on a personal note ...


Fair warning: this is a completely personal post. It has not a thing to do with Boise Weekly, being the editor of Boise Weekly, content in Boise Weekly ... you get it.

Michelle Kowalczyk is a friend from high school who's a nurse. Together with a woman named Kim Krowne, she started Knock Foundation in Tanzania in 2007 to help orphaned children (most of whom live with AIDS) at the Matumaini Child Care Organization. Both Matumaini and Knock are non-profit, non-religious and non-governmental.
Since its inception, the foundation has:
• planted vegetable gardens for the kids
• rebuilt safe and ventilated latrines
• built new beds with mosquito netting and sheets (before this project, 17 kids shared six twin-size beds without crucial netting, which helps prevent malaria)
• run a water pipeline directly to the care facility providing contaminate free running water and eliminating lengthy, dangerous trips to the nearest water source.

Currently Michelle is in the U.S. fundraising, while Kim is still in Tanzania. This morning, I got an e-mail from Kim. Here's an excerpt:

"Two weeks ago, we purchased enough food for all 316 students at Mrupanga Primary School to eat school lunch everyday this year. It comes to about $12 per year per child, to eat everyday for a year. The dollar goes quite a long way. We also want to buy about $2,000 worth of textbooks for them as many classes have 7-10 students per one textbook.
And our largest project is to purchase a plot of land on which to build Matumaini Child Care a new home that will allow us to better care for them, take in more children, and hold important educational courses and seminars for the villages we serve. We are writing some grants for this, but still need a lot of help in the land cost and the cost that we will incur after building as the yearly operating budget will certainly increase."

I've chosen to share all this for two reasons.

First, I truly believe that I know the most creative, intelligent, motivated and socially-conscious people in Boise, many of whom check this blog from time to time. Michelle and Kim have asked me to put on a fundraiser in Boise and I could really use some help from those people in town who know better than I how to accomplish that task.

Second, I also believe in the power of making a difference a few bucks at a time. Those of you who know me well know that I travel extensively. I've seen first hand how far a dollar can go in other parts of the world. I also truly believe we—as first worlders—have a responsibility to be better global citizens, even if all that means is giving up a latte a week to pass on the extra money.

If you can help me put together a fundraiser, please leave a comment with your contact information.

If all you can do is skip a couple of lattes and spare a few bucks, please consider helping out a few kids who could really use food, water, better shelter, medical care and an education.

Here's how little it takes:
$25: a child's public school fees and school supplies for one year
$40: 10 mosquito nets
$100: 20 school sweaters
$120: 2 pigs
$200: 20 pairs of school/church shoes
$200: feeds one Matumaini child for one year
$210: 20 school uniforms (shirt, shorts/skirt, sweater, socks)
$275: medical services for 20 children for one year
$350: feeds all kids at Matumaini for one month
$500: sponsors school fees and school supplies for 20 kids for one year

Thanks, and by all means, forward this link.