The Twin Hills Trust is a not-for-profit organisation set up by Canadian gold mining company Osino Resources to support local social, environmental and economic development projects.
As part of its broader sustainability efforts, Osino established the Twin Hills Trust to formalize and grow their social investment activities and support of local development projects in Namibia. They say their aim is to also involve service providers and suppliers in order for the Twin Hills Trust to become the social investment vehicle of choice for all who benefit from the development of the Twin Hills gold project.
The trust takes its name from Osino’s Twin Hills gold exploration project, which is a rapidly emerging gold deposit located between Karibib and Omaruru, in the Erongo region. With N$2 million of seed funding provided by Osino, the trust aims to invest in community development initiatives such as health and education, enterprise development, community infrastructure improvement, environmental conservation and rehabilitation.
“Since inception, Osino Resources has vowed to be a responsible corporate citizen. Good environmental, social and governance performance is central to our business strategy,” says Heye Daun, Osino’s founder and CEO. “We reviewed the Namibian government’s current development priorities and undertook a socio-economic baseline study to inform the trust’s objectives and funding areas. Enabling us to continue collaborating with our host communities to find ways to improve their quality of life.” he adds.
The trust’s objectives are to contribute to long-term and lasting community development, improving the quality of life of disadvantaged communities, and improving the environment. The trust currently supports the work being done by respected Namibian NGOs and plans to further engage in direct development activities itself in the future.
The following five projects have received funding to date:
• Early childhood development: The Development Workshop of Namibia (DWN) helps early childhood development centres in informal settlements improve their effectiveness. The organisation is being supported with N$550 000 to expand its successful and vital support programme to the informal settlements of Omaruru.
• Affordable land: The lack of affordable land for housing contributes to the rapid growth of informal settlements. DWN empowers local authorities to provide serviced land, at cost, for low-income earners to purchase. The organisation is being supported with N$550 000 to accelerate their existing land project at Karibib.
• Sewer infrastructure upgrade: To allow dwellings in the informal settlement of Usab, Karibib, to install flush toilets, bulk sewer pipes need to be upgraded. The Usab community, supported by the Namibia Housing Action Group and the Shack Dwellers Federation of Namibia, is working in partnership with the Karibib town council to achieve this upgrade. The trust is contributing N$500 000 towards this upgrade, which will benefit 723 households, consisting of almost 3 000 people.
• Online marketing of Namibian crafts: The Omba Arts Trust is an NGO that supports some 400 artisans, of which 60% are San living on resettlement farms and in conservancies. Omba facilitates the development and marketing of their iconic crafts. The collapse of Namibia’s tourism, due to Covid-19, has reduced Omba sales by over 85%, impacting the livelihoods of these artisans. The San have been particularly impacted given that craft production is often their only source of income. Omba is being supported with N$132 000 to allow the organisation to implement an internet and social media-based marketing strategy to increase online product sales.
• Food security for San artists: Due to the decrease in craft and art sales, San artisans are struggling more than usual to buy food, and malnutrition rates are rising. Omba is being supported with an additional N$150 000 of funding. This will provide two large food consignments that will support 130 San artisans living on four resettlement farms in the remote Omaheke and Ohangwena regions.
As the Twin Hills gold mining project evolves, Osino plans to grow its annual contribution to the trust so that more communities can benefit from their work in the region.