Monday, May 31, 2010

Project Kick-off!

Hello everyone,

Just a quick note to let you know that we will be sending the first instalment of 750,000 CFA (about $1500) to L'École St. Albert le Grand at the end of this week. We've been in touch with the school, and they want all of you to know that they really appreciate the donations. They want us all to know that they are going to make sure that all of the money will be very well used.

We are really looking forward to hearing from the school as the project progresses, and we'll give you updates as they are available.

Njacko and Val

ps - for an update on Njacko's work in June, please check out our newsletter

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Setting things in motion, one step at a time

A big thank you to everyone for your continued support for this project. Between our fundraiser on May 7th, and the donations we received last December, our total collection for the first project is now just a few dollars shy of $4000!

We are in touch with Ecole St. Albert Le Grand, and our representative in Cameroon will be meeting with them this weekend to go over the plan and budget for the first project. Our contribution to the school for the first project will be 1,500,000 CFA.

With the school year coming to an end in Cameroon, we will be sending the first installment of the budget to the school in a couple of weeks. We'll have an update soon on when the project will be getting started.

Also, for those of you in the Toronto area on June 9th, Diana Braithwaite and Chris Whiteley will be launching their new CD at Hugh's room. Diana and Chris were two of the artists who contributed to making the fundraiser on May 7th such a wonderful evening. This show is definitely not to be missed! More details:

Monday, May 10, 2010

May 7th Fundraiser a BIG Success! Thank you for your support!

We'd like to thank everyone who came out on May 7th to the Gladstone Hotel to support our new project with École Saint Albert Le Grand in Bazou, Cameroon. We would also like to thank the Gladstone Hotel for their generous support. With everyone's help, we were able to raise $1,972.36 and more pledges are trickling in! If we add this to the $1000 that we raised in December 2009 at our holiday party/plant sale, we have a great start for our first project with École Saint Albert Le Grand.

We are still accepting contributions to support our project (see description below). Please contact us at:
phone: 416.836.8951
mail: PO Box 632, 31 Adealide St. E., Toronto, ON M5C 2J8, Canada

Cheques can be made out to Valery Woloshyn or Njacko Backo.

A special thank you goes out to all of the artists who generously donated their time on May 7th:
Marni Levitt
Jacques Yams
Diana Braithwaite & Chris Whiteley - June 9 CD release
Amara Kanté
Amadou Kienou
Steafan Hannigan & Saskia Tomkins
Njacko Backo & Kalimba Kalimba

More about our project...

In January 2009, Njacko Backo and Valery Woloshyn travelled to Bazou, Cameroon, to celebrate the lives of Njacko’s late parents, Tchoumi Christine and Nana Mathieu. While in Cameroon, Njacko and Val visited École Saint Albert Le Grand, the school that Njacko attended as a child, to deliver some school supplies that were donated by friends and family in Canada. During the visit, the couple was inspired to do more to help improve the education of the youngest members of the community. At the time, the school was missing a roof on about 30% of the buildings which meant that their classes were crowded into the parts of the school with the roof still intact. The latrines behind the school were falling apart, and the buildings in general were not in good condition.

Late in 2009, the school and the community worked together to replace the missing sections of roof on their own. This was an important first step to protect the mud bricks of the building from further weather damage, and demonstrated the commitment of the community to the school. However these newly covered rooms are still not ready for the students.

Our first project will be to repair these rooms so that the students can return to these parts of the school. Following that, we will work with the school to prioritize the next projects to be completed over the next five years. Future potential projects include: repaired or new latrines; providing water supply and hand washing stations; drinking water system; rebuilding the school as the original construction has started to fall apart.

Currently we have no plans to become a registered charity. 100% of the donations we received at the recent fundraiser and future fundraising initiatives will be going to support the construction of room repairs and future projects. We thank you for your understanding that we cannot issue tax receipts. We also thank you for your trust that we will use the donations to the best of our ability to support the children in Bazou. We will not be using the funds to travel to visit the school. We will have a family member monitoring the work and progress, and will use this blog to share updates as they are available.

Thank you again for your interest and support. Please do feel free to ask any and all questions you may have about our project!