It is heartwarming to learn about the Hakahana Kids Hope Foundation and the positive impact it is making in the lives of children in Windhoek’s informal settlement of Hakahana.
Kala Karaere Kazauana, the foundation’s founder said the plight of the children in Hakahana resonates with her as she grew up in a similar condition.
She said growing up in an impoverished environment did not deter her from realising her dream of becoming a nurse and creating a non-profit organisation.
During her mentoring sessions, she would encourage the children to not give up, as she knows exactly how they feel.
“The problem that I noticed was that the kids are from a disadvantaged background whereby they are not inspired at all as there is a lot of drug abuse, teenage drop-outs, and crimes,” said Kazauana.
The initiative started as a Sunday School with Kazauana as instructor.
She said it was during these sessions that she became connected to the children.
“It is commendable that despite facing challenges, we continue to provide support and inspiration to the children in need,” she said.
After registering the foundation in November last year, Kazauana said the organisation plans to establish a youth centre where children will be fed, trained, and mentored.
She said the children will be taught skills such as sewing, crocheting, and planting.
The centre will also serve as an after-school hangout where kids can read and relax.
Despite having started it alone, Kazauana received assistance from some of her church members.
One of the initiative’s participants, Vimanuka Kapetja, concurs with Kazauana in asking everyone with a strong heart to lend a hand by donating or providing resources to the programme.
“I have always been in support of the whole vision and I would say this initiative has brought a positive effect in the lives of the children, as they too are always looking forward to it every time,” she said.
She added, “We are a non-profit organisation as our intention is not to make money but to lend a helping hand to the young people that are in Hakahana. To show them light and love, inspiring them to get out of their situations and to fight for their future to become somebody in life,” explained the founder.
Their top accomplishment so far was being able to do their first-ever outreach programme, where they gave out food, clothes, and stationaries.
Despite this, Kazauana said she is disappointed to see some of the kids returning to their usual way of life.
However, she said they remain inspired by those who have stayed and got rid of their old habits.
Charlotte Richter (18), who has been part of the programme since she was nine years old, shared her experience.
“I enjoy the way they treat us and everything that they give us. I would ask any child that would like to join because they will be able to stay away from bad things,” she expressed.
The organisation can be reached through its Instagram page @hakahana_kids_foundation.