Newsletter Issue 10 – September 2011

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FACE Africa Clean Water Project in Harmonville, Funded by CoverGirl

In mid-January 2011 non-profit NuVision PAC with funding from ActionAid Liberia, carried out youth training programs in four counties in Liberia. These counties included Montserrado, Grande Bassa, Bomi and Gbarpolu. After the training, the youth were sent out into the field to carry out a National Youth Needs Assessment Survey. Findings from the surveys reported that the Township of Harmonville (Grand Bassa County), population approximately 2000, was faced with serious safe drinking water issues. Residents currently drink untreated water from wells and surrounding creeks. Sometimes during the dry season, the water gets muddy and residents fill the bottom with waste gravel stones, which serve as filter.     

According to the Town Chief, several years ago, Mercy Corps constructed two hand pumps for the over 50 towns and villages of the township. One of the pump head was stolen during the civil war in 2003 and the other had broken down due to population pressure and lack of maintenance. Harmonville has not had a functioning clean water system for over 5 years.

In June 2011 , FACE Africa and a representative from GUCDA, a development agency in Liberia focused on water and sanitation projects, completed a joint technical WASH need assessment in Harmonville for the rehabilitation of a hand pump and hygiene promotion program. Result of the need assessment showed that there was a serious need for WASH intervention in Harmonville.

With generous support from CoverGirl, we implemented a project to rehabilitate the pump to allow for the provision of safe drinking water and promote safe hygiene practices for an estimated population of 2,000 persons.

PROJECT ACTIVITIES

  • Hand Pump Rehabilitation: rehabilitation of an existing hand pump
  • Hygiene Promotion: using village to village method to communicate the importance of utilizing the hand pump and conducting proper sanitation practices
  • Pump Mechanic Training: The project will organize and train WASH Service Management Committee in the community for the maintenance of pump

Please stay tuned for more updates and click here for more photos.

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Field Report #1: Hope Mission School Clean Water and Sanitation Project, Liberia

Below is FACE Africa’s first field report on the Hope Mission School Clean Water and Sanitation Project, Liberia, in partnership with the Westminster Presbyterian Church of Albany, New York. Click here to download a PDF copy of the report: Report #1 – Hope Mission

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8th Grade Class at Pembroke Hill raises $725 for FACE Africa

We are so grateful to the 8th Grade Class of Pembroke Hill School, Kansas City, MO for raising $725 during their Annual Africa Day Celebration for FACE Africa! The funds will go towards a clean water project at the Hope Mission School in Liberia. It is so heart-warming to see kids giving back to those less fortunate than them at such a young age. FACE Africa sends a huge THANK YOU to the students, teachers, staff, and parents of PHS. And a very special thank you to Mrs. Ade Ola Adebo for volunteering her time to cook for the Africa Day event and recommending FACE Africa.

Below is summary of the day from Pembroke Hill’s website. Read the original post here.

Africa Day Celebrated In Eighth Grade

Did you know there are 54 countries on the continent of Africa, and over 1,500 languages are spoken there?  Were you aware that the dances of Africa tell a story and it is through this venue that cultural history is passed from one generation to another? This type of information, delivered to Pembroke Hill eighth graders by numerous African natives, was the basis of the annual Africa Day, which is the culminating activity for the students’ study of that region of the world.

The morning began with an inspiring film presented by former Pembroke Hill parent Gloria Baker Feinstein, who as a professional photographer attended a photography workshop in Uganda several years ago.  She fell in love with the area and one orphanage in particular, St. Mary Kevin.  Upon returning to the United States, Gloria explained that she felt compelled to help the orphanage and founded the not-for-profit Change The Truth that provides both monetary and volunteer aid to the orphanage.

A highpoint of the morning was a performance, sponsored by Young Audiences, of The African Caravan From the Traditional Music Society.  The group played drums, danced traditional dances and even had student volunteers up on stage learning some of the steps!

Native Nigerian and Pembroke Hill parent Nola Adebo prepared a delicious lunch of traditional foods including jollof rice, chicken stew and fried plantains.  She created the lunch offerings from fresh ingredients she obtained from a local African market.  Later in the day, Mrs. Adebo lead a session with students during which she explained life, politics and the economics of her homeland.  She also displayed some traditional clothing items.

During other sessions, students make jewelry that artisans in Africa create to sell in the marketplaces.  They also wrote letters to the children of St. Mary Kevin.

A third session featured two guest speakers, one from Egypt, Karim Mikhail, and one from Zambia, Chiluba Musonda, during which they spoke of growing up in Africa, their personal stories of how they came to Kansas City and how their native cultures compare to the American way of life.

The final activity of the day was learning several African dance routines as a group from Michele Reznicek.

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Our 2nd Annual Gala raises $75,000 for Clean Water in Liberia!

Hundreds Support FACE Africa’s Clean Water Efforts at 2nd Annual Gala

On Saturday, March 26th, we hosted our 2nd Annual Clean Water Benefit Gala at The Taj Boston. Over 200 guests attended the event which was being held to raise awareness and funds for our clean water initiatives in Liberia. The event raised $75,000 thanks to the generosity of our guests, sponsors and other community-spirited people and companies who all contributed!

The funds raised will go towards multiple clean water and sanitation projects that will benefit thousands of people in Liberia. Read more about our recently completed project in Joezohn, Liberia here.

The evening kicked off with a VIP reception welcoming chef, author, humanitarian and FACE Africa honoree Marcus Samuelsson, his wife, model Maya Haile Gate, and distinguished guests Former Ambassador of Liberia to the United States M. Nathaniel Barnes, NBA All Star Dikembe Mutombo, Designer and Actress Whitney Port, and NFL athlete Rennie Curran. Music was provided by local jazz band Soul4YoSytem and decor by New York based Fete Atelier.

The event included a silent auction featuring items generously donated by DeBeers, Christian Dior, Marc Jacobs, Whitney Port, RJL Companies, The Mandarin Oriental Boston, Cynthia Rowley, Tea Forte, La Perla and more.

The silent auction was followed by a 3-course dinner and program in the Grand Ballroom of the Taj Boston where guests were welcomed by WHDH reporter Michelle Relerford and our Executive Director, Saran Kaba Jones.

The program included a remark from Honorary Chair of the evening M. Nathaniel Barnes, followed by a video presentation about Whitney Port and her family’s recent humanitarian trip to Liberia. Port said a few words regarding her involvement with FACE Africa and her dedication to continue supporting the organization’s projects in Liberia.

Ms. Kaba Jones presented the FACE Africa Humanitarian Award to Marcus Samuelsson. As a UNICEF ambassador and Tap Project spokesperson, Samuelsson has traveled extensively to highlight the importance of finding and delivering clean drinking water to children all over the world. In his acceptance speech, Samuelsson remarked that while poverty in the U.S. generally means limited access to healthy foods, across Africa the impoverished lack an even more basic necessity – clean water.

The evening concluded with a few words from Emmett Wilson, FACE Africa’s Program Administrator in Liberia. Every guest went home with a FACE Africa tote courtesy of Northpoint Printing teeming with goodies from Divine Chocolate, Tommy Bahama, VAPUR Water and more.

Our Annual Gala would not be possible without our generous sponsors. Through gifts in kind and financial contributions, our sponsors cover our event and production costs, as well as donate items for the silent auction and gift bags. We cannot thank them enough for their support and generosity. A special thanks to our Gold Sponsor, De Beers!   

A huge thank you to all those that attended! It will all be happening again next year and we hope we can count on your continued support in 2012. Your support of FACE Africa and the vital work we are doing to increase access to clean water and sanitation facilities in Liberia is greatly appreciated.

In Solidarity,

The FACE Africa Team

View more photos from the Gala at: http://www.facebook.com/album.php?fbid=10150120384283742&id=55276183741&aid=288686.

Read about the Gala in the Boston Globe: http://www.boston.com/ae/celebrity/articles/2011/03/28/facing_up_to_a_challenge/

Read about the Gala on Haute Living: http://www.hauteliving.com/2011/03/haute-event-face-africa-hosts-2nd-annual-clean-water-gala/

View our Clean Water Video produced by Camlin Productions:  http://www.faceafrica.org/our-programs/

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FACE Africa and The World Walks for Water!

Millions of people walk 6 kilometres every day just to collect water for their basic needs. Billions have no safe place to go to the toilet. Lack of water and sanitation traps people in a vicious circle of disease, lost life chances and poverty.

The World Walks for Water is a global event from 19-22 March 2011, that aims to raise awareness of the world’s current water and sanitation crisis, and critically, demand strong government action to stop the needless deaths of 4000 children every day. (http://www.worldwalksforwater.org/eng)

We need YOU to get involved, too.

Join FACE Africa on Sunday, March 20th as we Walk for Water.

Date: Sunday, March 20th, 2011     Time: 1:00pm

Starting location: JFK Park on JFK St. in Cambridge (intersection of JFK St and Memorial Drive – in Harvard Sq)

Route: We’ll be walking about 6km (less than 4 miles) along Memorial Drive

Ending location: Harvard Sq.

Considering that it is still March, you never know what the weather will be. Please be prepared for any weather. We will be walking rain, snow or sunshine, because every day, people walk for water – whatever the weather.

For more information contact:
Jen Noris at jennorins@gmail.com or contact@faceafrica.org

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International Women’s Day with Divine Chocolate

March 8, 2011

Today marks the 100th anniversary of International Women’s Day.  In honor of the occasion, FACE Africa Gala supporter Divine Chocolate is celebrating the incredible women cocoa farmers of Kuapa Kokoo.  They’re offering chocolate lovers and fair traders around the country an exciting opportunity to support their women farmers while enjoying a bar of Divine Chocolate!

Another Reason Women Think Chocolate is Divine

Kuapa Kokoo is a farmer’s cooperative of 45,000 members who supply the cocoa for each bar of Divine.  The role of women in Kuapa Kokoo is significant- from their participation in all levels of decision making, their advancement in leadership roles (including having a woman president of the union), and Kuapa’s commitment to the economic empowerment of women.

The women of Kuapa Kokoo are trained in small business enterprises such as batik and soap making and the raising of crops for sale in the local market.  The women can then borrow from the credit union to make their business operational, allowing for additional income to be earned for the family in the off season.

Economic empowerment not only equips women with the resources they need to provide for their families, it increases their influence in their family and communities.  As many Kuapa Kokoo women have said, participating in the women’s groups gives them a tremendous sense of pride.

$1 Off for You, Investment in Women Farmers

Beginning today and continuing through the spring, Divine will be offering special $1 off coupons for our delectable chocolate.  For every coupon redeemed, Divine will invest an additional amount of money into Kuapa Kokoo’s Women’s Fund – to help increase the resources available to women cocoa farmers and ensure that even more women’s groups can participate.

Be sure to get your coupon and participate in the Divine Chocolate Women’s Campaign by checking out their Facebook page.

Christiana Ohene-Agyare, the National President of Kuapa Kokoo, once told Divine, “being a member of Kuapa Kokoo has taught me that whatever a man can do, a woman can also do and even better.”

Want to hear first-hand about what it’s like to be a woman farmer in Kuapa Kokoo?  Check out this video with Comfort Kumeah.

FACE Africa is proud to work with Divine Chocolate. Every guest at our 2nd Annual Gala will receive an individually wrapped Divine Chocolate!

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