Last Updated: Friday - 09/24/2010
Week of April 18, 2005
Pasta dinner buys donkeys and carts
By KATHRYN BOURQUE
Special to the WCR
Dinner for donkeys sounds an unusual theme for a meal.
But Kathryn Bourque attended a fundraiser pasta supper with the proceeds going toward the purchase of donkeys and carts for some women's co-ops in Ghana. Here is her story.
Sister Ann Schulte began the Women's Village Projects of Northern Ghana, an extremely poor part of Africa.
The cost of a good strong donkey is about $125 Canadian. The cart is about $250. A harness to connect the two and a water barrel are about $40. Transporting all to the village, depending are where it is, is about $50.
Donkeys and carts
So for around $465 a Women's Village Co-op can have a donkey and all the accoutrements.
The co-op women are also given some corn stalks/husks and dye, which they use to make hats and baskets to sell at the market. This gives them a start at independence and the chance to better their lives and those of their families.
To date, there are five Women's Village Projects with donkeys. Four more are organized and waiting for their "kit." They would be so excited to know that the Donkey Dinner held at the St. Albert Catholic Church Parish Hall raised over $2,500 - enough for five donkeys and kits.
The money was deposited directly into Sister Ann's order's account in New York. She can draw directly from this account from Ghana, making it even more satisfying - no middleman administration costs!
Once organized, they can "apply" for a donkey and a cart, complete with harness and water barrel.
Why a donkey and a cart? Because the villages are spread out and some distance from fresh water, markets and medical care, the donkey and cart serves as a mode of transportation.
These hard-working, docile animals haul water to the village, goods to and from the market, even sick to the nearest medical centre. The women must look after the donkey and all its needs like food and shelter. In return it provides invaluable service.
The diocesan CWL women are still selling tickets on a regular raffle, to be drawn at their April convention, so a few more donkeys may be able to be purchased.
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