The Songs for Sierra Leone Fundraiser - a charitable event organized by the Grade 12 students of the Kitsilano We Club, raised $1400 towards their goal of building a classroom in Sierra Leone.
The event was a huge success, with a bake sale and a silent auction, but the highlight was various musical performances from young local artists and bands, including Funk Schwey, Thoughtwatch, Tessa Mouzourakis, Alyssa Baker, Grace Mcrae, and Crazy Humans on The Bus - many of whom are Kits Secondary students and graduates.
When asked why the club chose Sierra Leone as a their philathropic focus, Phoebe Colby, a student and club member, explains that the country not only has need, but also a personal connection.
"We chose Sierra Leone through a group vote in March or April of last year, before the Ebola outbreak ravaged West Africa," says Colby. "We had several club members present various countries - Kenya, India, China - usually one they had had visited or were connected to. Sierra Leone has a staggering lack of infrastructure, and is more impoverished and illiterate (on a general scale) than the other countries we discussed. Having lived there for about two months, I had a strong personal connection to both the people and the overall situation in terms of education, health care, and government."
So far the club has raised $4,000 out of their $10,000 goal. The students will be continuing to fundraise throughout the school year, and are planning to raise the remaining monies through various fundraisers and awareness campaigns. However, they recognize that they can't achieve their goal all on their own.
Adds Colby, "We are doing this because Sierra Leone possesses a vibrant, valuable culture and population that is in constant threat and oppression from many debilitating factors - namely poverty, lack of education and now Ebola. With our (We Club's) relatively small action of building a school, we hope to recognize and participate in the emergence of Sierra Leone as an important member of our global community."
ABOUT THE PROJECT
Over a decade since the 11-year civil war in Sierra Leone, the country is still deeply fractured by the after effects of the war. The majority of infrastructures, including schools, were destroyed during the violence. Free the Children, the organization the Kitsilano We Club is working with, helps implement sustainable projects, such as the construction of classrooms, to help provide access to resources that were eradicated by the war. The club is working towards our $10,000 goal of building a classroom in Sierra Leone.
CLICK HERE to check out the Kitsilano We Club's online fundraising page.
Watch a promotional video for the We Club's fundraiser HERE or below.