2016 Shows Record Donations to ACC
500+ Zulu children benefit
In the first six months of 2016, ACC raised $73,645 to support the building of nine new classrooms in South Africa’s KwaZulu-Natal province, a record figure compared to the same period over the past several years.
“Our donors really understand the need for quality education on a global scale and how having a safe, dry classroom for learning can make all the difference,” said Henry Bromelkamp, ACC’s founder and board chair. “Add to that a highly favorable exchange rate and we've been able to stretch our donations for maximum effectiveness.”
With these nine new classrooms, more than 500 poor rural Zulu children will be given the chance for an education simply because they’ll now have a school building to go to. “It doesn’t take much to be a catalyst in so many young lives,” added Bromelkamp.
A special thanks to the Collegiate Churches of New York and contributors to the Combined Federal Campaign via Aid For Africa for their generous ongoing support this year, and to Minneapolis Rotary #9 for their gift of two classrooms.
Photo taken at Bazaneni Primary School
Malawi Pilot Project Slated for Fall 2016
ACC will soon be kicking off its pilot project to build three classrooms in Malawi, the poorest country in Africa. The building of the classrooms is expected to start this fall after Malawi’s rainy season is over.
Thank you for your support!
Photo taken at Mlambe School
South African Ambassador Joins ACC Ubuntu Council
As an advocate for supporting education in his home country, South African Ambassador Mninwa Mahlangu has accepted a term on ACC’s Ubuntu Council. The Ubuntu Council is an advisory group composed of individuals who support ACC’s mission to build more classrooms and encourage the advancement of ACC’s work in South Africa.
Meet our Donors: Eddie Orum
Eddie’s career was at inner city schools where he saw what kind of difference education could make. “I wanted to donate money that fit my background and even my childhood, and when I found Africa Classroom Connection everything came together.”
When Eddie was a child his father trained South African farmers about the poultry industry in East Texas with the aim to improve South African programs. “For about three years I was able to live with and to learn from these representatives of South Africa. As a result, my interest in Africa, it's people and its agriculture, became a fixture in my mind.” The desire to do something for Africa was born.
After his father passed away, Eddie donated to ACC to fund a classroom in his honor. And although he has not been able to join ACC on a Learning Tour, Eddie will fulfill his lifelong dream of visiting Africa in November, when he plans to visit the schools and students his family has helped in South Africa.
“It takes all of us and our experience to create a humanitarian system," he said.
ACC Freedom Day Event a Huge Success
With more than 150 people in attendance last April at the historic Alfred Pillsbury house (home of ACC friends Melissa and Uri Camarena), ACC raised $21,500 – enough for 2 classrooms! – in celebration of South Africa’s annual Freedom Day. In the festive atmosphere that included several previous ACC Learning Tour travelers, guests enjoyed South African wine and food while bidding on African marketplace wares and several live auction items. ACC thanks sponsors ZWines, Merrill Lynch, Presentation Wiz, Thomson Reuters, and Books for Africa.
Q&A with Lori Pfeifer, ACC Learning Tour Traveler
ACC takes supporters to South Africa and Malawi on annual Learning Tours each August/September. To learn more or join our Learning Tour email list, write to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Lori Pfeifer, a 2012 Learning Tour traveler, is a practicing veterinarian. In September she will be joining ACC again in South Africa and Malawi.
Why is ACC important to you?
LP: I think education is the key to elevating people out of poverty and providing them more opportunity to improve their lives. Because the local community must raise 10% of the classroom price, it has an investment in the project. These classrooms change lives.
What effect did the Tour have on you?
LP: It made me more aware of the discrepancies that exist in basic needs around the world and how much having access to education can change lives.
What were you surprised to experience?
LP: I was surprised to see how excited the students were to have us visit their schools. They made us feel like we were rock stars! They were very appreciative of being able to study in a safe environment.
How do you describe the Tour to others?
LP: This is not a typical trip to Africa. Although you do visit some tourist sites and can add on a safari, the heart of the Tour is getting to know those who are being impacted by the classrooms.
Why have you decided to take the Tour again this year?
LP: I want to see the friends I met on the previous Tour and I’m especially excited to witness the progress that has been made in the past four years!
Meet our Volunteers: Susan Goll & Madison Rickhoff
Susan: I started doing volunteer project work for ACC because of my long time interest and involvement in Africa, particularly in Malawi. In 2008 my husband and I spent 6 months in northern Malawi volunteering with a newly formed University. We've made several trips back since and maintain strong ties to many Malawians, so I wanted to see what I could do to continue to support projects in Africa. I'm working with ACC's Communications and Donor Relations committees and also using my experience and contacts in Malawi to help launch ACC's pilot project there.
Madison: This summer, I’m working as ACC’s Communication and Development Intern. I start my senior year at the University of Minnesota this fall, majoring in Global Studies with a minor in International Trade and Development. I’m interested in working with international non-profits that focus on humanitarian efforts, so I’m very excited to be a part of ACC! This internship is a great fit for me, as my studies concentrate on Africa as a region, and the economic and developmental challenges many communities there face.