On Friday Oct. 17, the annual fundraising dinner for the Stouffville Igoma Partnership will be held at EastRidge Missionary Church.
The partnership was established in 2003 to raise funds for the town of Igoma in Tanzania, where lack of access to health care, education and clean water has resulted in grinding poverty and high sickness and mortality rates. Thanks to volunteers and financial contributions from Whitchurch-Stouffville, SIP continues to have a substantial impact on the health and welfare of the community.
Current projects include a clinic expansion to increase storage and provide services for the Igoma Mother Child Infant Care Centre, which was completed in March; improved laboratory facilities for the Urafiki Health Centre; the purchase and installation of a water purification system at the centre and the installation of wireless internet.
SIP is also planning to deliver $11,000 in medical supplies this year. In addition, the volunteer organization is seeking much-needed medical equipment, and is planning to establish eye and dental clinics, as well as offering AIDS/HIV training and assistance to residents.
Water purification is a vital concern and SIP hopes to install another three to five purification stations in the town, at an estimated cost of between $500 and $1,000 each. The partnership also plans to purchase and distribute 2,000 mosquito nets to help protect residents from the ever-present danger of malaria.
SIP funds scholarships at the Vocational Education Training Academy, which provides young people with training in a variety of trades. The cost of each scholarship is $400, which includes meals, board, uniform, footwear and a tool kit.
Tickets to this year’s dinner are $50 each and the evening includes live entertainment, a delicious dinner and a fabulous silent auction. There are eight seats per table and SIP invites local businesses and organizations to book a table for their employees, clients and friends.
Tickets are available from the Chamber of Commerce office at the train station or the EastRidge Church office on 10th Line. For more information, visit www.sipartnership.org or call 905-640-3911 ext. 42.
By Kate Gilderdale
Stouffville Free Press