As you read this, I’ll be bouncing along the back roads of Kenya and Tanzania, on one of my many visits to our scholarship students and project sites. My husband Mark and I, along with two members of our Program Team, will spend Thanksgiving with our adopted families in East Africa, feeling our mutual gratitude for being involved in each others lives.
The Thanksgiving season is very special for Asante Africa Foundation. In fact, our very name reflects the gratitude we feel for everyone who comes together to support quality education in East Africa. Asante is the Swahili word for thanks, and from our very beginnings, we based our work on the feeling of mutual thanks that still drives us today. We give thanks to all of our donors for choosing to share their money and resources with others, thanks to the many volunteers and supporters who do the small and big tasks required to run our operation at such low cost, and thanks to our in-country program managers who make sure we understand and support the community’s education needs in the way that best fuels their vision for their future. We also thank the students who benefit from our projects and scholarships. We remain amazed by their hunger for education and commitment to performing well without many of the advantages of technology and supplies we take for granted in our school system. And so, while Asante Africa is often thanked by our in-country friends for all that we do, I will spend this Thanksgiving reflecting on the gratitude I feel for being given the opportunity to know their powerful spirit.
As I give thanks, I also reflect on just why this work is important. Some statistics that move me include:
- In 2006, only 60% of boys and 57% of girls attended primary school in East Africa.
- The children of a woman with even five years of primary school education have a survival rate 40% higher than children of women with no education.
- 70% of Sub-Saharan Africans live on less than $2 a day; 200 million go hungry every day.
We share the belief of our partners in East Africa who say that education is the key to empowering future leaders to meet the challenges of their countries and create a bright future. Some of the benefits we’re proud to have delivered through donations in 2008 include:
- Providing the gift of education: 70 students sponsored
- Creating safer, healthier places to learn: 3 classrooms built or furnished; 32 latrines built
- Helping teachers be better teachers: 3,000 textbooks delivered to classrooms
But funding is still needed for important projects, such as completing a school in a Maasai village in Kenya and providing an additional 30 student scholarships for the January start of the school year. Every contribution helps. The generosity and foresight of our donors goes far in making a difference. Here are some examples of what a donation can buy:
- $30 provides a child with 6 books
- $90 builds 3 desks, beds or other furniture
- $120 provides daily porridge for 1 month for 100+ kids
- $500-$750 provides a student scholarship a year (depending on grade level). This includes tuition, room & board, uniforms, personal items and books
- $12,000 builds a classroom
You can learn more about the Asante Africa and ways to help at www.AsanteAfrica.org.
Please keep Asante Africa in mind as you plan year-end tax deductible giving, or consider making a donation in lieu of a holiday gifts among family and friends. A great gift is also our 2009 calendar, featuring beautiful photos taken by our Board members of the communities we serve.
Donations and calendar purchases can be made
online by debit or credit card at www.AsanteAfrica.org OR
check to Asante Africa Foundation, 1334 Carlton Place, Livermore, CA 94550.
On behalf of everyone at Asante Africa Foundation, I wish you a Happy Thanksgiving and I hope you’ll join us in helping the children in East Africa become the leaders of change in their communities through education.
Thank you, or “Asante Sana” as they say in Swahili.
AAF is not affiliated with any religious or political entity or institution. We rely solely on your generous donations to complete projects such as building schools, water lines, and sanitation facilities and sponsoring children’s schooling.