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Tuesday, September 28, 2021

Groups seek funds to fight famine in E. Africa

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A collaboration of Indianapolis organizations are joining forces to raise money on Sept. 24 to fight the famine in East Africa.

According to the United Nations, the worst famine in 60 years is occurring now in East Africa with more than 750,000 people at risk of dying before the year’s end.

To date, tens of thousands of people, mostly children, have already perished due to lack of food and water, malnutrition, and subsequent disease. Over 12 million people are in need of humanitarian assistance in Kenya, Ethiopia, Eritrea, Somalia, Djibouti, and Uganda.

While many people will read these statistics, feel helpless, and then go about their day, some people in Indianapolis have decided to join forces and raise the money needed to take a convoy of food and water to the areas most affected by the drought and famine.

The Village Experience, The Bluevine Collective, The Indianapolis Intercultural Network, W/Purpose, Provocate.org, Greater Indianapolis Young Democrats, and IUPUI’s Social Entrepreneur Club will host a fundraiser on Sept. 24 from 4 to 8 p.m. at The Village Experience fair trade store in Broad Ripple.

A tent will be erected in the back parking lot and the fair trade store will be open throughout the event. Beer from Flat 12 Bierwerks will be available, and food trucks will be present including Scout’s, NY Slice, and Duo’s Indy. DJ Iron Lion will be playing global beats, and volunteers from around the city will be working to help the group raise money for this life and death cause. A percentage of proceeds from The Village Experience’s sales and from the sale of food and beer will go to the cause as will 100 percent of the proceeds from a raffle. To date, the group has already raised close to $4,000 and hopes to double this amount at the event.

A team of volunteers from Indianapolis will travel with The Village Experience to Kenya in November to hand deliver the funds to The Global Enrichment Fund in Nairobi and document the trip so that all those contributing to the cause can follow the money straight to the refugee camps in Northern Kenya and Somalia.

The group is forming a direct bond between the people of Indianapolis and the famine in East Africa, while showing that there are people who do care and won’t stand by and watch as fellow human beings in Africa perish.

Kelly Campbell, co-founder of The Village Experience, said, “I was in Kenya the month of July, and I witnessed the effect of this global disaster in villages throughout the entire country firsthand. The price of food and fuel has skyrocketed.

“The lack of water has prevented people from being able to grow basic crops and feed themselves. It is a terribly desperate situation. When I read that $5 can feed a Somali for 2 weeks, I can’t imagine a person in this community that wouldn’t forego their coffee for a day and donate to help keep another person alive.”

To make a tax-deductible donation, send a check to The Village Cooperative with the wording “East Africa Famine Relief” in the memo line and mail to: The Village Cooperative, 6055 N. College Ave., Indianapolis, IN 46220.


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