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

HAPPY NEW YEAR FROM AMBASSADORS

Happy New Year Everyone!

The Ambassadors ended the year with a huge sense of pride and accomplishment at having reached our fundraising goals for the fall.Thanks to our fabulous hosts, Mr. And Mrs. Vafeidis who hosted our global evening, to the generous donors and auction bidders, and a director’s challenge kick off which will continue to raise funds;  we will be able to build the two classroom block in Kamatanda, Zambia.  We were fortunate to have the Ambassador to Zambia, His Excellency Solomon Jason Mbuzi, joining us and giving his support to the project.

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After spending the holidays with our families, we are back at work.  Fundraising continues as we still need to build a playground for the Kazuma Kids Orphan Center in Pandamatenga and give a gift to the Baobab School in Mr. Gathered’s memory.  We are also raising funds for the 100 mosquito nets we plan to install in the village in Sharon Holoboff’s memory.  While we have 2 students from Gaborone already working on this, we have decided we need to raise additional funds so we can get insecticide treated nets. These are more costly, but will also protect those who aren’t directly under the net.  We are also busy planning activities for the Orphan Center, organizing our Alcohol Awareness Campaign, and developing lessons for our teaching day at the new school. The best part of our trip is that the students plan the activities, develop the lessons, then execute them on the trip.  They are not just serving others, they are learning themselves.

Just a quick update on some developments over the holidays:

  • The ARC Open Art Theater, which the Ambassadors service team has been working with on Saturdays; will hold their performance of Romeo and Juliet in the Bolshoi Theater on January 20th. We are hoping that students and families will show up to support these passionate performers. All proceeds from ticket sales and concessions will go to OAT to continue their program.

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  • The ES StuCo have been raising funds for the $5000 needed to train the volunteer teachers in Zambia.  These teachers have committed to remaining at the school for at least 2 years after they complete their training, thus allowing stability at the school.  So far, the ES has raised $200 towards this cause and there are more Friday Market sales coming up!  Make sure you stop by the hall of flags and support them on Fridays at 12:30pm. The ES Ambassadors are working on gathering teaching materials and resources for the teachers, including educational games.  They will collect this documents and worksheets on a  USB drive so that we can print the items when we reach the country, avoid the extra weight of paper in our luggage.
  • The CEO of Project Humanity, Darren Tipton, spoke with phAmbassadors over the break and is excited to join us in March, along with 9 volunteers.  They will  be meeting us in Botswana and joining us for the school dedication in Kamatanda.

 

  • 1eef8b_53cad6817a774a4582db00fbe3e8ef77The conservation group Walking For Lions contacted Ambassadors about working  together for Lion Conservation.
  • The Dress a Girl Around The World                                       group 945559_1004429502961786_6295432848027021166_ngave us one of their adorable dresses to take to Botswana and are going to try to make some more for us. This is a great organization and                                       we are happy to have their support.

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  • A church mom’s group in Florida offered to get books for us to take to our school in Zambia including the ABC Preschool Coloring books the school requested.
  • Some terrific Disney volunteers  gave us a bunch of Disney shirts and jackets to bring to Africa.

Our resolution this year is to continue to make a difference in our school, our local community and across the globe.  Our continued goal is to spread global awareness through education and school building.  With your continued support, we know we will reach our goals.

 

 

Ambassador Update October 2015

The AAS Ambassadors are committed to:

  • supporting our school community through school activities, PTO service, and mentoring elementary school students
  • helping in our local community through volunteerism and community service
  • spreading global awareness through education and school building

Botswana-zambia-zimbabwe0The Ambassadors have started the school year off with a flurry of projects and activities including marketing, fundraising, service projects with PTO and MPC, community outreach, global project voting and goal setting, and developing an itinerary for our service learning trip in March.

Our journey will begin in Botswana where Cassidy Chang and Isabel Tippins, two students from Westwood International School in Gaborone, have made it their CAS project to help us raise funds for our mosquito net installation. They are researching the insecticide nets and determining WW LOGO-hdr-transcosts and suppliers.  Our hope is to install 100 nets in the village of Pandamatenga during our stay, so villagers have protection from mosquitos and other bugs before the worst Malaria months of April and May. All the Ambassadors are hoping they get to meet these motivated students during our journey!

logoThe Exec team met with representatives from FCD to ask questions and seek advice on how best to educate the youth in the village during our Alcohol Awareness Campaign, which we are partnering with Project Humanity on. The  representatives offered great insight and suggestions ranging from the right vocabulary, to the focus on fun, and the importance of setting up support groups among the children. phThey also suggested finding a core group of adults that the children can go to if in trouble.  The Exec team will take this information back to the whole group for use in planning.

