Friday, March 21, 2014

The business is launched!!

Hello everyone! We have a lot of amazing news to share about École St. Albert Le Grand. Their small business has been launched, and the school has already used some of the proceeds to do their own improvements! This is a very newsy post, so here's a summary of what you're going to find below:

- A report out from our Indiegogo campaign, and a big thank you to our amazing funders!
- The business is launched! Have a look at what equipment was purchased
- A recent donation from St. Monica School
- May 3rd is the final fundraiser!!

Indiegogo Report Out

Our Indiegogo Campaign was run from May 4 to June 30, 2013 and successfully raised $3,425 which was about 50% of our goal. We were elated with the results! Although it would have been nice to have raised the full $6,915, we believe that falling short of our original goal was a blessing in disguise. It gave the school the opportunity to start their business smaller than originally planned to get their feet wet. More on that below.

Please click here to see the Indiegogo campaign - including the video pitch that the wonderful Kelly O'Dette created for us. 

We would like to whole heartedly thank everyone who supported the campaign both financially and by helping us spread the word. We would especially like to thank the following fine folks who contributed to the campaign:

Superstar of Bazou

- John Easson

Friends Of St. Albert Le Grand

- Madame Proulx
- Eileen Woloshyn
- Steve Woloshyn

Education Champions

- Anne Benson
- Jane Benson
- Mary Benson
- Sam Benson
- Debanjan & Aparna
- Glen St. School
- Jean Golden
- Will Hossack
- Jeremy Kraemer
- Keith Stansfield
- Whitney Woloshyn

Small Business Boosters

- Anne Lederman
- Julie Leung
- Carolina McDonald
- Erin Paul
- William Pipher
- Jeff Plotnikoff
- Quinlan, Gavin & Darren McManus

The Small Business is Launched!

In December 2013, our project coordinator Peguy purchased equipment in Douala to take to Bazou. (Why did it take so long for us to send the funds to Cameroon? Fair question. Njacko and Val had a baby in August 2013 and took a bit of a break to focus on family for a bit.) The school prioritized which equipment would be most beneficial to start with. They decided to put the tents and generator on hold for now, and purchased the sound system/mixing board, cordless microphone and stand, speakers and stands, and 100 chairs. Here they are!


When the equipment arrived, it was at the end of the school term (which is why you can see the children holding up their report cards in the above photo). The community gathered to celebrate, and the students performed. You'll notice that most of the students are wearing new blue school uniforms - the morale at the school is so strong, the school decided it was time for a change. Among the community, École St. Albert Le Grand is often now called École St. Albert La Belle!


Early this year, the school provided their sound equipment for a government engagement - it is by far the nicest equipment available in Bazou right now! The school has already put funds that they have earned with the business to good use. They have purchased drums for their marching band and installed ceilings in classrooms to help keep the rooms cooler in the hot sun.

Thank you St. Monica School!

This past February, Njacko had the pleasure of going to St. Monica School through the teaching he does with Mariposa In The Schools. When he was at the St. Monica, Njacko spoke with the children about our project with St. Albert Le Grand. The students were so motivated that they decided to have their own fundraiser for St. Albert!

They raised $675 by having their social justice group design and make Valentine's Day and Olympic themed buttons and magnets that they sold to the students at St. Monica.  They also helped to raise awareness about the purpose of their fundraiser through announcements and posters posted around the school.  

Way to go St. Monica School! Thank you so much for your support!!

Final Fundraiser - Saturday May 3

The Gladstone Hotel is graciously hosting our annual fundraiser once again on Saturday May 3. As we have done for the past three years, we will hold two fundraisers on May 3rd - an afternoon show for children/families, and an evening all ages concert.

This will be our fifth and final fundraiser for École St. Albert Le Grand, and marks the end of the 5 year partnership with this school. The funds raised will be given to the school to help boost their small business and to do any more minor repairs that they need right now.

We will be announcing the incredible lineup for this final year of fundraising in the coming week. Stay tuned!