For this edition of our Charitable Choices series we spoke with Aline Gahiza of Wings of Hope for Africa Foundation to find out more about what they do.
Describe your charity/non-profit in a few sentences.
We’re a registered charity dedicated to family welfare, empowering communities and developing self-sufficiency programs as a means to end poverty within Burundi and Rwanda in East Africa, as well as at our home base of Calgary.
What problem does it aim to solve?
We aims to eradicate poverty through a variety of opportunities that give families and individuals a hand up in life. This includes providing fair access to education as well as developing small-business activities and supplying emergency relief.
When did you start/join it?
Wings of Hope for Africa Foundation was founded on Sept. 9, 2010.
What made you want to get involved?
Wings of Hope for Africa was born out of my compassion for children in need. When I became a mother, I realized how painful it would be to see your children suffer due to hunger. When any of my children are sick, I start to think of those African mothers who don’t have anything to give to their children when they’re ill, let alone when they have everyday needs. I launched Wings of Hope for Africa so I could be the voice of the voiceless —- to be an advocate for their rights. I was keen to help those in need.
What was the situation like when you started?
Undeveloped countries like Burundi and Rwanda have a history of widespread poverty, particularly because of wars that regularly arise. We have been able to touch the lives of many in these countries, giving them new skills, whether through training for adults or schooling all ages of children.
Our Hope for Kids Program in Calgary is also making a visible impact for low-income and single-parent households.
Thanks to our sponsors, we are able to financially help parents send their children to school. We also identify other resources to support these families even further.
How has it changed since?
In almost 10 years of being a charity, we have provided a wealth of programs and opportunities both here in Canada and overseas.
Through our Back to School program, we have supported 650 children. We’ve supplied essential healthcare to 600 families.
We’ve helped families achieve self-sustainability, particularly when it comes to our two community gardens in Burundi. We’ve supported 490 families from Kivumu as well as 310 families from Buterere.
Our donors have sponsored 200 children in Burundi so they can have the basic necessities in life.
We’ve invested $150,000 into Calgary families through our Hope for Kids Canada program.
What more needs to be done?
We will continue to raise funds so we can deliver our mission. We believe that businesses and charities can achieve more by working together to address social and environmental issues, rather than by working alone.
How can our readers help?
We warmly invite private and public organizations to become our partners and sponsors.
By partnering with us, we can achieve great things in the fight against poverty both in Burundi, Rwanda as well as in Alberta. As well, we’re ready to partner with you in implementing key projects for your business, community organization or government department or agency.
Do you have any events coming up?
We are currently running our 10th Back to School campaign providing supplies to children in need. You can learn more by going online at https://www.wingsofhopeforafrica.ca/back-to-school-campaign-2021/
Wings of Hope for Africa will celebrate our 10th anniversary on Sept. 9, which we’re really looking forward to.
Where can we follow you?
PAY IT FORWARD: What is an awesome local charity that you love?