Raising a smile by helping the needy

My name is Angela Kaxuxuena and I’m 22-years-old. I’ve been doing voluntary work from the age of 15, after I was introduced to a group of volunteers from Norway.

The more I did voluntary work the more I developed a passion for having my own charity organisation. I’ve also been inspired by my very own family members, Popyeni Kaxuxuena, Ndemufayo Kaxuxuena and Meriam Kaxuxuena, who actually told me that if I have a passion for something I should go with it.

I started my organisation in November 2014, from then on I started volunteering at Hope Village in Greenwell Matongo. I took the children as my sisters and brothers, I had sleep-overs and ate whatever they were eating. I felt honoured as I was the first volunteer to have sleep-overs with them and the first volunteer to host a fundraising event for them.

We have been working with Hope Village for the past six months and we are proud to say that we have turned hope into action.

All I want is to put a smile everyone’s face, but I cannot do this by myself. I have Congo Hindjou, Free Your Mind, Meriam Kaxuxuena and Johnny Johnson Doeseb as my sponsors. I was hoping your newspaper could play a role in assisting me by putting my story or upcoming event in the newspaper, if it is possible of course.

Raise A Smile is a group of young volunteers, who assist individuals, families , communities, organisations and the environment. We are inspired by hope and acts to change an unjust country through charity, with practical love and care for our people.

Our vision is of a society in which children and young people contribute, are valued and their rights are respected, because poverty is an outrage against humanity, as it robs people of power over their own lives.

Our mission is to be a strong voice for children, young and old people, so that every child, especially the most vulnerable, can grow up safe, happy and healthy.

Our values are based on:

Love and Solidarity – We are called to love and care for one another in compassion and humility, as we stand alongside all those who struggle against poverty and loneliness.

Dignity and Respect – We are convinced that every human being has dignity. All the people are of equal worth, which is why we place honesty and respect for others at the heart of what we do.

We aim to achieve the following key strategic goals by 2020:

Participation – Include children and young people’s voices and actions to improve their lives and the lives of those around them.

Objectives – To influence decision-makers to reflect children, young and older people’s views in policy-making process; to enable and empower children, young and older people to influence decisions that offer their lives.

Vulnerable Children – To ensure that vulnerable children and young people have improved experiences and life chances.

Objectives – To provide resources and opportunities for practitioners; to provide peer-to-peer knowledge exchange for network members; to influence legislation, regulations and guidance in the interests of vulnerable children and young people.

Prevention – Assist children, young and old people and families successfully deal with life changes and challenges.

Objectives – To gather evidence as to whether children and young people and their families have better access to services; to gather evidence that families and communities have greater confidence in engaging with practitioners.