Warm greetings. Hope the first half of this celenday year went well for you. Best wishes as we enter the 2nd half.
Highlighted in this newsletter are several items... Trip Report, Penny for Your World, Meet Catherine, and Africa Day. Be sure to watch the videos...
Trip Report - A Busy and Successful Week in Sierra Leone
In May this year, Sylvester Renner and Phillip Sholes had the opportunity to make a field visit to Sierra Leone - during which they visited Develop Africa projects. They received a very warm welcome from the beneficiaries / partners.
The beneficiaries and partners sent back messages of deep gratitude to all individual donors, and all our partners including Chase Community Giving, SeeYourImpact, GlobalGiving and UniversalGiving.
As told by Sylvester:
"Janet, (Develop Africa, Board Member) and Joshua (Director, Door of Hope) together took excellent care of us. During our busy, one week stay, we were able to do the following:
Formally launch and open the FAWE Computer Lab.
Visit microfinance beneficiaries at Bo (town, 150 miles away)
Presented books and school supplies to the Community Education Development Primary School, Allen Town
Phillip provided important video training to Joshua and Prince.
Visited AIDSL, a partner organization
Visited the YWCA Vocational Institute and Computer Lab
Visited Door of Hope
It was a fulfilling and memorable trip and we are happy to bring back good news of progress and many changed lives".
This rest of this report focuses on one of the highlights of the trip: the formal opening of the FAWE computer lab.
The Forum for African Women Educationalists (FAWE), a local Non-Governmental Organization school, is an all-girls school in Sierra Leone that focuses on the development and nurturing of girls into future leaders. To graduate from this primary school, students must gain an understanding of language and literature, science and mathematics, social studies, and with our recent addition, computers.
The computer lab is facilitating easy access to quality and current information, thereby enhancing the teaching methodology and broadening the horizons of the pupils and their teachers alike. The computers and (planned) internet facilities will also help the pupils to establish linkages with other children and educational institutions globally in order to promote learning and experience sharing. The computer lab will augment growth and learning opportunities.
Through the funds received from Chase Community Giving, Develop Africa fully equipped the computer lab by providing furniture (desks and chairs), network wiring, 16 computers, an overhead projector, a document camera, speakers, amplifier and control podium. Funds also helped reinforce the doors and finish the floor.
Additional photos show the launching of the computer lab with a number of representatives from FAWE, school children and teachers. Sylvester had the privilege of cutting the ribbon and declaring the lab open. The ceremony also included the signing of the memorandum of understanding between FAWE and Develop Africa regarding the operation of the computer lab. The agenda also included brief messages / speeches by a number of FAWE members, Sylvester, and other special guests from England. In the coming weeks we will finish video editing and make available some video coverage from the ceremony.
Next Steps: This project is an on-going one and we would like to ensure that the equipment is fully utilized and that all the children and other in the community are able to benefit. The school has asked us to assist them with raising funds to do the following:
- cover the cost of a computer instructor
- in the immediate short term, provide a stand-by generator and fuel the generator for at least one day a week.
- provide power to the lab through solar panels and equipment. The initial guess-estimated cost of this system is around US$60,000. We will be receiving a full quote in a few days.
How You Can Help: Please help us make this lab fully beneficial by sponsoring an hour or day today (from $5.00) today. You can make a donation through our website here – or through Facebook here . We also welcome people who will help us raise funds for this lab.
Video Spotlight: Here are 2 videos from the trip:
Video 1: Brief video by a beneficiary - to all members of the Develop Africa Family - all people who love and care for people in Africa -
Video 2: Microfinance funds from Develop Africa have helped Mary grow her business. Growth in business and interest-free loan have improved her life and the lives of her children. Interview with Sylvester. Watch interview on Youtube or click on player below (if visible)
More Trip Information: In the coming newsletters, we will provide more details and photos / video from our trip.
Develop Africa Featured on Penny for Your World
On Sunday, May 24th, Develop Africa was one of the two charities featured on Penny For Your World - http://www.pennyforyourworld.com/. On this site you can give a penny a day or ten cents a day to charities you choose. More details are available on their website.
Meet Catherine- A Microfinance Beneficiary- Funds Enhanced Catherine's Business and Improved Standard of Living of Her Family
Catherine is a hardworking mother of one child, who is now in the university. Apart from her only child Catherine also has other mouths to feed. She is responsible for the maintenance of her household.
Catherine is a fishmonger (smoked fish) and has been in this business for over 15 years. She gets her commodity from the fishing communities in the Bo environs. Catherine needed microfinance funds to expand and diversify her business to maximize profit, which she can plough back into the business for sustainability as well as being able to take good care of her children.
Catherine is very grateful to Develop Africa donors for supporting her with microfinance to enhance her business and improve the standard of living of her family. Through providing micro-credit or microfinance funds, we are together improving the standard of living of families, one family at a time.
May 25th- Happy Belated Africa Day!
Africa Day is the annual commemoration on May 25 of the 1963 founding of the Organization of African Unity (OAU). On this day, leaders of 30 of the 32 independent African states signed a founding charter in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. More information is available on their website - www.africaday.info
How much "spare change" could you give to charity today?
We have exciting news! Develop Africa is now supported by SwipeGood - a platform that allows you to enroll your credit or debit card to round up all your transactions automatically and donate the change to Develop Africa. Learn more and sign up...
Vision 2011 - Expanding Our Impact, Invest in Lives - How You Can Help