Guinea, West Africa Trip with the Kissidugu Foundation!
Organized by: Mary Flemming
ABOUT ME: My name is Mary Beth Flemming. I am a teacher of environmental education, sustainable practices, conservation, yoga and live food nutrition. I develop whole-self nourishment programs through my Being the Balance project, which focuses on mental, emotional, spiritual and natural aspects of sustained wellness. My passions include youth mentorship, community service & engagement, yoga, dance, art, indigenous cultural studies and getting the most out of life through hands on experience. In 2013 I travelled to South Africa as the first volunteer and co-creator of the international volunteer program for the Surfer Kids Non-Profit in Friemersheim, South Africa. There I developed garden programs, served as a surf instructor for at risk youth, and taught yoga and English to the community in which I lived. In the beginning of 2016, I am headed back to Africa but this time to Guinea, West Africa with the Kissidugu Foundation. PURPOSE OF TRIP: 1) Attend a 3 week West African dance and drum intensive for purposes of cultural study and immersion. 2) Raise Funds for Waves for Water filters, which supply 1,000,000 gallons of clean water to families per filter and only cost $50.00 per filter. 3) Raise Funds funds and/or in-kind donations for natural medicine that I can distribute within the community. 4) Raise funds and/or in-kind supply donations for designing and planting community garden plots and coconut groves within the educational center that the Kissidugu Foundation is building. 5) Share english, yoga and sustainable practices with community members. ABOUT THE KISSIDUGU FOUNDATION: I will be going to West Africa with Fara Tolono and Michal Ann Carillo founder and vice president of the Kissidugu foundation which is a 501(c)3 non-profit based out of Colorado. Michael Ann Carrillo lives on the Big Island of Hawaii directsing Lava Roots Performing Arts and for the past 16 years has been offering West African dance classes island wide in the schools and to adults! Fara Tolno is a master and professional West African drummer and dancer who grew up in the town of Kissidugu West Africa. Performing and sharing his culture all over the world, he is choosing to give back to his home community by building a school in Bel Air, which currently only has one primary school at this time. The Kissidugu school will be focused on academics, performing arts, small business ownership, arithmetic, language, computer proficencey, and sustainable agriculture, as nearly 80% of West Africas population is involved in agricultural production. With only 10% of the governments current budget going towards education, the Kissidugu school of music, dance and education will be an opportunity for youth all around west africa to develop skills that will ensure lasting cultural and economic enrichment for themselves and their families. Eight and one hectare of land has been purchased in Bel Air and construction of the main building, student housing and health clinic have begun. Doors aim to be open by 2021 hosting local staff, international dance students and volunteers of whom will operate the school. For more information about the Kissidugu foundation visit www.kissidugu.org or contact firstname.lastname@example.org. IMMEDIATE NEEDS: The most pressing issues of the village of Bel Air at this time pertain to access to clean water and proper health care. The current life expectancy in West Africa is 55 and those under the age of 5 are most readily dying of malaria, pneumonia, diarrhea, resulting in one child is dying every 15 seconds due to water related diseases. Types of medicine I am looking to raise funds for include but are not limited to anti-parasitic herbs, artemisia, golden seal, oil of oregano, grapefruit seed extract, intestinal gut support, probiotics, hydrogen peroxide, iodine, colloidal silver and more. In-kind donation like garden tools, solar lights and chargers, shoes, sports bras, organic non-gmo seeds, cloths, kitchen supplies, books, soccer balls, and various technological devices are welcomed and appreciated. If you are wanting to donate any of the above supplies please contact me at email@example.com. SPECIFICATION OF FUNDS: If you donate towards the 2016 Guinea, West Africa trip you can specify and split up where your donations go. Categories include: 1) The cost of my travel expenses to Guinea and tuition for dance intensive 2) Purchasing of Waves for Water Filters 3) Purchasing of Natural Medicine