Launching the 2nd annual fundraising campaign for Haitian women
Last year, through connections with Mennonite Economic Development Associates (MEDA), a small group from the Schlegel Villages support team came across an organization that’s changing lives in the poverty stricken and disaster-wrought island nation of Haiti.
Fonkoze is focused on the concept of microfinance to help Haitian families out of the depths of poverty by financing small businesses led by women and supporting them as they discover education and health care for their families.
This is not charity; it’s opportunity, and that’s why the team eagerly set out to raise $10,000 through the inaugural Hand Up For Haiti walk-run last fall, says nurse consultant manager Melanie Pereira.
They ended up bringing in close to $25,000, and the group has every intention of exceeding that total during this year’s fundraising campaign, which will kick off this week and end with the five-kilometre walk-run on Sept. 9.
Melanie says there’s a healthy amount of positive competition among the villages, and her hope is to capitalize on it as residents, families and team members contribute to a cause she says is beyond worthy, as it fuels change for Haitian women and their families.
“It’s such an amazing opportunity to give them that strength and independence, and I know there are a lot of residents that would be truly willing to contribute towards that,” Melanie says.
There’s also a children’s walk, she points out, which allows young people to participate in an intergenerational event that showcases the generous spirit of everyone connected to the villages.
She says her young children are already talking about it.
As she speaks, her passion for the cause emerges clearly as she describes the possibility of a Schlegel Villages team travelling to Haiti at some point in the future to volunteer their time.
For now, though, it’s all about the challenge to surpass last year’s remarkable fundraising effort, she says.
Watch for more information on our Facebook page about how you can contribute.
If you have any questions, comments or a story to share about how you intend to get involved, contact kristian(at)axiomnews.ca.