Every child has the right to education. Which is why we started the children's charity Raise a Smile. We empower vulnerable children and orphans in Zambia through various educational projects and give them the chance to decide their own futures!
While children in Western countries often complain about having to go to school, there is a huge number of children that are desperate to get a good education, but poverty prevents them from doing so. We want to do our part in creating equality and providing opportunities to children, so they can break the cycle of poverty and reach their full potential.
Where you are born shouldn't decide about what you can achieve in life! From this motivation Raise a Smile was born and registered in Germany in 2009. After supporting existing projects at the beginning, we soon moved our base from Germany to Zambia and registered as an NGO there. With our move, we also grew from supporting existing projects to establishing projects of our own. Our team is made up of a diverse group of people with a variety of expertise, nationalities and life experiences. But we all have one thing in common, a huge passion for education.
Education is the focus of our work, because it is the foundation of personal development. In our projects we work closely with schools, communities and the local Ministry of Education to increase access to education and improve the standard at schools. To ensure sustainability, we provide people with the tools to improve their own situation.
We achieve this through numerous different projects for example literacy programmes, school fee sponsorship, tree planting, HIV/AIDS and malaria awareness as well as WASH (Water, Sanitation and Hygiene) to ensure pupils stay healthy and don't miss school due to illness.
The work of Raise a Smile is carried out in Zambia, a country in Southern Africa. Zambia is more than 3 times the size of the UK or about the same size as Texas, but has a population of only 13 million.
Our office, and therefore most of our work, is based in Mambwe District in the East of Zambia. This area is rural, remote and lacking in infrastructure. With over 90% of the population surviving through subsistence farming, most families do not have any extra income to spend on education.
Zambia is a beautiful country with warm and friendly people, but it is also a country where a third of all children lose one or both parents before reaching adulthood and the life expectancy is only 43 years.
Education is the most powerful tool against poverty and oppression. With the support of our donors, we empower children to decide for themselves the direction their lives will take.