Mary Fisher via Crowdrise
April 30, 2013
BENEFITING: ABATAKA FOUNDATION INC
So you’re probably asking, “What’s ‘65K for 65 Years?’”
The answer lies partly in life-sustaining drugs to treat people with HIV. They weren’t available when I was diagnosed, and so it’s no stretch to say that every one of my birthdays is a miracle.
But not everyone with HIV has access to – or can afford – these medicines, including millions in Africa.
With gratitude, friends and I created a not-for-profit alliance by which HIV-positive women in Zambia are trained to create stunning hand-crafted jewelry. Sale of the jewelry generates employment which, in turn, generates income and profit. The result is life-changing for girls being trained and women being employed.
The project is named “Abataka,” a Zambian word for “community,” and the community is at a critical crossroads.
The project is moving to a new (improved!) facility which will bring new opportunities of many kinds. But here’s the challenge: We need to raise funds for transportation to-and-from the new facility and to outfit a playground for a children’s daycare center. By the time we added the cost of a good used van, maintenance, a driver, playground preparation and equipment, and a few related changes – the cost came to $65,000. Why am I not surprised?
Our new facility will make medical services more readily available. Working with out long-term partner, the Centre for Infectious Disease Research in Zambia, we’ll be able to support more community outreach.
By meeting the transportation challenge, we’ll relieve women and children of long walks that are difficult under any circumstance, impossible when we’re sick.
And the new facility will let us support our educational work with girls and young women working to complete their high school. For girls just learning to sew, cook and learn the skills of independence, if we reach the $65,000 goal, we’ll be able to create a community garden in which they can learn additional skills from gardening to harvesting to nutrition.
I’ll be grateful for your help; the women and girls of ABATAKA Zambia will be even more grateful.
If you and I offer what we’d otherwise invest in a latte or that extra glass of wine, such gifts would matter greatly. If you can give more, please do. And if you can give nothing just now but your prayers, those are also warmly accepted.
A friend suggested that, since I’m thinking birthdays, I might ask you to consider a gift equal to your age at your next birthday. If you can piggyback a zero onto the back end of that figure, WOW!
In the past, when I marked another year, my children and I would blow out the candles. This year, I’m trying to light some, and my wish is that you’ll find it in your tender heart to help.