The second annual Join Hands for Building a Better Future fundraiser will be held this month to raise money for education in Somalia.
Zainab Mohamoud has organized the fundraising gala to procure funds for the second portion of a school project built in her home village in Somalia. On Feb. 27th at 6 p.m., guests will gather at Festival Hall to celebrate international foods, speakers, music and good company.
Tickets to the event are $40 per person, or a table of eight people for $300. They can be purchased in person at The Hub on Ross, Little Star Restaurant or online at www.educationforsomalia.com, with pickup available at the door. Tickets are encouraged to be purchased before the event, but a limited amount of tickets will be available at the entrance.
“Everything we raise at the gala will go towards the new project, which is a boarding facility for the kids. Our goal is to be able to host 200 more kids at the school who are coming from the surrounding area,” said Mohamoud.
“These kids don’t have anywhere to stay in the area so they can’t go to the school, but this would let them come to school. As well, they will be attending the school for free.”
The event boasts local keynote speaker Danielle Klooster, bringing her expertise in building community and business developments. She is involved with the Central Alberta Poverty Reduction Alliance among several other agencies and advocacy topics.
An international cuisine buffet has been sponsored by local chef David Bacon, with the addition of homemade cultural dishes from members of the Education for Somali Girls and Boys group. Live entertainment includes musical performances by local band Roses & Smoke, among other local artists. Cultural music and dances will be presented throughout the event.
Mohamoud said the Education for Somali Girls and Boys group is currently working towards becoming a non-profit organization so that they can issue charitable tax receipts for future donors.
“We have seven board members in the community and a lot of volunteers. We’ve got no paid employees, everyone is just volunteering their time for the cause,” Mohamoud said.
“With this gala, we’re going to update what we’ve done since the first gala and raise money to set up the school expansion. My goal for the entire project is $100,000 and this is a way to start off our fundraising before I go to the U.S. and Europe,” she explained.
“We also have quite a bit of interest from people within Africa who want to invest some money towards the second project.”
Mohamoud said they are hoping to sell at least another 100 tickets to help their fundraising goal for the gala.
“I know there are a lot of events going on in the community, but I’m hoping to get at least $10,000 or $15,000 raised- that would make me very happy. However, if we don’t quite get that I won’t be disappointed because we’re all aware of the economic situation we’re in,” she said.
“We’ll cross our fingers that people will want to join us and support us. I know it’s hard but we’re really hoping to reach our goal.”
Mohamoud thanked all of the event’s sponsors, and said the organization is still collecting donations for silent and live auction items, as well as seeking sponsorships for both the gala and long-term sustainability.