THE Arts Performing Centre (APC) in Oshikuku and Tsumeb are facing closure as the organisation’s funds have dried up and its final hope lies in a Will, which has since been rejected.
A rejected Will is one regarded as invalid because it is not signed correctly, as a result a previous Will, if there is one, will be used or the estate will be handled as if there wasn’t a drawn up Will.
About N$7.2 million of donor funds, as well as the estate, were given back to the organisation following a drafted Will by late Reverend Hans Leu, who was appointed as Chairman by the centre’s board before his passing.
Leu, who was a psychologist and theologist from Switzerland, worked at the Oshikuku mission and created 42 self standing communities.
Him and the Managing Director of APC, Liz Hidber, together started the centre in Oshikuku in 1992 to keep young people away from substance abuse and to help them discover their talents through arts, music, painting and dancing.
The centre in Oshikuku is now home to about 100 children and adults, as well as eight employees who will suffer should the centre be closed.
The centre in Tsumeb has over 300 learners and 30 employees, with four extra teachers who are under the National Arts Extension Programme.
Like many other non-governmental organisation (NGO) in Namibia, the centre has also been hard-hit and funds have been drying up, especially in the face of the Covid-19 outbreak.
Hidber indicated that since the outbreak of Covid-19, tourists who frequent the centres are a no show.
A Master of the High Court received the Will in April 2018, but seven months later informed the organisation that the Will was rejected.
“Will registered and not accepted. Will not signed at the end of each page by testator and witnesses,” read the document.
Hidber said that money belonging to the centre as made available through donations has potentially been lost as the late Leu only signed the last page of his Will.
She said if APC perhaps gets better recognition, that it might allow the High Court to release the funds.
“The technical error with the Will now holds the fate of the centres and the money might be send back to the family members of late Leu, which is not supposed to be the case,” she said.
She explained that the money is sponsored to the Namibian child with the aim of supporting their talents from friends as far as Switzerland.
Since 2019, the centres have been struggling, but have somehow managed to continue forging on.
Hidber, however, believes that their days are numbered if help does not come soon.
“We only survive on donors and with the funds now in limbo, our survival is not certain,” she cited.