I cannot believe that January, February and most of March have gone by without another word about our many activities. Our Afafanto Scholars have just begun their second semester at their respective schools. We have now turned our attention to distributing application forms to our next group of applicants. Emelia and Ibn will travel over dusty roads to the many tiny villages dotting the West Gonja province of Northern Ghana. We expect to fund 3 more girls next year for a full group of 10 deserving young women. That will be a tremendous achievement for our small organization that started with a dream to honor the memory of one strong young woman who wanted to make a difference. Now we must gather our energies for some serious fundraising. We have been hard at work on our first online fundraiser and gala event that culminates with a silent art auction on April 13. Please visit http://www.eventbrite.com/event/5285350626#. It will be upon us before you know it. Thanks a million to the wonderful artists who have donated their work for our cause. We hope to raise the funds so that all 10 girls will be able to complete high school and perhaps even provide some funding so that a small group of teachers can go to Ghana this summer to work in Larabanga with the teachers there, showing them how to improve their teaching methods so that even more girls can pass their B.C.E.C. exams and enter high school.
Harnessing the use of social media to spread the word about our efforts has been a real but exciting challenge. One I believe will best reach Leah’s contemporaries who have a vested interest in the empowerment of women to improve their world. Word has a way of spreading beyond any traditional forms of communication. It actually has made our world smaller. I communicate with Emelia via Skype from Tamale, Ghana to Philadelphia, PA on a regular basis. We have even conducted our board meetings on Skype. Ibn corresponds via Facebook with a myriad of new acquaintances (search for Yakubu Ibn Ibrahim). I have been learning how to utilize technology such as Eventbrite so that people can buy tickets online to our fundraiser, you can even view an online catalog of items to be auctioned off at our event- https://www.biddingforgood.com/auction/AuctionHome.action?auctionId=186267693. Please view the catalog and send a comment or make donations online and equally important, interact with us to improve the way we can best fulfill our mission. We are currently investigating making our presence known on a variety of causes websites as well. We have Facebook friends from almost every continent. Please make comments on our various postings on Twitter, Facebook and here. It will really help us to improve in this area.
Technology education is also an important goal for our Afafanto girls. Each girl receives an email address and a week’s worth of computer training from us when she enrolls in school. Her village receives a computer which will become hers when she graduates. We expect the girls to send reports to their mentors via email. Although nothing takes the place of actually meeting and speaking and experiencing life in another culture to make the issues such as women’s education palpable, technology makes reaching helping arms across the oceans possible.