EXAMPLE: Using Animals to Combat Poverty in Africa

Denzel, Matt and Mitch at Miles Macdonell Collegiate in Winnipeg took the time to learn about global poverty. They found that poverty rates are very high in Sub-Saharan Africa and that many children and families are malnourished or undernourished, and some are without access to clean drinking water.

Wanting to do something about this issue, the guys researched difference non-governmental organizations (NGOs) to see who was doing the type of work they wanted to support. They decided on World Vision, an organization that would be able to provide families with animals like goats, cows, or chickens. These animals serve as 1) a food source, and 2) an income generating opportunity.

Their goal was to be able to give the gift of animals, and in order to do so they needed to fundraise. Initially, the group realized their expectation of what they could do was too high and they had to re-evaluate their plan to be more realistic. The group did a hot dog sale, selling hot dogs for $1 each with incentives like free candy if the customer bought more than one hot dog.

In total, the group raised over $100, but half of the proceeds went to covering the cost of supplies. Although the group had established a sponsorship agreement with Walmart to donate supplies, there was not enough time to follow through on the deal and the group lost out on that in-kind contribution. A lesson learned by this is to always be organized and plan in advance, but also not to be afraid to ask for sponsorships because there are many people who are eager to help! In fact, after doing this first fundraiser, the group got attention from the Winnipeg Free Press who would like to sponsor the project in the future.

The group had many positive thoughts after completing the project that shows that they learned a lot not only about poverty in Africa, but also the difference they can make, what it takes to coordinate an event and why they enjoy doing this type of work:

Our thoughts on this project are it was a lot harder than we anticipated, but were glad we did it, and even though it is a school project, it was worth all the effort. We might’ve not raised $10,000 or anything big like that, but were happy with what were sending.

The three of us have a different outlook on things now. We learned so much about things a lot of people in Africa don’t have access to, we also learned that sending a few animals that will only cost $50 we fundraised will make a bigger difference than we thought.

We feel as if we succeeded with this fundraising event, not just because of the money we raised but because the whole thing went a lot better than we thought it would.

This example of a Take Action Project proves that we can learn something important from any experience and that no effort to make a difference is ever futile.

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