Announcing The Atheist Community of South-East Queensland's first official meeting and fundraiser!
Now that we have been officially incorporated as a non-profit association - and have recently been accepted for membership to Atheist Alliance International - this dinner will be a great opportunity for us to not only have a membership drive and to socialise, but to also raise funds so that we may make our official first donation to a charitable cause; the first of what I hope will be many!
I have chosen a Tuesday night in the hopes it will allow a lot more of us to venture into the city to attend the dinner and I have chosen Jo-Jo's as the location due to their reasonable prices, good food and lots of space should we need to reserve a couple of tables.
The cost is $50.00 a head*, covering:
1) Main meal**
2) Official Membership with Atheist Community of South-East Queensland
3) Donation to Escuela Moderna Kerewan Kindergarten, Gambia.
* Cash only please, no IOU's.
** Limit of $30.00. Any entrees, beverages and desserts must be paid separately and must not be put on the final bill.
Jo-Jo's Menu can be seen here: http://www.jojos.com.au/menus/
Please RSVP as soon as possible and invite all your friends, family, neighbours, co-workers... anyone who might be interested! I am hoping that we can be proud in making a sizeable donation to this cause!
Some more information:
The fundraiser is an initiative of Atheist Alliance International, to 'Provide a Foundation of Science and Reason for Gambian Children'
In 2010, the Atheist Alliance International Foundation (AAI Foundation) inaugurated its first project by sponsoring the opening of a primary school in Kasese, Uganda. Four years and hundreds of students later, the Kasese Humanist Primary School is on a strong footing on its own property educating over 200 students each year and now preparing to open a secondary school for the graduates of its primary school.
In 2013, the AAI Foundation is proud to be sponsoring its SECOND primary school in Africa, this time in the Kerewan district of Banjul, the Gambia. Envisioned and operated by the Gambian Secular Assembly (GSA), one of AAI's African affiliates, the new Escuela Moderna Kerewan Kindergarten is modeled after the "Escuela Moderna" school of learning designed by Spanish freethinker and educational reformer Francesco Ferrer i Guárdia. The school is one of only 4 preschools in Banjul, the Gambia's capital, and the only private secular school in the country.
The original project approved by the AAI Board included a single-room kindergarten with a principal and teacher on a small rented property that would serve up to 42 students. However, as the start of the fall school semester approached, the GSA was approached by officials from the Gambian Educational Ministry and asked to take over another primary school in the area - a Christian school - that was closing its doors. Not only did that school have an existing kindergarten class of about 10 children, but it also had two existing nursery school classes that the Ministry wanted to see maintained.
The Gambian Secular Assembly and the AAI Foundation jumped at the chance to save the school while at the same time moving into a larger and more usable space. They quickly hired new teachers and expanded their student recruitment, and the new Escuela Moderna Kerewan Kindergarten started the school year with three full classes.
However, the new school space was in serious disrepair and required extensive repairs and upgrades to meet current building codes, so the Gambian Ministry insisted that the GSA agree to make the necessary repairs over the next six months as part of its condition of taking over the school.
The SA is now scrambling to upgrade the school site even as it is handling an unexpectedly large number of students and staff. Among the repairs it is needing to make are:
• Replacing the doors and installing flush toilets on the school pit latrines;
• Providing electricity and piped water to the school;
• Replacing the flooring of two of the three classrooms;
• Replacing the ceilings to the classrooms and administrative office and installing ceiling fans for cooling;
• Replacing damaged playground equipment with new equipment; and
• Repainting the entire building complex inside and out.
Implementing these repairs are estimated to cost US$6,000 - an expense that the GSA did not anticipate but which they are now committed to raising to ensure the success of their new school.
The Kerewan school is in urgent need for these funds to bring their new school up to code and continue to permanently operate. With your contribution, the GSA and AAI can make a permanent difference in providing a strong foundation for Gambia's next generation with science and reason.
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