Ambassadors Update

The New Year is starting off busy for Ambassadors!

In December, two of our volunteer teachers in Kamatanda welcomed a baby girl.  While we have long wanted to provide decent housing for our teachers, the new baby increased the urgency as the current mud stick structures allow holes for snakes and rats to enter. With the heavy rains, the walls of the houses melt away and must be repacked.  The Starbucks organization in Moscow has agreed to help us with this project. During the month of February, you can stop by any Moscow Starbucks and purchase a hot chocolate to support teacher housing in Zambia. Every cup counts!

Teacher Caroline and Baby Francy

The February Starbucks Hot Chocolate Campaign.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

To add to the fun, we  are asking everyone who supports this campaign to post a selfie from Starbucks with their hot chocolate.  You can post them to the Ambassadors Community Facebook Page. https://www.facebook.com/aasambassadors Don’t forget to add the hashtag #StarbucksForZambia A few of our Ambassadors have already stopped by for a cup.

Ambassaodors Ciara and Jacob enjoying their hot chololate!

Alma and Emily stop by for a creamey cup of cooca!

We wired the money to the clinic for Francis to get his hearing aids.  We will transfer money to his father this week to pay the bus fare to the capital city where the hearing aids will be fitted to Francis’ ears. His hearing will not be restored without cochlear implants, but the hearing aids should help increase loud noises for his safety.

The new crop of maize has been planted for our food program and last week, we broke ground on our new library in Kamatanda, Zambia.  This week, the students from YCTC are busy laying our foundation.  In Pandamatenga, Botswana, the foundation for the entire school is complete and farmers are working on getting the materials from South Africa to build our first classroom.

Last Friday, we hosted Open Art Theater with their performance of “Cinderella”. Open Art Theater is a program of ARC, which strives to give young adults with Down’s Syndrome the opportunity to perform. Ambassador volunteers work with these aspiring performers on Saturdays and were happy to host them on Friday. Through ticket sales and concessions, we raised  over $1000 for this great organization. The ES Ambassadors helped us to promote this event and were our greeters at the door, handing out programs and smiles.

Cinderella actors

Ambassadors have been busy planning activities for our Environmental Awareness event in Botswana.  They also took part in ICC’s Pay It Forward Campaign.  If you were the recipient of a random act of kindness, please place your card in the box located in the hall of flags so we can see how far our circle of kindness has grown!

Coming soon: Ambassadors will be sharing the love this Valentine’s Day so look for our shirts in the hall of flags where we will be passing out Hershey’s Kisses.

Sharing the love this Valentine’s Day!

Our next update will come next month after we travel to Africa,so you can look forward to some photos of our journey.

Happy Holidays from the AAS Ambassadors!

The AAS Ambassadors wish you and your family a wonderful holiday season!  We hope that whether your break takes you on travels to distant lands or keeps you here in the holiday lights of Moscow, you find some small way to make a difference in the lives of others.

Today, our President Maria Fomina, made a donation of over $1000 to help pay for Eileen Munsaka’s school fees.  She raised this money by asking her family and friends to skip giving her presents this year and instead donate funds to something she is so passionate about.  As advisors, we try to inspire our students, but we find it is often them who inspire us.  Such a selfless act by someone who already gives so much to this organization is incredibly moving.

 

If you would like to contribute in this season of giving, here are three great ways that you can help Ambassadors contribute to some amazing individuals. Click on the blue donate links below to make a donation that will immediately impact someone’s life.  All donations are tax deductible through our Friends of AAS 501C3 Account #133947443.

Hearing aids for Francis who is completely deaf in one ear and 80% deaf in the other. He needs cochlear implants at a cost of $24,000 but we are trying to get him hearing aids ($1500) to help until we can reach  our long term goal.

DONATE TO FRANCIS

 

Boarding school fees for Eileen Munsaka whose father  Mr. Gathered was tragically killed walking home from school (she has 3 years of boarding school left – $1500 per year)

DONATE TO EILEEN

 

Teacher training for our volunteer teachers at the AAS Ambassadors Learning Center in Kamatanda, Zambia.  These teachers are all orphans from the village and work for free surviving on parent donations of about $15 a month to buy food and soap. With the help of the elementary school, we were able to pay for their first year of teacher training, but they still need the final year’s tuition which starts in January. Cost $1500 per teacher (there are 6 teachers total). DONATE TO OUR VOLUNTEER TEACHERS

You do not have to donate money to make a difference.  Share a smile with a stranger, offer to carry a bag, switch your plane seat so a family can sit together, donate your old coats to help others fight the cold: EVERY SMALL ACT OF KINDNESS MATTERS!

