2010 has been an exciting year of growth for Aid Africa's Children. We have had many opportunities to share the story of our organization and the progress we have made with our ongoing humanitarian efforts to make a difference in communities in South Africa, Zambia, and Tanzania.
During this summer key people from AAC were guests on ABC7's "Chicagoing" show with host Bill Campbell. Later in the season WBEZ, National Public Radio, interviewed two members of AAC as they shared their story of our mission projects in Tanzania.
InTanzania AAC built Burguro Primary School on Kome Island in Lake Victoria and then followed up with providing funds to drill a water well which provides easier access to clean water for the surrounding community. It is not unusual for villagers in the area to have to walk several miles to gather water for their daily needs and this water is often contaminated.
Aid Africa's Children continued to provide financial support for the Naledi (means Morning Star) project in rural South Africa. Donated funds provided meals for several pre-school children at a creche in the Lethabong community as well as for poverty stricken orphaned teenage heads of household and their siblings. A sponsorship is also being initiated for the impoverished youth.
In Zambia, the finishing touches are being completed on the primary school started in 2009; school supplies and books are also being donated.
Mission teams sponsored by AAC worked in Tanzania in September providing medical care and crisis intervention in both city and rural clinics. Plans for drilling a water well in Musoma, Tanzania for a disabled children's home, are currently being implemented. The main focus of the trip is to provide medical care in several clinics and to establish contacts in Tanzania to set up a template for future medical trips. The group split up into two teams and cared for over 350 patients. Everyone saw first hand how devastating malaria can be, especially for the children. Young children brought to the clinics by their parents were literally fighting for their lives.
Five members of the mission group made the arduous journey to Kome Island. The team was able to distribute 350 malaria nets at Bugoro School on Kome Island. These nets were purchased by the generosity of AAC donors during the AAC Annual Benefit during the Live Auction "Fund a Need" presentation. Malaria nets are life saving and can help prevent the spread of malaria. For the cost of only $7.00 each net, the net protects several family members for up to 10 years.
In November a missioner from AAC was sent to check on projects AAC partners with in the communities of Erasmus and Lethabong. Education and mentoring of pre-school teachers was done as well as research for a possible medical mission in these communities in 2011.
With the formation of an AAC Junior board came opportunities for expansion of outreach at the local level. This board was formed in partnership with Warren Township High School FBLA (Future Business Leaders of America) located in Gurnett, Illinois.
These young adults volunteer their time and skills to raise community awareness of AAC's work with vulnerable children in poor African communities. Our Junior Board planned and participated in fund raising events including volunteering at our Annual Benefit in May 2010 and at our Annual Walk/Run event in Pleasant Prairie, Wisconsin this last September. For this event students raised pledges to contribute to fund raising efforts.
2010 has been a year of great progress thanks to your support and very generous donations. See you at the 2011 Aid Africa's Children Benefit on Saturday night, April 30 at the Deerfield Hyatt. Make sure to reserve your spot quickly. Invitations will be sent out the beginning of March.