Smithers residents donate generously to support school children in Sierra Leone

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Smithers residents donate generously

Smithers residents are jumping in for a third year in a row to help
children and youth in Sierra Leone to go to school, already donating over
$1600 at local Christmas craft fairs this November! The One Sky office
in Smithers has also been kept busy receiving in-person donations to
Sowing Seeds in Sierra Leone. One Smithers woman encouraged her whole
family to donate, instead of buying traditional gifts, for the second
year in a row. This generous family donated over $650 this Christmas!

Our goal this year is to raise $10,000. This will allow us to continue
supporting the current beneficiaries with their education, supporting
students as they move from elementary to secondary school. If we reach
our fundraising goals, we will also be able to support new students in
their pursuit of post-secondary education, giving them the opportunity
to gain employable skills to support their families and help rebuild
their war-torn communities.

“It’s the personal connection that makes this project so meaningful,”
says Emily Bulmer, a long-time volunteer with the project. “The
feedback we have gotten from students in Sierra Leone is very
touching, and it is clear that it makes a world of difference to their

About the project

Sowing Seeds in Sierra Leone, a project started by former Smitherite
Benji Kamara in partnership with One Sky, offers a unique opportunity
for people in Smithers to create a powerful impact in Sierra Leone.
Donations in Canada are used to pay school and exam fees and buy
school supplies like text books and uniforms for Sierra Leonean school
children who otherwise couldn’t afford to go to school.

“Education is a privilege in my country, it is not something to be
taken for granted” says Benji Kamara, a Sierra Leonean who lived in
Smithers for three years. “A good education not only increases
opportunities for poor children, it also gives them the confidence to
stand up for their rights. Sowing Seeds is the talk of the city in
Freetown for the powerful impact we are creating”.

A wonderful team of volunteers in Smithers were at the 10,000 Villages
and Smithers Secondary craft fairs on November 21 and 22nd to answer
questions about the project and take donations. Craft fair goers have
“given the gift of education” by making donations to the project on
behalf of loved ones as a Christmas gift. A certificate with pictures
and information about the project can then be put under the Christmas
tree in place of the traditional present.

“Many people are looking for ethical gifts at Christmas time, gifts
that fit with the spirit of giving that prevails at Christmas time,”
says Smithers volunteer coordinator Craig Paulson. “Sowing Seeds
lets people give the gift of education - what could feel better than

Positive impact keeps growing!

Sowing Seeds has been growing every year, thanks to the
generosity of people in Smithers and beyond. In 2006 more than $7,000
was raised for the project, supporting 450 kids. In 2007 more than
$13,000 was raised for the project, supporting over 901 kids. Local
elementary schools Walnut Park, Telkwa, St. Joseph’s and Muheim, as
well as Smithers Senior Secondary have also been an important part of
the project’s success by making crafts for sale and fundraising

Join us!

We invite you to join Sowing Seeds in reaching our goal of
raising over $10,000 this holiday season. You can make a real
difference in the lives of children and families in Sierra Leone. Sowing Seeds began as a partnership with One Sky. We are now in the process of registering as an independent organization - visit our new website for more information or to donate. Or learn more about Sowing a Seed on the One Sky website.


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