Rwandan Fundraiser “Amazi” in Portland, Oregon
â€œIf we can travel the world to bring our sons homeâ€¦why canâ€™t we plan a fundraiser!?!â€ What started out as an idea for a simple dinner party turned into a full fledge evening fundraiser with over 100 guests.
The Harris family of Oregon and the Richardson family of Washington adopted their sons from Rwanda in May 2009. They were families 4 and 5 to adopt out of Rwanda that year. Their time in Rwanda changed their lives, not only because their families grew but because they experienced its beauty and wept for its loss. â€œThe hills are a stunning manifestation of Godâ€™s Creation, and the Rwandan people are truly an inspiration. They have overcome so much tragedy with such dignityâ€. These two families felt honored to have any opportunity to give back to their sonsâ€™ birth country.
What they gave back was â€œAmaziâ€. Amazi is not just a water filtration system but a drilled water well that will provide clean water to approximately 1000 people (most of which are orphans). Through a non-profit, Water For Life, they decided to raise funds to provide clean water for Rwanda. With Water for Life they began working with 4-more.org where their water project would benefit the Ntarama area in Rwanda. This area was heavily hit by the genocide. Their water would benefit an orphan village, a medical clinic, and a maternity center. More importantly, it was explained that because water is â€œsustainable givingâ€ it means the water would be a commodity for this village. The orphans will be able to sell their water for income. What a beautiful gift to give.
Shortly before the event they received information that a private foundation would match dollar for dollar any donation up to $10,000. This gave them high hopes that they would be able to fully fund their Amazi Project with a cost of approximately $25,000.
They received donations for around Oregon and Washington to auction off. They also had others bring back beautiful items from Rwanda such as baskets, art, and musical instruments. They received a donation from a local primary school where the children voted to raise money for their water project. They had a Rwandan native, Enric Sifa , who is now a professional musician provide music and share his story of living through the genocide. All together it was a beautiful evening; an evening blessed by our Heavenly Father.
By the Grace of God and the hard work of Kelly and Mandy, the Amazi Project raised $15,550.00 at their event. With the $10,000 match they can pay for the project that they dreamed up, solely on their own. What started as an idea has now created a way for orphans in Rwanda to walk out their home to gather clean water instead of traveling many kilometers for dirty water.
As the Harris and Richardson families wait for their daughters to come home(their dossiers are in Rwanda for adoption #2), they feel this is the best way to help the people of Rwanda while in the US. If you would like more information about the Amazi Project you can go to www.4-more.org. There is a video of the actual village that will receive this gift. You can also still donate if you feel called to help. There are several things that Water For Life can do to make this Project better with additional funds.
It was a gift to get to be a part of the evening, and I am thankful to call these two families- AWAA Families.
Director of WA and OR