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Namibian children grow up in a stark, beautiful land in the southwest of Africa. With abundant mineral deposits, rich fishing grounds off the coast, plenty of good stock-rearing land, and with one of the lowest population densities in Africa, Namibia should be a prosperous country where children can grow up to realise their full potential. But black children are denied their birthright. The riches of their country are controlled by South Africa, transnational corporations and the minority white population, and most blacks live in extreme poverty. There is not a shred of similarity between the life of a white child and that of a black child. A system of apartheid controls almost everything about their lives – where they live, what sort of medical care they get, where they go to school and what level of education they reach – and denies black people any democratic voice in how their country is run. In telling the story of the black children of Namibia, Oxfam hopes to draw attention not only to the appalling difficulties and dangers they face but also to their courage and determination as they and their parents try to build a better life. Black Namibians are working and hoping for a future independent Namibia where a new generation of children, both white and black, can grow up together in freedom and equality and without fear.

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