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Dine for a Difference Reaches Initial Goal

Calgarians Raise $20,000 to build a school in Sierra Leone

by Matt Hanson

A class in a newly rebuilt secondary school in Pendembu Sierra Leone
A class in a newly rebuilt secondary school in Pendembu Sierra Leone

At the "Dine for a Difference" dinner banquet at Central Grand Restaurant, CAUSEKids reached their initial goal of raising $20,000 to build a school in Sierra Leone. The organizational team had begun their fundraising efforts February of this year with an art gallery auction.

CAUSEKids is a seasoned international development organization, working in various countries throughout Africa and Latin America for over twenty years. I spoke with the daughter of their founders, an outspoken advocate for their organizational merit. She recounted the importance of their sustainable network, and the crucial practice of investing in people, where skills are built from the ground up within the indigenous social network. 

In accord with local community efforts, a people so motivated to receive visitors after facing a civil war which devastated the national infrastructure that they built their own road into town, Canadian volunteers are working with community leaders towards building a much needed school in a community with only one formally trained teacher, and a serious handful of children. 

During the night's fundraising efforts, the organizational team was surprised by how much they raised. At many points in the night, the restaurant staff even pulled out hundred dollar bills to contribute. The Honorable Teresa Woo-Paw, Member of the Legislative Assembly of Alberta spoke to confirm her support and reminded every one present that Alberta continues to offer an international development granting fund.

The incredible story behind the night and the groundswell of active awareness in Calgary began with a community activism campaign from Calgary Young Offenders Center. There, incarcerated youth were inspired to help the suffering of children in Sierra Leone. Later, CAUSEKids teamed up with their efforts to collaborate in acheiving their collective goals.

Currently, there is only $5,000 left to raise, for the children do need a furnished school. This is one example of real civil society pressure to make real change in the march towards global citizenry.


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