The Ota Initiative Blog

Thank You for a Successful Spring Fundraiser!

Dear Friends of Ota, I would like to extend a giant thank you to everyone who attended our Spring for Ota FUNdraiser or donated online last weekend. In total we raised almost $1,000! This exceeded our goal for the night and guarantees that we will be able to continue offering quality educational opportunities to Kayanga’s children this summer. The party started with a delicious sampling of Tanzanian treats - kachumbari (tomato salad), matunda (mixed fruit), chipsi (fresh fried potatoes), and maharage ya nazi (coconut beans). The beans, soaked overnight and then cooked in coconut milk with onions and ginger, were easily the party favorite. They take about 12 hours to prepare, but they are completely worth it.

As more people arrived, the conversation was plentiful and varied. A beautiful part of these events is always bringing together people and forging new friendships based on a passion for education. The centerpiece of the night was the Silent Auction table, which was laden with authentic goods from Tanzania that attendees could bid on. Items up for auction included tea, coffee, chocolate, spices, purses, and a Tanzanian soccer jersey. The most intense competition of the night was over a Marine Security Guard badge from the U.S. Embassy in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania’s capital. An ongoing bidding war throughout the night culminated with a last-second winning bid of $150. The winner shared his stirring immigration story to explain why winning the badge was so important to him.

While unfortunately the party had to eventually come to an end, its effects will be felt for a long time to come as it has enabled us to run our sixth program this summer. To everyone who came, thank you for the wonderful conversation and your contributions to Ota. I look forward to sharing stories of how your donations are being put to use in the weeks to come.


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