A Namibian youth, Shirley Haukongo, spent her birthday month of November handing out goods such as clothes, shoes, food combos and a meal for the day to elderly people, cancer patients and street kids, homeless people and some street vendors from informal settlements like Havanna and Babylon, dubbing the event ‘The November Charity Project’.
“As per the norm, people usually celebrate their birthdays but I devoted mine for charitable events. We handed out clothes, shoes, food combos and a meal for the day. We also handed out pillows from Pauxys accessories as well as cupcakes from Sweet tooth ya Tina B. The rest of the items were donated by people who pledged to be part of the November charity project,” she told Youth Corner.
The 27-year-old second-year Namibia University of Science and Technology (Nust) student added the November charity project was invented and named after her birth month.
Haukongo said she saw the need to give people hope in a better tomorrow because she can strongly testify to “our circumstances don’t define people. “I have always wanted to do something with the development of the country and what better way can one do it if it’s not empowering other people,” she shared.
Haukongo was sitting at home and started realising that most of the time, she spends it thinking of what she doesn’t have instead of appreciating what she has because someone out there would wish to be in her shoes.
“That person will appreciate having three or more meals a day, shelter, clothing and water. I then wrote a post on my Facebook account and created a poster for social media platforms, WhatsApp and Instagram – then I also sent it to my contacts, and that’s how people reached out,” recalled Haukongo.
She said: “One of the grandkids of one of the elderly had dropped out of school but is willing to go back to school provided that he gets another school. I went to Immanuel Shifidi Senior Secondary School and they will accommodate him next year.”
The assistance came in sorts of forms from this drive. “Another grandchild asked for dancing classes as an extramural activity and Hillary Shiimi, who is the founder of Zumba dance, with the mind of a dancer, offered to give him free lessons. Pauxy accessories made pillows for the cancer kiddies at no cost,” extended Haukongo.
A young girl reached out to Haukongo after seeing the post and she asked her to help her pay for nail training for her to pay her school fees (university); Kamabala Beauty Care sponsored free training and a free nail kit to the student.