from August 2008 Newsletter (Volume 3, Issue 2)
As the school year was wrapping up in May, Mr. Todd Schmokel’s Leadership class at Livermore High was still in high gear. After watching a video presentation of Asante Africa’s work with students in Africa, they wanted to help. Classmates Kimberly, Puneet, Nick, and Adam saw a chance to apply the leadership skills they had been honing in class to help their fellow students on the other side of the globe through a few simple actions. They decided to lead a fund raising campaign right away, especially when they heard that two Maasai warriors were arriving from Kenya in a few days to lead a fundraising effort to empower children with education.
They brainstormed ideas, and landed on a simple and quick plan to introduce clean milk jugs at every classroom, cafeteria and five Starbucks stores, with a request to “Fill it up!” In just two weeks, the campaign brought in more than $600; enough money to send a student to school for one whole year!
Part way through the campaign, Nick coordinated a visit to the school by warriors Salaton and Sabore to boost awareness and donations. Music blaring in the quad brought the students around, and the warriors shared stories about their lives and answered questions. The student team also sold Asante Africa bracelets, and when milk jug donations ran low, they enthusiastically encouraged fellow students to give up their pocket change. In fact, Kimberly reported that a teacher noticed the low contribution in a jug, and quickly pulled out a $20 note from his pocket to fill it up.
Kenyan-born Board member Joel A’bongo partnered with the Livermore High students, believing that kids truly want to see how they can help. Joel reaches out to students during school presentations by asking, “What is the most difficult decision you have to make every day?” As the students ponder the question, he shares what teenagers in the remote villages of East Africa are facing… is there enough food to feed the family? Do they need to skip school to fetch water? How will they help their families pay school fees? American teens quickly see that they have energy and resources to share with their counterparts across the ocean. Livermore High School students plan to continue sponsoring students in Africa, one fundraising opportunity at a time. With this success, Joel will continue to spread fundraising fever to other schools, starting in September.
This is one of the first Asante Africa fundraising campaigns run entirely by teen volunteers. It was a great success, requiring only the enthusiasm, creativity and commitment of a small group. When the campaign ended, the volunteers felt good about helping others. As Kimberly said, “It was gratifying to know that because of our simple efforts, a kid is sponsored to go to school.” As the incoming president of the Livermore High Leadership class, Adam plans to continue fundraising for Asante Africa in the Fall. He hopes to reach out to local businesses, running talent shows and other creative ideas. Fundraising director, Karen Yolton, adds, “When youth get involved in helping other youth, magic happens. They know they’re changing the world. We’re always looking for teenagers and even younger children to get involved. We’ll work with them and provide support to turn an idea into a successful fundraising project.” For more information and to find out how you can get involved, contact us at email@example.com.