“That’s where I bought my first pair of Levi Jeans”. “I used to go there and buy clothes. The clothes was good quality and very cheap!” “I can’t see any DAPP shops these days. That is just too bad. Can’t you open those shops again? I will be your customer for sure.”
These are comments that we often meet, so we better explain why the DAPP shops are no longer there.
The story is that in the 1990es the DAPP shops selling good quality second hand clothes for affordable prices were opened all over Namibia. The clothes was collected by DAPP / Humana People to People in Europe, where many people had more clothes than they needed and therefore donated the clothes in clothes collection containers. The clothes was sorted, some sold in shops in Europe to raise funds for development and some shipped off in containers to African countries among other to Walvis Bay Namibia. In Namibia DAPP established sorting centres from where the clothes reached the shops in certain categories to the pleasure of all our customers.
Besides giving affordable and good quality clothes to many Namibians the clothes sales also created a profit that was invested into development projects mainly in the Omusati region at that time. You can still see the Vocational Training Centre proudly built in those days as well as a lot of trees now standing tall around the region. It also created a number of good work places. Today you meet people at different offices and businesses that will tell you that I used to work in the DAPP shop in this or that town. BUT in year 2000 the clothes sales business unfortunately came to an end due to the Namibian membership of SACU that demanded high customs duty on import of second hand clothes.. So the costs involved in getting the clothes into the country were much higher that the income it could provide from the sales, so that was the end of that business.
Cloth Sales, Tree planting and Training: DAPP Namibia started development activities in Namibia in 1990 with a base in Omusati Region. The first activities were to provide affordable and good quality second hand clothes to many people as well as to create an income for other development activities such as production and planting of trees, training of ex combatants among other. The clothes sales fulfilled that double purpose up to year 2000, when new Namibian import laws forced DAPP to scale down the second hand clothes supply and business to a minimum.
Social Development Projects: With funding from many partners: clothes sale, government, development organisations, private businesses, own income and school fees Projects were started such as the Tree planting & Environment project, which established a nursery and worked with communities to improve basic living conditions. In 1996 the DAPP Vocational Training School, situated in the Omusati Region, 10 km from Outapi on the Outapi - Ruacana main road was inaugurated by the former President Sam Nujoma. The school offers courses in Bricklaying & Plastering, Business & Secretarial Studies and Community Development.
Next to the Vocational Training School a Preschool began and demands from parents to start a Primary School grew into plans and action to create DAPP Private Primary School. In 1998 the need to do something about the HIV/AIDS epidemic made DAPP start the HOPE projects with HIV/AIDS information and awareness activities in Omusati and Oshana regions. In 2005 these efforts were scaled up with the TCE - Total Control of the Epidemic campaign