Don a red nose with Caden for the launch of ‘Red Nose Day’
It was just a few months ago when Caden Levae Smith, 11, was rendered speechless, as she witnessed for the first time ever, a man retrieving a container, that just moments ago, had been thrown in the trash can by a pedestrian.
The man, who fished out the container with the hope of finding remnants of food, was obviously homeless and hungry. And as Caden sat in her mother’s vehicle and watched in awe, her heart became full and she wanted to assist — not only that man — but every less fortunate individual in The Bahamas who faces some level of poverty.
Having witnessed the level of poverty in the capital, she and her family have tried their best to assist the less fortunate with donations when possible, but Caden wanted to do so much more. She wanted to raise money, but she wanted others to have fun while doing it. The persistent sixth grade student, who presently serves as head girl at St. Anne’s Primary School, eventually stumbled upon a commercial promoting a fundraising campaign in the United States and the United Kingdom known as “Red Nose Day,” and did what was necessary to ensure that this day was recognized locally.
Red Nose Day is a fundraising campaign run by the nonprofit organization Comic Relief Inc. The annual campaign raises funds to assist the poor, but mainly young children and young adults in some of the poorest communities in the world such as Africa, Asia and Latin America. Money raised during the Red Nose Day campaign goes to the Red Nose Day Fund, and is used to support projects to keep children and young people safe, healthy and educated.
Last year October, Caden’s persistence in wanting to help others had paid off, as the caring tween received a proclamation from Prime Minister Perry Christie to launch the very first “Red Nose Day” in The Bahamas, slated for today.
“I thought it would be good to have a Red Nose Day here because a lot of people in The Bahamas don’t get enough to eat,” Caden said. “I was watching a commercial and saw what Red Nose Day did for America and I said that would be cool for The Bahamas, because with all the money we earn [from Red Nose Day] we could help young children who do not get enough to eat, and it will also help them get out of poverty.”
In her quest to launch Red Nose Day in The Bahamas, little Caden met with Director of Social Services, Melanie Zonicle, and later met Minister of Education, Jerome Fitzgerald, to offer her views on how the fundraiser would be beneficial to the Bahamas. “After I told him about it [the Red Nose Day], he sent my letter to the prime minister and he sent out a proclamation to celebrate this day on February 19,” Caden said.
Funds raised from the Red Nose Day in The Bahamas will be used to assist the government’s national lunch program, which provides lunch for more than 3,000 government school students. The Bahamas Red Nose Day is proposing to supplement the program with a breakfast plan.
A number of schools are pitching in to bring awareness to Red Nose Day for The Bahamas, and businesses were being asked to follow suit. Red noses were being sold for $2. Interested persons could also secure Red Nose Day t-shirts from Sun Tee Bahamas. Additional information can be obtained by emailing: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Caden advises her peers to be consistent and not allow others to “divert” them from pursuing their dreams. “Just keep your mindset straight and do what you want to do, always be you,” she said. “Don’t let anybody keep you behind. Some people may think that your dreams are small but don’t listen to the negative things that others say, you just have to push forward to make things happen.”
Caden, who is a straight ‘A’ student with a 94.0 grade point average has won many academic and character awards. She has attained a spot on the honor roll since grade one, and she credits her academic achievements to being organized and knowing how to manage her time well.
Caden’s consistent hard work at school has paid off as she was recently nominated for the national primary school student of the year. Caden said she felt “honored” that her efforts had not gone unnoticed, and was excited about the upcoming ceremony in May.
Describing herself as caring, smart and someone who “thinks out of the box,” Caden is inspired by Malala Yousafzi, a 19-year-old Pakistani woman who is an advocate for girls’ education, as well as her mother, Letitia Cleare-Smith, the owner and proprietor of Careful Hands Daycare & Preschool.
Caden’s hobbies are reading, modeling, dancing, singing and, of course, helping others. At St. Anne’s School, she is a member of Girl Guides, Junior Achievement, The Etiquette Club, House Captain and serves as president of the Spanish and French Club. Other extracurricular activities include track and field, modeling, dancing with Yodephy Dance School and singing with the Star Beats Show choir. She also plays the violin and the piano, and she is a member of St. Anne’s Anglican Church.Caden’s favorite subject is math, and she wants to become a pediatric nurse as well as an accountant.