Chelan to Africa was founded in 2004 when a group of individuals were brought together with the common desire to help the some of the millions of children being orphaned by the HIV epidemic in Africa. For us, these children are our responsibility too.
We spent several months researching the various groups in many different nations. One day, Amy received the Notre Dame magazine in the mail and the story of Touching Tiny Lives was featured on the cover. Ken Storen was in Lesotho with the Peace Corp and was basically handed an orphaned child. Out of that, the Touching Tiny Lives safehouse was born as well as the Touching Tiny Lives Foundation. Our group decided that this is the organization that we want to support due to the following:
The story of Lesotho is also compelling. Lesotho is a small country, landlocked within South Africa. It has a population of about 2 million people and is about the size of the state of Maryland. Formerly a British colony, Lesotho became independent in 1966. The HIV/AIDS epidemic has hit the Basotho people hard. They are 3rd in the world for percentage of their population with HIV, and the majority of those infected are young women- this equates to about 30% of child-bearing age women are HIV positive. They also are highest in the world with percentage of children who have lost one or both parents.
Our activities thus far have been hosting an annual benefit concert in Chelan. And, for the last few years, we have worked with a local, charitable organization. This compliments our mission of contributing in Chelan and Africa. This year will be our 14th Annual Benefit and Concert and we are excited to be back in-person!
The funds raised will benefit organizations that focus on children in Chelan and in Africa. We will be giving a portion of our proceeds to our Chelan partner organization, Thrive Chelan Valley. Thrive is a local non-profit committed to advocating for and empowering the community to provide programs/services which equip area youth with the skills to achieve their full potential. Thrive Chelan Valley offers six local programs.
In 2019 we raised more than $20,000 through ticket sales and auction items. Our success in raising funds has been built on the generosity of donors and concert attendees. We look forward to celebrating with you!