Charity Fair Aug. 7 to Fund Humanitarian Trips to Africa

July 26, 2010 - Campus Bulletin

A University of Guelph student and a recent graduate will help send local young humanitarians to Lesotho, Africa, next summer by holding a charity fair on campus Aug. 7.

The fundraising event — called Tsosa Molota (Sesotho for "to gather hope”) — is being organized by Abid Virani, a third-year international development student, and U of G graduate Ashleigh Martyn. Both are involved with Student Reach International (SRI), whose Reach Lesotho program for HIV/AIDS awareness offers a course in three Guelph high schools that includes an international development trip to South Africa.

Next summer, about 12 local students will visit Lesotho — an epicentre of Africa’s HIV/AIDS epidemic — to film a documentary to be shared with other high schools.

The campus charity fair, to be held from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m, will feature music by Pocket City, DJ Baker, cellist Adam Hart-Owens and other performers; an art auction in the Bullring with works by local artists such as Rob O’Flanagan and Perryn Kruth; and an Ultimate Frisbee fundraising tournament.

Virani helped establish SRI in 2007 to teach teens about global citizenship. The organization runs programs in nine post-secondary institutions and in more than 20 secondary and elementary schools across Canada.

He will lead the development of a documentary about this year’s trip. Through SRI, he also supports the Bracelet of Hope fundraising campaign to help Africans affected by HIV/AIDS. In June, Virani was named among Canada's "Top 20 Under 20" by Youth in Motion.

For tickets and information about the charity fair, visit

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