A few months ago I asked Rafiki, the project manager at Les Enfants de Dieu, what the orphanage needed the most. One of the items on the list was a photocopier. Since Rwanda does not allow electronics to be brought in from outside the country, I decided to try and fundraise for the photocopier.
With a lot of help from my education class (ED 370, YOU GUYS ROCK!) we brainstormed and made a plan of attack which included putting out coin jars in the bookstore and one of the cafes on campus and setting up an information table with a donation jar during parents weekend. Between these two efforts, the St. Michael’s Community raised over $200!
In addition to these fundraisers, the Rwanda travelers from Harwood Union High School graciously offered to donate all the proceeds of their annual community presentation to the cause. On Friday, May 13, Green Mountain Coffee Roasters hosted the presentation: A Journey to Rwanda: Stories of Hope. Community members and friends of the program gathered to see pictures, video, and other types of media created by students who had just returned from Rwanda. Marie Gakuba, a genocide survivor, shared her incredible story, which detailed the history of Rwanda’s dark past. Following her presentation, the Harwood students provided the audience detailed and reflective descriptions of what they had learned from the trip.
Donations were accepted at the door, but the students also had set up a silent auction full of Rwanda crafts and other items. At the end of the night, we had made $700 total! Two months later, I found out that Green Mountain Coffee Roasters agreed to match the amount we had raised, making the total from the event $1,400.
In a span of a few months, the St. Mike’s and the Harwood communities raised $1,600 toward a photocopier at Les Enfants de Dieu. THANK YOU to everyone who donated time and money to this project! I am blown away by how quickly this evolved from just an idea into reality, and it gives me hope that even in difficult times like these, we still make an effort to help others.