Fundraising Campaign

What a Year!

Hello Echoers!

2017 was a great year! Last January saw the end of our best giving season yet. February we spoke at Mulgrave Secondary's "Action for Esther" fundraiser. In the Spring we appeared at Capilano University's Justice High conference after celebrating International Women's day.  In the Summer, we completed the purchase of a new plot of farmland for Esther's school, The Women in Action Development Project.  Also through the Summer, you helped raise funds to support Women in Action through the heavy Sierra Leone flooding. This past November 28th was our largest single donation day ever during Giving Tuesday. I was the keynote speaker at the Connect Model United Nations Conference sharing Esther's story. And finally we wrapped up this year surpassing last year's best giving season. Thank you all so much for your support during all our adventures. 

But we don't want to stop there! I think we can yet accomplish even more. Esther is still short on clearing  rent costs on their school building for 2017 meaning expensive loans to keep the school open. Let's finish 2017 even stronger than we already have. Every donation means reduced school fees for students, higher wages for teachers, and a greater diversity of education at the school. Every dollar you donate goes directly to Esther and the Women in Action Development Project providing education and mentorship to vulnerable women and girls in one of the most challenging places in the world to live. We wish you all an incredible 2018 and our sincere thanks to all of you who have made 2017 a successful year for Esther's Echo.

Sincerely,

Matthew

Make your 2017 Donation!
Esther during her visit to Vancouver, Canada

Esther during her visit to Vancouver, Canada

 

 

Making The Next Two Years Count...

April, May and June were difficult months for Esther and for us at Esther's Echo.

We were informed by Esther Kanu, our community partner in Sierra Leone, that her school, the Women in Action Development Project, was facing a serious shortfall in funding to make the rent payments on their building. With a change in landlord, rent spiked significantly and the landlord was demanding several years up front in a lump sum payment. 

Because of your generous donations, we were able to successfully raise a year of rent at the rates requested by the Landlord. But we are not in the clear yet, the Landlord is still holding out for that second year. 

We have been able to negotiate the prices down significantly. Originally the Landlord was hoping for 5 years at $7,000US per year, a cost of $35,000, which was simply beyond what we could provide at the time. After speaking with the Landlord ourselves directly, and with Esther's influence in-country, we have been able to get the total cost down to $10,000 for two years. In concert with Esther, we have been able to raise $6,500, most of which came from you as supporters. 

But we're not in the clear yet. We really want to get that second year together for Esther, her staff, her students, and the daycare children who attend Esther's centre allowing adults in the poorest regions of Freetown, Sierra Leone's capital, to find employment or continue education. Having two years to work with also helps us find Esther a more cost effective location for Women in Action, or actually build Esther her own location; our goal for the future. 

And we have been informed by the Landlord that, despite our previous efforts, he may still move to evict if we don't get the remaining funding.

For those of you who have donated already, thank you for your support. Please consider sharing our efforts with those you know who would like to see a brighter future for young women and children in West Africa by supporting the vision of our community partner, Esther Kanu

Once, again, a HUGE thank you to all those who have already contributed to our campaign. Below is a special treat that was sent from Women in Action to you all

A "Thank You" from the Women in Action Development Project

A "Thank You" from the Women in Action Development Project

Donate Today!

Days left to Save Esther's School

Dear Echoers!

April has passed and Esther's landlord is starting to really put the pressure on. Within days, he may decide to evict the Women in Action Development Project, Esther's school. But here's the incredible news on what we've accomplished so far.

We've hit the $4000K mark! In two weeks that is amazing! Combined with Esther's savings in country, that puts us at just under $6K, about enough to cover one year of rent on Esther's building. The land lord was hoping for 2 (but pushing for 5). I have now connected with the landlord directly over the phone. He is also based in Freetown, Sierra Leone. My plan is to negotiate with him to determine what we can do if funding come up short of the 2 years and to look toward buying his building outright in the future. I will keep everybody posted on how this goes. 

After our initial round of e-mails to friends and family, we had an initial influx of donations including one $1000 contribution from the students and staff at Mulgrave School in West Vancouver. A HUGE thanks to Tony Wilson and the students of the "Action for Esther" campaign for their support. Your donation within days of us beginning this campaign was wind in our sails!

Last week, I received word that the Chronicle Journal Newspaper in Thunder Bay, Ontario (my home town) ran our fundraising letter reaching the entire North Western Ontario community. This week, as a result of the article, we received a series of donations in the mail across the whole region from Slate River, to Thunder Bay, to Nipigon. Know that a school in West Africa is very grateful to you and so are we!

My TEDx talk from University of Toronto Scarborough, which incorporates a story about Esther and her work, went live this week! It has had nearly 350 views already sharing the news about our project overseas with online viewers. If you haven't had the chance to check it out yet, please do so!

I am aware of a few more fundraisers going on out there! Thank you for reaching out to us and running an event in your community, we are going to be looking to send funds out by early next week, so anything that comes through by Monday will go in the first wire transfer over to Women in Action! Thank you all so much for your support!

Sincerely, 

Matthew Cimone - Founder/CEO

Donate Now to Help Save Women in Action


PS, got some new photos from Esther at school celebrations for the end of semester graduation they had recently. 


Students and Staff at Women in Action: Esther is at the centre of photo in pink

Students and Staff at Women in Action: Esther is at the centre of photo in pink

A passionate valedictorian speech

A passionate valedictorian speech

Children in Esther's "Kiddies Foundation" child education program. These children are from a neighbouring slum region of the city that Esther is seeking to empower

Children in Esther's "Kiddies Foundation" child education program. These children are from a neighbouring slum region of the city that Esther is seeking to empower