On November 1st we held the kickoff fundraising event for a campaign that will raise the funds necessary to construct the Kihembe Environmental Learning Centre in Mkange, Tanzania. Kihembe is our joint project with Saving Africa’s Nature [SANA] that is so important in building greater conservation awareness and in adopting livelihood strategies that can be sustainable with environmental protection.
We were thrilled to have a crowd of about 40 people join us at Baked on Saturday night to hear from a few presenters about the centre and the area. Our Kesho Trust volunteers are central to all our work and we really appreciated the contributions of our presenters for the evening.
Volunteers Vanessa Falle and Brook Mackenzie entertained with stories, video and slides from their recent trip to the Saadani area in August. They also created and presented some profiles of individuals from the villages in which the people expressed their challenges and appreciation for the support being provided through the Kesho Trust. Vanessa in cooperation with other local artisans has developed Kihembe bracelets for sale in support of the centre as well.
Brent Liddle presented the conceptual design for the centre he developed during his last visit to the site, discussing especially the intention to work towards the natural integrity of the site and the interpretive themes that will be central to the pubic messages at Kihembe. Brent is hoping to return this winter to assist in the implementation of site development. The presentations were very well received and people had interesting and engaging questions which sparked considerable discussion throughout the evening.
The fundraising component of the event was also a success. Along with a few items to offer through silent auction, our Whitehorse supporters contributed a total of almost $1,000 as a start to the campaign. We appreciate the excellent support from the community evident not only in this event but through the volunteering support which has been so prominent from the Yukon. 12 Yukoners have gone to Tanzania to support our work – 7 of whom have worked in the Saadani area related to the Kihembe initiative. A number of questions during the event focused on how people can get more involved and we hope that this level of interest will see even more Yukoners contributing their time and talents to the development of Kihembe.
Fundraising will continue through our new Kihembe website [www.kihembe.org]. Donations can also be received through the SANA and Kesho Trust websites [see the logos and links below]. There are also Facebook pages for all three entities to create widespread awareness and support for the project. If you haven’t yet seen our Facebook pages, please visit through the links on the websites and ‘like’ those pages to stay in touch with developments as they progress.
We were very pleased to have the support of Baked who hosted the event, CAP Engineering who provided catering and those who donated items for the silent auction: Amy Ryder; Melissa Valja; Joella Hogan; and, Itsy Bitsy Yarn Store. Many Kesho Trust volunteers helped make the event a success and we extend our appreciation to: Karen Clyde, Vanessa Falle, Brooke Mackenzie, Brent Liddle, and Kelly Milner. Special thanks goes to volunteer Erica Heuer who developed all the promotional materials for the event including the poster which advertised the event, a handout for people attending and standing display panels. These materials will continue to be used for other events as the fundraising campaign progresses.
Our partnership on Kihembe: