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Monday, December 3, 2012

Interview Africandela

Student tries on new shoes
We recently attended an extraordinary shona sculpture exhibit and fundraiser in Brooklyn, New York.  The exhibit was by Spirits And Stone, a Zimbabwean owned exhibition of Shona sculptures ,who shared the proceeds with  Africandela -- a non profit organisation engaged in educational programmes in Zimbabwe.   The event was co-hosted by From The Source, a company which sells organic handmade and custom furnishings.  The featured shona stone sculptures were created by world renowned sculptors such as Nicholas Benhura and Colleen Madamombe.  A number of the sculptures were on sale, with the proceeds contributing to Africandela.

To learn more about Africandela read the interview below:
Tell us how the organization was founded and the inspiration behind it.
The organization’s existence is an expression of the urge within the Zimbabweans diaspora to do more to help people in hardship back home. Like minded professionls, each with a desire to start their own projects but too busy to work alone, pooled their resources and Africdandela was spawned.

What is your vision for the organization?
The Africandela first comes to mind when Zimbabweans and friends consider relief and development for the country.

What are your annual goals, needs, and results?
We currently sponsor 10 children at $2000 per month

Are you collaborating with similar organizations to fulfill your mission?
Joint fundraisers with Mwanandimai, a NY based Zimbabwean NGO reaching out to children who lost their parents to AIDS.

How many children benefit from the organization and how are they selected?
10 children. The headmaster of St. Michaels school selected them based on need.

Students In Class
What is the size of the schools you support? Or – what percentage of those in need (at the schools) do you support?
School size approx. 500.

Do you maintain a blog where donors, volunteers and other interested parties can follow and get to know the organization and its beneficiaries better?

Why did you decide to specifically sponsor St. Michael’s Primary School and Ndieme Primary School? Is there a story behind it or were they randomly selected?
Before Africadela, the founders/board members were going to separately start their own projects to support these institutions within their respective communities. Africandela is a result of them pooling resources and passion.

Tell us more about the scholarship program since inception.  
Over 100 st. michaels pupils and staff benefited from our clothes program from 2007 to 2008. We scrapped it because it was too labour intensive on our end.  The school has a small reading library and a computer lab of 8 computer as a result of our IT program.  Ndieme is a new program, but there no results yet. 

What are the main obstacles that inhibit the fulfillment of your overall mission? How are you planning to overcome them?
We are all busy professionals and making time is a challenge.

Tell us more about your fundraising efforts and how volunteers can get more involved.
From 2007 to 2009 we help several fundarising parties. ASince then we have been primarily supported by gifts from individuals.

 Volunteers can email to get involved