of these children. 

My daughter, Maryke, and I made an effort to take the measurements of all the children on the farm and we bought the jackets in the right sizes for each child that would hopefully last more than one season.  We also purchased a few extra jackets and blankets for the children that we felt would be visiting on the farm on the day of the gift handouts. 

          So, when the big day of August 3, 2021 arrived, Stefanie, Peyton and Cody fitted a new warm jacket on every child, even the babies in their sleep!  After each child had a brand-new jacket, we handed out sweat treats to warm up their hearts even more. Then blankets were distributed so that every family got at least one blanket.

          The Nama, the indigenous tribe of which most of our workers are from, are very reserved people and not used to expressing their emotions, and although I asked almost every parent and some children what it meant for them to get a nice new warm jacket, every adult said that they were very thankful and it helped them a lot; therefore, I gathered a few comments of how they experienced it.

          Elrick Rooinasie and Renade Rooi have nine children, aged between sixteen and one year. Although they both try their best to look well after their children, it was like a real miracle when everyone of the children got a new warm jacket since it takes so much money to provide even enough food for everyone in their household with a couple of teenage boys who eat lots plus they care for children of family members who send them to the farm from relatives who live in the town. 

          This year, due to COVID 19, the children were home from February to Mid-September. Under normal circumstances, most of the time, the children would be in boarding school (where they eat three meals per day with money coming from the education system) and they would only be home one weekend in the month and three school holidays.  Most parents barely had enough money to pay for their food. The fact that last year was a relative thin year for everyone since we did not have any hunters and although we managed to pay all our workers and did not retrench (let go) anyone, our workers did not get any overtime payment and they received no tips from our hunters nor meat from the hunters’ harvested animals.

          Some of the boys who are in high school were especially happy about their new jackets since it gave them pride and dignity to arrive back at school well dressed in the latest style after the long holiday.

          Thomas Rooinasie has 4 children, all in primary school, that live with him on the farm although his wife does not live with him but lives somewhere else. Since Thomas is in reality a single parent who also needs to provide for the rest of his extended family as well, he said that the donations really helped him.  He would not have been able to give all his children warm clothes as he was in debt just to provide food for everyone who was at home most of the time this year.

The young lady with the braided hair in the photo with the adorable baby is Magdie and this is her first child. She was very thankful for the nice warm jacket for her baby as well as a blanket, since as she said, it was a terrible long and cold winter, and in the jacket, the baby is now so beautiful!

          Two days after the children got their jackets and blankets, it was finally time for them to go back to school, and since they were on the farm and home for so long, they really looked forward to going back. In the afternoon when Stefanie, Peyton, and Cody went out hunting, they got to see the children all dressed up in their new jackets and some also with a new blanket, waiting for the car to take them to the boarding school at the little town of Klein-Aub.

            Maryke and our son, SD, tried again to ask the children about their gifts; it was so nice that the two of them as well as our farm children were home for weekend.  They interviewed 5 young boys and made a video of them speaking in Afrikaans, and although the boys mostly only said yes or no, Maryke and SD managed to drag the following out of them:

  • Richo Rooi said that he really loved the jacket he got and he thinks it is beautiful and he was very happy when he got it.

  • Elricho is 15 years old and in Grade 7.  He said he got a gray-colored jacket and the jacket makes him feel good when he wears it and it is also warm.

  • Elrick is 12 years old and in Grade 4. He said that his jacket is yellow, and he said that he will take good care of it so that he will also be able to wear it next year.

  • Steven is 12 years old and in Grade 6. He said he loves the grey and black jacket he got and it feels nice and is warm.

  • Ruweldon is 13 years old and in Grade 6. He said he was very happy to get a new jacket.

          I trust that when you see the great photos, especially the one our youngest daughter, Nina, took of Stefanie with the farm children around her, you will understand our gratitude.  We named the photo of Stefanie our “Angelina Jolie photo”.  We really tried on numerous occasions to sit with individual workers to copy what they themselves had to say but being such reserved individuals, it was difficult to get anything apart from a yes and no.  Hopefully, the beautiful photos will tell you the rest of the story.

We have 3 SCI Blue Bags that we keep with us. Just so that your SCI Chapter knows that if they are needed somewhere else in Namibia, we can make a plan to get them to other outfitters or we can fill them here for local school children if other hunters want to donate gifts for other needy children here in Namibia.  

Best wishes and thank you Whitworths and KYSCI from a really hot Namibia!  Marinda

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