A small-town charity is looking for big-time support from residents.
The Stouffville Igoma Partnership is holding its fourth annual dinner and auction Oct. 17 and is looking for donations of items for the silent auction. Cash donations are also welcome.
The charity has provided funding for several facilities in Igoma, Tanzania, including the community’s first medical clinic. The clinic’s staff of 20 serves the 40,000 residents.
“This is a huge accomplishment there,” SIP chairperson Peter Neufeld said. “The Urafiki Health Clinic is now a central part of the village of Igoma.”
Most recently, a mother-child infant care facility was completed earlier this year, which provide infant vaccinations, and boasts a modern lab for treatment. The facility’s first public nurse is currently being trained.
SIP has also created a tuition aid program, which allows 10 students annual to attend a vocational school, and 20 students annually to attend secondary school to further their education.
Local residents pay their own way to travel to Igoma to work on the facilities annually.
“We have found that what we need to do, more than anything else, is first meet the health care needs of these people. Secondly, they need education,” Mr. Neufeld said. “Their lack of education is slowing the growth there.”
SIP has also distributed more than 3,000 mosquito nets to residents since its inception, and plans to distribute 1,500 more in 2009, all in hopes of combating Malaria.
The dinner and auction have helped fund many of the projects SIP has taken on in the past, and Mr. Neufeld said residents should be proud of themselves.
This year, they’re looking to match last year’s monies raised of $50,000.
“We have come a long way in five short years, but there is still much more that needs to be done,” he said.
The registered charity does not pay its volunteers and administrative costs are less than five per cent, so “basically every cent gets there,” he said.
Tickets for the dinner and auction are $50.
The event begins at 6 p.m. at EastRidge church, 12485 Tenth Line.
For tickets, all the Whitchurch-Stouffville Chamber of Commerce at 905-642-4227. For silent auction items and monetary donations, call Mr. Neufeld at 905-640-1771.
By Alyshia Higgins