A couple of weeks ago, I received a letter from the Stephen Lewis Foundation thanking me for the contributions I’ve raised through the sale of my photography. The letter detailed some of its funded projects and associated costs, which I thought would be good to share here:
“In Swaziland, $2000 builds a community garden, including: a reservoir for watering, and the tools, seeds and chemicals needed for the garden. The women who tend the garden will feed their families nutritious food and sell their remaining crops. Their earnings will go to school fees so the orphan children in their care can attend school.
In South Africa, $352 will fund a sewing workshop for grandmothers, including: the sewing machine, the lessons and supplies/materials needed for a year. The income generated will mean a granny can feed orphans in her care who can then focus on school instead of hunger.
In Zambia, for $140 a vulnerable girl will attend school and live in an empowering and positive environment for a year. When she graduates with vocational training, business start-up skills, or an undergraduate certification, she will have the capacity and self-esteem to build a future for herself.”
So far I’ve contributed about $100 to the Stephen Lewis Foundation. Another cheque is in the mail for $50, so I think I’ll just donate the whole amount, so we will have raised enough for a girl to feel more empowered in Zambia.
Apparently, the foundation has been in operation for five years now, and in that time Canadians have donated over $30 million. That money has been spent on more than 250 projects in 15 countries struggling with the AIDS pandemic. Its kept its administrative costs at or below 10 percent. I’m so pleased to have the opportunity to support such important work. And to the people who have bought my work: thank you!