Q: Who does the money raised by Action for Africa go to? (AIDS orphans, people with HIV/AIDs...)
A: The money that is raised goes to (1) World Vision and (2) the Breeding family. We are working in partnership with World vision. This money is used to bring clean water, food, health related help (including ant-retroviral drugs to help those with HIV/AIDS), education and economic stimulus. The area we are targeting is the Taung region of Lesotho. This is an area that has about 25 villages and 10,000 people. We are also supporting the Breeding family. Mike and Selloane Breeding have adopted four children from Lesotho. These children were orphaned when Selloane’s sister passed away. She died of complications as a result of HIV/AIDS. We have supported this family with an addition to their home and continue to provide funding so that the children can participate in extra-curricular activities.
Q: How will the money help these people?
A: We will continue to support the current projects that are in place. We will have a special emphasis this year on funding to minimize the impact of HIV/AIDS in the Area Development Projects.
Q: Does Action for Africa do/plan on doing more fundraisers like the Bellingham Traverse? What would they be?
A: In the past we have put on a couple of shows (Richard Turner) at the Mount Baker Theatre. We also had a New Year’s Eve Gala. We are looking at Hoops of Hope as a possible fund raiser in the future.
Q: Will the Bellingham Traverse be held again this year? What might the goal amount of money raised be?
A: Our goal will be have 25 teams participate and raise $50,000.00
Q: What has the money donated to the people in Lesotho already done for them?
A: A group of us have made two trips over to see the work that has been done in the Taung region. We saw examples of clean water being piped to a variety of villages. Our money provided the materials and volunteers did the labor. We have provided food to needy areas, AIDS care kits to help in caring for the ill, scholarships to children who have had both parents die of complications as a result of HIV/AIDS and seed money to start small businesses such as a candle making business, dairy business, farming business and seamstress business.
Q: Did the Bellingham Traverse race raise as much money as you hoped?
A: We have achieved our goal ($25 k in year 2 and $50k in year 3) each of the last two years.
Q: What challenges did you come across when hosting the Bellingham Traverse?
A: We are a small group without any full time staff. It was challenging to get so many teams and to do all of the organizing and fund raising.
Q: How was the Bellingham Traverse successful?
A: We had a great time and we raised a lot of money for a good cause. We also raised awareness about some of the challenges in sub- Saharan Africa.
Q: And, finally, what suggestions would you make to others looking to take action on this issue?
A: Take time to read about the challenges that many people face around the world. Find something you are passionate about and take action. Even if you start small you are making a difference.