Global Evening and Project Highlights

The year is moving quickly and with American Thanksgiving just around the corner, we want to give thanks to our many supporters who have made our work possible. On Saturday, we had our 3rd Annual Global Evening, celebrating our accomplishments and raising funds for our global projects.  The event raised over $11,000.  We hope to build a library at the Ambassadors Learning Center in Kamatanda as well as contribute to projects in Zimbabwe and Botswana.

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Last week, the Ambassadors paid for Francis to travel to Harare with his father to get his hearing tested.  The results showed he is completely deaf in one ear and 70% deaf in the other.  We raised enough for hearing aids for him this weekend so sound can be amplified, but will be unable to provide the surgery the doctors recommended as it is $24,000.  Still, his father is grateful for anything we can give.

francis

We also raised enough for Eileen to stay in boarding school one more year.  Eileen’s father (pictured above left) was a good friend to Ambassadors and was tragically killed when walking home from school last year.  The Ambassadors paid for Eileen’s education that year which will end in January.  We now have enough funds for her to attend another year.  Maria Fomina, our President asked for friends to support Eileen’s education instead of giving birthday presents this year. She has raised over $800 so far.

In October, we paid for seed and a plow and oxen so that the Kamatanda school could replant maize as part of the food program we established last year.  Each child at the Ambassadors Learning Center receives a bowl of corn and rice each day.  Since some walk up to 10 km to reach our school, this nutrition will get the ready to learn.

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We paid the balance left on the teacher training we funded last year with the generous support of the Elementary School. Special thanks to Mr. Rick Olson and his ES StuCo team who were instrumental in this. One teacher wrote to tell us that she is one of 7 children with HIV. Her parents are both sick with the disease and her mother is also blind.  They could never afford to pay for her education, so she is very grateful that we are giving her what her parents wish they could.  We paid for the first year of teacher training for 6 teachers at a cost of $1500 per person.  They still have one more year to complete the program, so we are hoping we can raise the funds for this.  All of our teachers are volunteers, and with the exception of the teacher I just mentioned, they are orphans.  Parents donate money  for soap and food, but they never get more than $15 a month.

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We have also paid for an Auto Mechanics shop for YCTC, a training program that helps reduce aids by giving free training to aids orphans and former prostitutes so they can learn a skill and earn a  living. We provided 2 tool kits for students to share and learn with. There is a volunteer house at YCTC where people donate a year to serving others, but it did not have any facilities, so we built a restroom attachment.  Hopefully, this will make life more comfortable and sanitary for volunteers.

In everything we do, we try to focus on the needs of the communities we serve.  Our trip in March will be focused on service and making a difference. We are planning an Awareness Campaign for Pandamatenga so the next few months will be spent seeking knowledge and planning activities.

We wish you all the warmest of holidays in whatever corner of the world your travels will take you. For Ambassadors, our hearts will be with the children of Africa.

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Fall Fundraising

The leaves have quickly changed colors as the Ambassadors finished their first big fundraiser, the Sport-a-thon. Ambassadors and other students spent Saturday at the school, completing sports activities to earn money for our future projects. The event raised over $2000.  We are now focused on our biggest fundraiser of the year, our Global Evening. This event shines a spotlight on student achievement and shares the stories of those we want to help.  This year’s event will be held at the Four Seasons in Moscow. If you would like to attend, contact Ms. Francy (francy.johnson@aas.ru) to request an invitation. The cost is 4800r and includes a full buffet dinner, entertainment, presentations, and silent auction featuring hotel stays, autographed books, and gift baskets from around the world. Seating is limited. If you would like to order a table for your group, please contact Ms. Francy immediately. francy.johnson@aas.ru

celebrate

This year, we have found many more projects than we can accomplish alone, so we have created a Global Ambassadors website where other schools can join us in reaching our goals.  We are currently working with a high school in Minnesota and a University in Montreal. You can visit our page to learn more about our work and the projects we support   www.globalambassadorsclub.com

Wishing you all safe travels this October break!  If you see something unique on your journey, consider bringing it back for our global evening baskets. =)

 

 

 

Thank you for an incredible year!

As the year comes to a close, the Ambassadors would like to thank everyone who supported them this year.  Throughout the AAS Community, and across the globe, people rallied behind our cause, helping us to make a difference and increase our global awareness.  The Project Humanity organization in the states met us in Botswana for an Alcohol Awareness Campaign which educated villagers about the effects of alcohol and encouraged children to make healthy choices.  Two students from Gaborone raised funds to help us install mosquito nets and drove 11 hours to help us install them.  The Dress-A-Girl Around the World women in Florida made 50 dresses with dolls in the pockets for us to take this summer.  Our ES raised funds to train teachers at our new school and the HS staff donated the desks and furniture for the classrooms.  Our PTO gave us $3000 in matching charitable funds – $1000 for each country where we work. The Vafeidis Family sponsored our Global Evening which raised $11,000 for our school in Zambia and our Director led a challenge that raised another $20,000. In total, the Ambassadors raised over $50,000 this year for global projects.  Our mission of spreading global awareness through education and school building was realized when we stood in front of our new school block, The AAS Ambassadors Learning Center in Kamatanda, Zambia.  On a  local level, we had ambassadors volunteering for the PTO and Open Art Theater, even bringing the children to the Bolshoi for a performance of Romeo and Juliet. Our work continues, with more projects being initiated this summer.  THANK YOU ALL FOR YOUR SUPPORT!

