Windhoek-From a young age, Johanna Hauwanga knew she wanted to advocate the plight of disadvantaged children and grew up to commit her life to that plight, so it came as no surprise that she was recognised as one of Standard Bank’s Women of Excellence for her work.
As part of its ongoing corporate social responsibility initiatives, Standard Bank supports the development, empowerment and recognition of women in all sectors of society by contributing financially towards the Namibian Women of Excellence project through the Miss Namibia pageant.
Hauwanga has been helping orphaned and vulnerable children for the better half of five years. It all began in 2013 when she began to instil the virtues of selflessness in her daughter from a young age and decided it was best to celebrate her first birthday by giving back to less fortunate children by celebrating it at an orphanage. That singular act set her on her current path.
“I am who I am today because of my parents, who have taught me the gift of sharing and caring for others,” Hauwanga said of her passion. She volunteers with Helping Hands Group, which is her organisation, and the House of Prayer Orphanage on a regular basis.
“On 31 January 2016 I decided to spend my birthday at the Prayer House Orphanage home which is located in Havana. The orphanage has abandoned children, some of whom have disabilities and they are cared for by Pastor Elias Geingob and his wife. Through what I have been doing a few people started reaching out wanting to help out as well, that’s how we came up with the Helping Hands Charity Project,” she said.
Through her charity organisation, they regularly have soup days and hand out sandwiches at night to homeless children living on the streets. They also collect clothes which they hand out to these children and ultimately hope to help out more orphanages, as well as children living on streets across the country.
“In the next five years we would like to see our group help more orphanages, build soup centres so that we can feed children and the elderly in Katutura every day and also build a shelter which will be a safe and warm home for the street kids to come sleep,” Hauwanga stressed.
Hauwanga’s goal is to contribute to poverty alleviation in the country, and as such urges the youth of Namibia to also jump on the bandwagon to create a better future for the less fortunate and disabled.
“We need to start somewhere and starting with less fortunate children is a great starting point. Some of these children have no parents, family, food, shelter or support system to help them in life so it is our duty as Namibians to take care of them.”