Education is a luxury that many young people around the world are unable to take part in. Local Zainab Mohamoud wants to offer this opportunity to students in Somalia and is seeking help to finance the project through a fundraiser this month.
The fundraiser will take place at Festival Hall on Jan. 30th from 6 until 9 p.m. Tickets are priced at $35 per person, or a table of eight for $240. These funds collected will go towards the $20,000 goal that covers building expenses, furniture, books, supplies and several months of staff salaries.
“I am from Somalia, and when I had just finished elementary school my country began a war. That really touched me – I was told that I couldn’t go to high school, which I was really looking forward to,” said Mohamoud.
“All of these years after, things are the same. Kids are growing up without the experience of school and I want to give something back to them and give them a future.”
The experience was very difficult on Mohamoud and inspired her to work hard to come to Canada to better her life.
She escaped Somalia as a refugee and went to Ethiopia for three years until she received a visa to Canada. Mohamoud has a heart for children and worked as a day-home provider before she settled into her position at the Central Alberta Immigrant Women’s Association (CAIWA).
“We’re hoping to raise between $7,000 and $8,000. At the event, we will have international foods, a few kinds of dances and two keynote speakers. We will also have a bingo hour, a silent auction and some door prizes available,” she said.
“We have already sold many tickets – we printed 200 and are down to near 30.”
Tickets can be purchased through the web site or in person at the Little Star Restaurant. Tickets will also be available at the door on Jan. 30th if they are not sold out prior to the event.
“We still have a long way to go to reach our goal, so if people could come to the event, that would be nice but if they can’t make it, they can go to our web site and donate there if they wish.”
Mohamoud will be going to Somalia when the funds are raised to participate in building the school. She said she would be there from the start until the end.
“I’m paying my own expenses so people can know that all of the money donated is only going to the school. Of the donations, nothing will be used for anything other than the project. I am going on this trip alone, and I will be there from the beginning to the end, when the school opens.”
The school will house students from Grades 1 to 9. In the future, Mohamoud hopes that she can add a high school component. A piece of land has already been purchased in the town of Boame, Somalia.
Currently, Mohamoud has raised nearly $13,000 and is looking forward to the chance to reach her goal and bring available education to her home country.