Sunday, December 16, 2012

Fundraising for Bonga Mbilo's pre-school in Chamanculo

In a previous posting I had talked about the work that Bonga Mbilo Cultural Association was doing in the most needed areas of Maputo. Among them, a community preschool in the neighborhood of Chamanculo.

One of the issues we had been discussing with the directors was the plan to offer full-day services. For that, one major obstacle was having a place for the 4- and 5-year-olds to have their afternoon nap. They were thinking about beds, but they were too costly and took too much space. Plus who wants to deal with the mess of mattresses used by small children?

That's when I remembered the soft mats I'd seen in preschools and children rooms, those that come in the form of puzzle pieces. They would be a good option: cheaper than beds and easier to store, in addition to being more fun. I even found out (after chasing a guy who was carrying one of those pieces down the street and following him to his car to ask his wife where did they bought them...) that you could buy them in Maputo in one of the big stores. But when I found them they were very blah and too expensive. What to do? Find an alternative!

I had also seen around yoga and camping mats for a better price, some with pretty, cheerful colors and some child-like-enough designs. Still easy to clean and store. We calculated that we would need about 30 mats for the 60 children that the preschool was receiving each day. Mats it is. Now, time to fund-raise!

With little time to organize a proper fundraising, I picked everything around the house I thought I could sell. Lucky for us, lovely couple Limaya Bokassa and Andrés Panera were settling in their new apartment and agreed to buy some of the stuff to support the kids. (Thank you guys! You rock!)

My donation of the one mat I had and the money gathered through the selling of household stuff turned into 5 mats. We still have a way to go to gather the 30 mats needed, but it's a start.

The rest of the household stuff were donated to Bonga Mbilo in the hopes that a garage-sale-style of fundraising event could bring a little bit more $ to buy the rest of the mats. Let's hope next year, the organization will be able to offer a safe place for the children to stay all day long.

No comments:

Post a Comment