Most people acknowledge the wide-ranging poverty across Africa, but Families Across Borders (FAB), a student group started by junior Ibrahim Sannoh, is actually taking action to combat it.
On Sunday, March 28, the group held their second International Dinner fundraiser of the year. Both events were organized to help Motherly Care Children’s Home in Kenya, an orphanage that provides care for children who have AIDS or who have lost their families to the disease.
The orphanage suffered severe damage during a storm this year, which wiped out half of their classrooms, among other facilities.
In order to rebuild the classrooms, FAB had to raise $500. The dinner met and exceeded this goal, raising a total of $580 for the cause.
The dinner cost $10, with all proceeds going to the orphanage. The event had catered food and featured performances from The YellowJackets, UR Bhangra, the Sihir Belly Dancing Emsemble, the Celtic and Ethiopian dance teams, Korean Poongmul Group and the Filipino American Students’ Association.
The first International Dinner of the year was also targeted at raising money for the orphanage, but to build latrines rather than classrooms. According to Sannoh, the children had been forced to use a bush to go to the bathroom prior to the fundraiser.
The money raised by FAB helped to build five desperately needed latrines for the orphanage.
Sannoh says that he started Families Across Borders during his freshman year.
‘That’s what I think is great about clubs at UR,” Sannoh said. ‘You can just have an idea and start a club.”
FAB provides aid to children in need all over the world, whether it be rebuilding orphanages or simply donating food, toys, books and clothing.
Normally, institutions in need contact FAB and Sannoh, along with other FAB leadership, who review the requests and decide how to act. According to Sannoh however, FAB’s efforts in Kenya originated in a different way.
‘I was on my computer doing research about Africa and I came across this orphanage, solely dedicated to children whose parents have HIV, and thought, “Wow, someone should look into this,'” he said.
Since first contact was made during the Spring Break after Sannoh started FAB, the group has been in regular contact with the Motherly Care Children’s Home.
On the whole, Sannoh is happy to have the opportunity to lend a hand to children in need.
‘I love this group and I think we have a great cause here,” he said. ‘We are focused on kids who have nothing and we are trying to be a part of their lives.”
Fleming is a member of
the class of 2013.