Zimbabwe With Gathered July 24, 2015 (30)In Zimbabwe, we will visit the Baobab School and present a gift in memory of our dear friend and teacher Mr. Gathered who has welcomed the Ambassadors over the years and was tragically killed when walking home from school.  The Ambassadors have committed to paying for his daughter’s education for the next year so that she can continue her studies and keep her father’s dream alive. Special thanks to Ms. Lewis and Mr. and Mrs. Schnell who contributed generously to this goal.

Our new global project focuses on expanding our outreach to include Kamatanda, craigZambia and we have been actively fundraising for this impoverished community.  In additional to raising funds to add a 2 classroom school block, we are trying to implement a food program so that the children who attend can receive one meal a day.  Our hope is to provide food for a year while starting a maize crop so that the corn will provide food for future porridge. As Mr. Craig Nemitz stated when he met with the Exec team from Global FoodBanking Network, “Hungry children can’t learn…You can build schools all over the world, but if the kids come through the doors hungry, they will never learn.”

Carolyn PRE SCHOOLWe are also striving to provide teacher training to the 5 passionate orphans who volunteer their time to educate the children of this community. Each have committed to remain at this school for a minimum of 2 years after their training is completed so the $1000 investment per teacher ensures sustainability for our new school.

The YCTC training center has generously agreed to build this school block for the cost of the materials only, without receiving a penny for labor, as a way to help their own community and give their own students a real service learning experience.  The Global Dream Exchange has committed $5000 in order to name the front office and we are looking for two individuals/organizations to sponsor a classroom for $7500 with their own naming rights.

Our new school is a community school, so children will attend for free.  If we raise the funds by our target date of December break, YCTC ensures us the building will be ready for dedication during our service learning trip in March.  Please join us and make this dream a reality for the children of Kamatanda and the 6 surrounding villages who have no hope without education.

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The Bread Lady of Pandamatenga

We had an amazing 10 days in Pandamatenga, Botswana and we will try to share some moments here with you.  Last summer, Ms. Francy traveled to Pandamatenga with her daughter Holly and  students Vlad Poryadin and Katie McNeley.  They met a woman who baked bread in her fire to support her sons and granddaughter. Her husband and daughter had recently died of AIDS, so she was wearing the vibrant royal blue of mourning. There was no flour in the village so they brought her a giant bag when they went to Kasane, an hour away. On our DW trip last week, we went to meet her and enjoy her fresh baked yeast rolls. Everyone loved them and wanted to help her. Advisor Ron Schnell suggested we build her an oven, so we researched ovens in the area, gathered supplies and set to work. The new oven will increase her production by 300%. We purchased enough supplies to last her for the next 3 months, helping her raise profits to buy pans and other materials she may need. We then shared her delicious rolls with the lodge owners where we were staying and they both agreed to buy her products instead of ordering from Zimbabwe. She cried and said that Jesus sent us to her to change her life. She had no idea that helping her meant even more to us. Her rolls filled our stomachs but the look on her face fed our souls. She has hope again, reminding us that the best way to help the people of Pandamatenga is to find ways to help them help themselves.

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PTO Presentation Video

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The PTO has been very supportive of the AAS Ambassadors. You might notice some of their t-shirts in this video which was shown during a student presentation during Tuesdays PTO meeting. =) They have also donated books for the children of Pandamatenga and greatly increased our fundraising capabilities through the use of their popcorn machine!

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The Ambassadors have been busy getting ready for our return trip to Pandamatenga over Discovery Week. Working within their 5 focus groups, they have been brainstorming service learning activities for the village. Once all the ideas were developed and costs were analyzed, these ideas were put forth to the whole group for further discussion and feasibility, then a vote was taken among members.

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Flo, our Director of Marketing, loved playing the recorder when she was in elementary school, so her group decided to bring MUSIC to Pandamatenga.  We are purchasing recorders for the children and will teach them how to play, so they can continue to enjoy music long after we leave.  At night, they can listen to their own melodies and drown out the scary noises of the hyenas nearby.

 

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Ece, our spirit coordinator, wanted to get the kids excited
about learning something new, so, her group decided to introduce a new SPORT to the village.

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We will be bringing some volleyballs and a net to set up in the village. The  students remembered a perfect spot between two trees and are certain the children will love learning the game as much as they love   serving up the lessons. They will be dedicating the court to their  former advisor and volleyball coach, Ms. Delane =)

 

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Last year, Global Project member  Elisa had a great time taking selfies with the kids and then showing them the pictures on the back of her phone.   We brought large printouts of these photos to Pandamatenga this summer and gave them out to the kids and their parents. The GP group decided to do a CRAFT project with the kids using photos, cardstock, stickers, and decorations to create keepsakes to remember their time together. They researched purchasing instant cameras, but decided on the Fujifilm Instax Printer instead, which runs on batteries and will turn each cell phone into an instant camera.

