By Teresia Mutuku, Communication Officer and Web Manager, WACC
On the small Pacific island of Tahiti, located over 15,000 kilometers from Sierra Leone in West Africa, members of Maohi protestant Church generously responded to a WACC appeal for support for Radio Shalom. They came together to help meet the GlobalGiving Open Challenge launched on April 1, to raise USD 4000 from 50 donors by April 30.
Led by Linda Maea Tematua, a member of WACC’s Board of Directors and of the WACC-Pacific Executive Committee, the congregation contributed a total of USD 4000, the highest donation raised throughout the fundraising challenge.
“It was our way of expressing solidarity with the people of Sierra Leone,” said Tematua. “Thanks to the grace of God and the generosity of the people of the pacific island, we managed to raise the funds,” she said.
In Nairobi, over 5000 kilometers from Sierra Leone’s capital Freetown, Catherine Ouma, a WACC-Africa Executive Committee member, sent out text messages to her friends and colleagues appealing for funds on behalf of WACC. Her friends did not have credit cards or international cheques as required by GlobalGiving. But thanks to Kenya’s popular mobile-phone money transfer service, Mpesa, she was able collect their donations wired via cell phones. She submitted the donations through her organization, the All Africa Conference of Churches (AACC).
“I offered myself to assist and coordinate the fundraising efforts in Kenya because by supporting Radio Shalom we are supporting peace, upholding the role of community media and supporting WACC. It is a worthy cause,” said Ouma. (Read more...)
WACC-Africa was quick and fast to mobilize and organize fundraising efforts in the region. A substantial number of donations was received from the region, which became the one with the highest number of donors.
“We express unwavering support for Radio Shalom, a community radio by the Council of Churches of Sierra Leone for peace in Sierra Leone with a promise to amplify their voices and their request for financial support,” said WACC-Africa Regional Executive Committee members in a communiqué issued from Lomé, Togo.
In the USA Sheila George, WACC-North America president, circulated an appeal to members challenging each of them to give up their favourite beverage for a week worth USD 20 and give the money to Radio Shalom. They heeded her call and several donations were received instantly (Read more...)
“Communication is important to all of us. It is important for the people of Radio Shalom in Sierra Leone. Communication rights for all is worth 4 lattes,” she said.
The presidents of WACC-Asia, Caribbean, Europe, Latin America, Pacific and the Middle East also sent out appeals and members responded with immense generosity.
From Spain to Fiji, Brussels to Germany and worldwide, more appeals were circulated and published by members, partners and friends of WACC, on their websites, publications and social media. Thanks to their efforts, WACC managed to exceed the target and secured a permanent place on the GlobalGiving website to continue fundraising for Radio Shalom and other projects in the future.
Over USD 7000 was raised by the April 30 deadline. However, WACC aims to raise up to USD 12,000 for the radio station which will broadcast programmes aimed at fostering peace and reconciliation. The country is still on the road to recovery after a long-running civil war. The fundraising continues on the GlobalGiving website: http://www.globalgiving.org/projects/build-a-radio-station-for-peace-in-sierra-leone/
“I am overwhelmed and grateful for the solidarity and support expressed by our members and partners around the world, who worked so hard to make this 30-day Challenge a resounding success”, said WACC General Secretary, Rev. Dr Karin Achtelstetter. “This demonstrates the power and commitment of WACC’s global network of which we can all be proud.”
She added, “I am particularly thankful to our members and networks in the global south, whose overwhelming generosity has turned around and challenged the old and still dominant paradigm of giver and receiver.”