 

Take a leap and make a difference!

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Leap day, February 29th, only falls once every four years, so take this opportunity to make a difference that will be remembered until the next leap year. The Ambassadors new school block in Kamatanda is nearly complete.  The final section of the roof will be finished this week.  This new school block has two classrooms and an administration office.  All that remains is to raise the funds to furnish the building.  All of the furniture will be hand crafted by YCTC (Youth Community Training Center) students from local Teakwood.  If you would like to donate to this cause, please follow the Paypal link of your choice and make your purchase OR make a payment to the school cashier with the description “AAS AMBASSADORS FURNISH A SCHOOL FUND”.

STUDENT DESK AND BENCH $75 EACH  These are double desk and we need 10 per classroom (20 total)

TEACHER DESK $250 EACH  We need 2 teacher desks

ADMINISTRATION OFFICE DESK $320  We need 1 administration desk

OFFICE/TEACHER CHAIRS $80 EACH  We need 3 chairs

FULL HEIGHT CUPBOARD $400 We need 1 full cupboard

HALF HEIGHT CUPBOARD $300 EACH We need 2 half cupboards

BOOKSHELVES $150 EACH We need 2 of these

NOTICE BOARDS $50 We need 3 notice boards

HAND WASH STAND $60 We need 1 of these

STORAGE CUPBOARD WITH DRAWERS $300 We need 1 of these

LOUNGE SET FOR ADMIN OFFICE $350 We need 1 of these

OVERHEADS $200 We need 1 of these

February Update

As February comes to a close, the Ambassadors are busy finalizing plans for their Service Trip to Africa next month.   This trip is different from the discovery Week trips taking place at the same time, because the students in Ambassadors actively plan and prepare for the activities throughout the year in order to enhance the communities they serve.

As we put the final activities in place for the Alcohol Awareness and Wellness Campaign with Project Humanity, Mr. Schnell has been actively involved with the Ambassadors, giving input and suggestions for the fitness activities we are planning in the village.  Ms. Schaub has also been a great resource to us by ensuring that our activities provide valuable learning experiences for the community (as well as our Ambassadors).

Mr. Sexton continues to support the student learning process by allowing the Ambassadors to journey to Africa each year in order to serve others and see the culmination of their fundraising efforts.  It is a great feeling to know that you have helped others, inspired hope, and aided a community in need of development.  But all of the projects take on a new meaning when you actually meet the people you are helping and understand the struggles they face everyday. One of our scheduled activities, “Walk A Mile in their Shoes”  will allow the Ambassadors to take the 8km journey to school with the village children. Mr. Doyle has previously joined us on this walk and Mr. Zurfluh will accompany us this year.

We received some great news today from Zambia, the student builders have finished the walls on our new school block in Kamatanda and begun installing the roof.

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The Ambassadors finalized names for the new school block and classrooms today and
are designing a flag to hang in front of the school.

One of our AAS Alumni, Floriane Charles, has launched her new Ambassadors program at Concordia University and sent us their new logo. We are excited that the Ambassadors program  has expanded in passion and scope. This is part of their mission statement, “Concordia Ambassadors strives to make the world a  better place through sustainable global projects.  People around the world do not have the opportunities afforded to Concordia students, such as our great education, and thus it is our duty to provide them with these opportunities. This is where our values begin.  We will make sustainable changes in the world that will better the lives of hundreds or even thousands of people.”

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The ES StuCo continues to raise funds for teacher training for the enw school through their Friday Market sales and the Eco Club is fundraising for the Solar Pump needed for a community garden project in Pandamatenga. The girl scouts are making friendship bracelets along with Rachel Daskova who has started making bracelets as part of a CAS project.  We know the children in the villages will be thrilled to have them.

We still have plenty of copies of our “Zest for Zambia” International cookbook for sale in room 3105.  All proceeds go to support our work in Zambia.  This afternoon, Mr. Zurfluh will kick off his Director’s Challenge campaign, which was launched at our Global Evening in December.  Please see the link below for his post. As always, we thank the entire AAS Community for their support.

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Director’s Message to the AAS Community