The ES Ambassadors wanted a way to connect with the kids in Pandamatenga and since they don’t have electricity, computers, or internet, the service group will be taking letters from them to the village and passing them out, then helping the village children write letters back which we will bring back to Moscow.

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In order to help the children learn more about each other, HS Ambassador Maria has been spending her Wednesdays after school interviewing and filming her younger mentees. Not only is she asking the young Ambassadors questions about our AAS community; but she is capturing important moments like snowball fights and asking the pertinent questions, such as “What does snow feel like”? For a child in Botswana, these vides  will give them a whole new view of the world.  Once we get to Botswana, Maria will be filming the village children in Pandamatenga, asking similar questions, filming where they live, what animals inhabit their community.  She will combine the footage into one unique video that can be shared with the whole AAS community, making us all more globally aware citizens.

MissFrancy (1285)The PTO has again generously donated Fun Run shirts to us and since they are in larger sizes this year, we will give them to the adults. We are planning a day of service to clear brush from the and are going to invite parents to work alongside us to clean up their community.  The shirts will serve as their rewards. This way they can feel that they have earned something and can feel good about serving their neighborhood.

Last year during Discovery Week, we planned a day of activities with the children and were dismayed to learn that due to a delay in the government water truck, the children had not had water in 2 days.  Since the only meal most receive is the bowl of porridge at school (and you need water to make porridge) most hadn’t eaten either.

From DW Video (15)Communications Director and Service Coordinator Victoria Lanovenko was determined to find a solution.  Talking to lodge owners, community members and the local lawyer, she researched how a water system might assist the village. By the time we left Pandamatenga, she had a plan in place to install a well for the village and had several people working on quotes and suppliers for her. Back in Moscow, Ambassadors and recent graduates Katy Myers and Camille Duvieusart took over this project after exams, raising the necessary funds and travelling to Pandamatenga at the end of August to oversee the digging of the well. Victoria is excited to return and see her dream a reality

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The Ambassadors continue to develop ways to help the community of Pandamatenga as well as raise funds for the construction of a primary school in the village.  We will keep you updated on our progress.  As always, thank you for your continued support.

Project Website:

http://www.youcaring.com/nonprofits/pandamatenga-school-building-project-/59086

2014 Holiday Giving Campaign

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“It’s 5 am in Pandamatenga Botswana. Priscilla, and many others like her, are awake, preparing breakfast for her siblings, and getting ready for the dangerous 8 km walk to their school. I know it’s dangerous because I have done it with her.  Priscilla inspires me. She motivates me. She is the reason why I am asking my family and friends this holiday to give to this campaign to build her a school; so that she may learn in a safe environment, close to home, just like I do.”   – Alara Saygi, Grade 12, Globally Aware Citizen

The Anglo-American School Ambassadors are working hard to build that school for Priscilla and the children of her village. This holiday season we are asking our family and friends to help us, by giving to the school’s construction by donating as a holiday gift. The school will allow black children and white children the opportunity to learn together for the first time in the history of Pandamatenga; and children will be taught in English, which will bind them in a common language.

Why?

Because when we visited Pandamatenga last year, we promised our new friends that we would do everything we could to improve their educational experience. Getting up hours before school and walking 8 kilometers through dangerous bush where lions and hyenas hunt makes learning almost impossible.

50% of the children in Pandamatenga are orphans, having lost both their parents to Aids. The only meal most get is the bowl of porridge the school provides so weekends are long and hungry. The tribal chief and village elders know they need a closer school for the children, and we have pledged to help them.

Please help us. Every dollar counts. Every penny raised will go directly to the construction of our school. We have already raised nearly $50,000, but to finish the school will cost $120,000 in total. We have a long way to go but we can do it! Please support us! All donors will be given a full report and photos after we travel to Pandamatenga  to help in March.

“We are helping them not because we are different or better than them, but because we have a responsibility to help them. We often say that everyone must be equal on the Earth, so now it is time to not just say it, but actually take action. We must be grateful for what we have and we must share it. That is not an option, but our duty in order to make a better world.”  – Min Jee Kook, Grade 11, Respecting Self and Others

Please visit this site and make a donation and share the link with family and friends.

http://www.youcaring.com/nonprofits/pandamatenga-school-building-project-/59086