Saturday, October 5, Allen Hall at Lakeshore Drive United Church, was a sea of bright embroidery, wood sculptures, knitting, special gifts and unique art works. On screen photos of the beautiful nation of Madagascar, and particularly of its children, ran during the festive evening.
Guests attending the charitable, sold out Nite in Madagascar dinner, sampling traditional foods, enjoyed a real ‘taste’ of that nation’s cuisine, and had the opportunity to help a very worthwhile project.
A Nite in Madagascar was organized to support the Madagascar School Project, founded by Kathy Lucking, which seeks to continue to educate and support some of Madagascar’s neediest young people and their struggling families.
With funds still coming in, organizers are pleased to report that $5,200 was raised.
The special fund raising event was a joint Outreach effort of the Anglican parishes of St. James, Morrisburg, and St. John’s, Iroquois. “When we decided to help Kathy’s project,” said Gord Lane, one of the organizers, “we had two purposes. We wanted to find a cause we could really believe in, and we wanted to lift people’s spirits, and get them involved with this program.” Many, many volunteers came out to help the organizers, to work on the food, promotion and the educational aspects of the event. Also on hand were a group of teen volunteers from Seaway District High School, who helped serve the authentic Malagasy dinner.
“This Morrisburg fund raiser is just terrific,” said Kathy Lucking, who was the featured speaker at the charitable event. “Our project in Madagascar is growing, and we are grateful to be broadening our support base.”
“All the money we raise goes to where it is really needed,” added Gord Lane.
The Madagascar School Project (MSP) is a SDG-based charity established in 2008. Its mission hopes to provide excellent schooling for the poorest of the poor in the African island nation. The MSP aims to create problem-solving, community-spirited, entrepreneurial-minded students, who will have the skills, and the abilities needed to break the mold of the poverty into which they were born.
“We now operate two schools,” Lucking said. “Currently there are 415 elementary students registered, 75 secondary students and 30 trades students who are learning carpentry, embroidery, sewing and knitting. We also have 35 teachers and support staff.”
The schools are located in the central highlands of Madagascar near the capital city of Tana. Lucking said the project has grown to include large gardens, new buildings and a full time doctor at the clinic the project also supports. Volunteers from Eastern Ontario have joined the project over the last years.
“The MSP is completely independent,” Lucking explained. “We do not receive government support. All our funds are raised solely by donations. And we are a registered Canadian charitable organization.”
Under Jane Lee, volunteers served up a Malagasy meal which included such staples as lasopy, a pureed soup and Akoko Sy Voanio, chicken in coconut milk.
The need for support is on going. Those interested in helping the Madagascar School Project can learn more about needs, wish lists and activities at www.madagascarschoolproject.com