It's been a year like no other, but I'm happy to close out 2020 by fundraising again for the VAD Foundation.
Fortunately, COVID-19 did not hit South Sudan as badly as feared. But in March the government closed all schools, so the Foundation's educational programs were interrupted for much of the year. Instead, the co-founder Valentino pivoted operations to supporting South Sudan's COVID-19 response.
In the spring, Valentino led a task force that traveled around rural communities distributing face-masks, hand sanitizer, and raising awareness about the importance of social distancing and safe hygiene. By summer, the region was hit by critical food insecurity -- to help, the Foundation employed over a hundred young people to cultivate and harvest crops. (Part of the organization's newish community development programs in agriculture, fish-farming, animal husbandry, and vocational training.) In October the government reopened schools for 8th and 12th graders, so the Alok Girls' Academy implemented safety protocols and welcomed a small group of students back into the classrooms.
After a troubling year around the world, I'm really happy to help raise support for this organization. As a tiny nonprofit, they really punch above their weight. Through hard work and determination, Valentino and his staff are helping educate, empower, and bring peace to a really difficult corner of the world. If you're able, I'd love your support again this year!
Thanks, and best wishes for a bright new year--
P.S. If your company offers matching gifts, here's some handy info: the Valentino Achak Deng (VAD) Foundation is a U.S.-based, 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization headquartered at 849 Valencia Street, San Francisco CA 94110, and our tax ID is 20-5961736.