Kelowna non-profit society sending school supplies to Africa | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Kelowna non-profit society sending school supplies to Africa

Image Credit: Contributed/Pledge a Pencil – Sharpen a Future
October 14, 2016 - 10:43 AM

KELOWNA - The deadline to assist a Kelowna woman in her drive to send much-needed school supplies to a community in eastern Africa is nearing. Kelowna resident, Kerrie Niemeier, is calling on the community to assist her in collecting as many school supplies as possible bound for a small Tanzanian community by the end of October. Pencils, pens, erasers, writing books, etc. will be collected until Oct. 31, 2016 and shipped to Africa in November. The effort is being organized through her registered, non-profit society, Pledge a Pencil - Sharpen a Future.

Kerrie’s efforts began after a trip she took to Tanzania in November 2015. While there, she visited the Lake Natron School in the village of Engaruka, Tanzania. The small school is run by just 9 teachers and instructs nearly 600 students. During her visit, she had an interaction with a young female student which prompted her to take action. Upon giving the young girl a pen from her own backpack, she was rewarded with a warm, tearful hug. Ms. Niemeier discovered that the school has a consistent need for supplies vital to the students’ educational pursuits.

“Most of the students don’t have enough basic supplies like pencils or paper to help with their learning,” says Kerrie. “Education is vital for young people everywhere to better their lives. Little things like school supplies that we take for granted are valuable resources in this community, and I wanted to do what I could to help.” It was after this encounter that Pledge a Pencil – Sharpen a Future was born. She has been accepting donations since Jan. 1, 2016.

Kerrie’s husband, Andy, accompanied her on the trip and was also inspired by the children’s enthusiasm for soccer while playing with them in the school yard. Donations of soccer balls or any other item that a school-age child could need are also being accepted.

Lake Natron and Engaruka Village lay at the foot of the Rift Valley Escarpment in Tanzania, Africa. It is near an important archaeological site and is part of the traditional lands of the Maasai people.

Pledge a Pencil – Sharpen a Future is a registered, non-profit society. People wishing to make donations of school supplies, sporting goods, monetary contributions, or other school necessities are being accepted until October 31, 2016. All donations will be shipped directly to the Lake Natron School at the beginning of November, 2016. Donations may be dropped off at Wells Gray Tours, 103-3001 Tutt Street in Kelowna, BC, or contact Ms. Niemeier at to arrange a pickup.

News from © iNFOnews, 2016

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