Spring Newsletter: May 16, 2011 (Issue 12)

May 16th, 2011 | By | Category: Newsletters

Happy Spring!

On this cool-ish May day, I’m sending you best wishes for a very happy spring. It hasn’t been very warm this spring in BC’s Lower Mainland, but we are hopeful the weather will get better eventually!

Loan from the Pamoja Foundation

We are delighted to announce that we have received a loan of $3,000 CDN from the Pamoja Foundation, an organization that finances established microcredit programs in East Africa. This loan will allow us to expand our microcredit program dramatically.

Amrita Sondhi, the director of the Pamoja Foundation, had an epiphany when she summitted Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania in 1999. She wanted to help the local residents she met there, who were kind and community-minded, but very poor. Her vision was to connect these people with Westerners who were well off but perhaps missing a sense of purpose and community. The Pamoja Foundation was born.

This picture shows Amrita giving us the Pamoja cheque for our microcredit program. Amrita Sondhi (centre), director of the Pamoja Foundation, gives the loan to me and Dale. Kerri Franz (on the far left), a valued AVPA supporter, and Carey (left), a Pamoja board member, look on.

The foundation’s mandate is to help people help themselves — through microcredit. It loans funds to existing microcredit organizations that are already working on the ground. Amrita, who is also the owner of Global Movement Clothing on Bowen Island, was looking for a local organization to partner with and found us – the Africa Village Project – right here on Bowen.

Needless to say, we were absolutely delighted! Amrita threw a party last month to celebrate the opening of her new store location on Bowen Island. At the party, we both had the chance to talk about our organizations and how we are helping Africa. Then, she gave us a cheque for the loan. It was indeed a moment to celebrate!

We are very grateful to Amrita and Pamoja – thank you so much!

Africa Night fundraiser

You are invited to Africa Night on Saturday, June 4, at Bowen Island Community School. It will be an evening of fun, food, and fabulous music. You’ll feast on a traditional African dinner and be entertained by the amazing Kokoma African Heritage Ensemble featuring MaObong Oku. It’s your chance to have a rocking night out and support a great cause.

At Africa Night, we hope to raise enough funds to buy malaria nets for the 4,000 residents of Okaseni Village. Come join us! To get tix, please call me at 1.604.357.1050. Hope to see you there!

As always, many thanks for your on-going support – Dale and I very much appreciate it.

Cheers, Sheena Ashdown

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