Entrepreneur reaches out to children with heart defects

HEART OF GOLD … Risto Ashikoto, the founder of the Joseph Tangi Save the Lives of Children Foundation, Matti Lizyenda, the director of Broad Band Investment and Nicodemus Bayo Amadhila, representing the Ondagwa Town Council.

Enterpreneur Risto Ashikoto has launched an organisation aiming to support children with congenital heart defects (CHD).

The Joseph Tangi Save the Lives of Children Foundation was launched in the north last week.

Ashikoto says the foundation was named after his nephew, Joseph Tangi Makambuli, who was diagonised with a heart defect in Cape Town in 2017.

“My nephew was diagnosed with a congenital heart defect in August 2017, and there were no funds to take him to Cape Town for heart surgery.

“At the time the operation was only available in SA,” he says.

Ashikoto says the Namibian government’s special fund did not provide for these patients at the time.

“As an only uncle and elder brother of my baby sister, the family tasked me to raise about N$350 000, which was not easy,” he says.

He says his foundation is dedicated to helping children in different ways, including raising funds for surgery, engaging the World Health Organisation on assistance and meeting the government for academic assistance, among others.

The foundation also helps patients find sponsors.

“Through the organisation, we are constantly looking for joint ventures with sponsors. We don’t have all the help at once, but we believe two hands are better than one,” Ashikoto says.

He says the organisation has received a donation of school uniforms worth N$12 000 from Broad Band Investments.

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