Hello dear friends,
Did you know that the Circle of Love project started nearly three years ago on a very hot day in Maroua?
I was a Peace Corps volunteer posted with Education Fights AIDS. I was lucky enough to have my aunt and cousin come to visit. They proposed a day of volunteering with Education Fights AIDS during their visit. To be honest, I was skeptical. After all, what could I plan that would be meaningful for all parties given the language and time barriers?
My aunt suggested doing art project with the women of EFA. I was skeptical of that, too. After all, I had never done something like that before (mostly because, confession, I am decidedly un-crafty). And, women in the developing world aren’t usually known for using their time for idle purposes—there is always too much water to haul, too many acres to cultivate, many children to care for…you get the picture.
And now, looking back I am tremendously glad that I didn’t listen to those voices of skepticism.
That very-hot day we spent with the 25 HIV+ female members of our associations making a quilt in Maroua proved transformative in many ways.
On the surface, it was a lovely day that we spent together that offered the women a break from their many responsibilities. We shared stories and a good meal.
It could have ended there leaving everyone pleased.
But it was also that day that sparked the Circle of Love campaign. Little did you know it would be the day that you became intimately connected with a young, HIV+ Cameroonian.
Together, over the years, we raised more than $7500 to support the health of 150 young people living with HIV. The money raised with this campaign has provided CD4 tests and antiretorviral medication. Quite literally, your support has saved lives.
How can I possibly thank you for that? After spending 2 years with the150 people you have supported, I feel like I am thanking you for improving and even saving the lives of members of my family. How can I thank you for including them in your Circle of Love?
Now, we are at a transition point. Education Fights AIDS is transitioning from an international organization to a Cameroonian led organization. As a part of that transition, we are closing this project to streamline our fundraising efforts. We are going to have one Global Giving Project: Providing HIV services to 20,000 Cameroonian Youth. Would you consider supporting that project? We are so appreciative of your support thus far and your continued involvement and support means the world to us! If you have any questions or concerns about the transition or about your contributions, please do not hesitate to contact me: email@example.com. I am always more than happy to brag about our association members!
In Cameroon, people often use the expression “a thousand times over: thank you”. One thousand times is not enough in this case.
So, I thank you. My Cameroonian friends thank you.
A million times over.