I am thrilled to report that I have heard from the CanAssist African Relief Trust Trustees that the recent Giving Tuesday campaign was successful in raising (over) the $30,000 that will be matched by the Frank Family Foundation in Toronto.
I want to thank friends and family who donated and I am particularly happy that the proposed Adam Nkuyan School Kitchen Project has been fully funded and will start construction early in the new year. Asante sana.
I hope donors are excited to know that their donations have barely cleared the bank and are already being put to use in East Africa. CanAssist gifts not only fund sustainable infrastructure but also provide employment and economic benefits to their communities as these various projects are realized. About 95% of what is collected by CanAssist ends up being spent in Africa.
When I was in Kenya in September I wandered past the Mbita Community Health Centre where this all started for me in 2005 when I visited the hospital (then a smaller rural health centre) with a group of McGill students. We were astounded by the condition of their delivery room and the fact that they had no sustainable water supply. I came home to Canada and gathered about $1200 from friends to supply a hook up to a municipal water source and a water tank to store it as the supply tended to be intermittent.
Little did I know where this would lead. In September 2022, Dan grabbed a photo of me in front of that tank – a “project” that was the seed for the CanAssist African Relief Trust that I started with friends the next year. From that beginning, CanAssist has steadily grown and as of 2022 has supplied about $1,800,000 in funding of infrastructure projects in East Africa.
My thanks goes to all who have supported CanAssist over the years and to those who have donated during this most recent campaign to help make the Nkuyan School Kitchen project a go. Thanks also to the Frank Family Foundation who have matched recent donations, adding $30,000 to the CanAssist coffers to fund new projects.
I also want to express my thanks to Dave Kay who has made a significant donation in memory of his late father, to fund purchase of computers for the Hope for Youth School near Mukono, Uganda. (Dave and I visited H4Y together in 2013 so he has a special connection to them).
Nancy Grew, the current Director of CanAssist, is sending the MOU for the computer purchase to H4Y today and when the students return from their December/January break they will have a stocked computer lab. My first visit to this school was to a small dirt-floored set of classrooms with no windows or doors and rudimentary desks. It is so rewarding to see this progress and gratifying to know that CanAssist donors have played a significant part in helping with this growth.
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