Unique jewellery event helps build scholarship funds

  • Aug. 22, 2012 4:27 p.m.

Most people have a few pieces of jewellery that they haven’t worn in years or that they just don’t care for; now is the time to give them a new home.

Tools For Schools Africa Foundation (TFSAF) is holding an event on Sept. 27th where people can enjoy wine, chocolate, dessert, door prizes and a wide arrangement of jewellery.

Marilyn Pottage, chair of the board for TFSAF, said the whole point of the event was to find a way to continue to support the scholarship funds they provide.

“We have a group of mentors in all of the schools in northern Ghana watching for girls who are very strong academically and have good strong character and leadership skills, but have no other way to continue in school unless they get financial aid,” said Pottage. She said the money raised will go towards educating the girls, keeping them in school and providing opportunities for them to get a post-secondary education.

Currently, the program has helped four girls get into university including one in medicine, business management, electrical engineering and education.

This fall will see 13 more apply including another into education and one into a bachelor of commerce program.

“When the program started the number of girls with a high school education was very low. If we can get the number up the communities see greater economic development, better health care and a better democratic system too,” said Pottage.

She said while this program specifically looks at the girls needing the financial aid to continue education, Tools for Schools does provide help to boys as well.

The initial goal of the project was to improve the standard of living by increasing the access to post-primary education. “In 2010 we even built a boarding house for girls so the girls coming from the rural areas could come in and stay there to go to school.”

The project got its initial start in 2003 and has grown since then to help about 60 girls at a time. They are all from the northern region of Ghana.

Pottage said they also went so far as to publish a book called 9 Degrees North, which included facts about northern Ghana, which lies just nine degrees north of the equator. “The idea was to provide schools with a book that the students could read about their own area.”

Pottage said it is a shame that they can’t support all of the girls in Ghana who need financial aid, but the jewellery event will certainly help. “The girls are all such gems, and that’s part of why we called the event Shine!”

Tickets are $35 or a five-pack for $150. People unable to attend but who would like to help are invited to take their unwanted costume or real jewellery to Artistry in Gold at 5001 – 50 St. by the first week of September.

“We are just hoping to have a really fun evening. We have had celebrities donate items including a signed picture from John Travolta, a bracelet made in Uganda from Alison Redford and much more.”

For more information or to purchase tickets call Lyn at 403-314-4911, Jean at 403-343-3097 or Wendy at 403-347-7285. Or visit www.tfs-africa.org for more about Tools for Schools.