The Travel Agent Next Door (TTAND) announced it raised approximately CAD $46,000 at its conference in MAR for the charity Pencils for Kids. TTAND has been raising funds for Pencils for Kids for the last 5 years with funds totalling CAD $125,000, with this year’s contribution bringing it to CAD $171,000.
“We are extremely grateful not only to our travel agent partners but to our generous suppliers, without whom this would not have been possible,” said Flemming Friisdahl, Founder, The Travel Agent Next Door. “Suppliers contributed financially as well as through donations to the silent auction. This was a team effort between our agent partners, our suppliers and the TTAND head office team.”
According to TTAND, the money raised has gone towards such things as 5 computers, 450 books by African writers for a library, and three computers for communal use at the Town Hall and school library. The funds also purchased chairs and tents for rentals to provide ongoing income for the local community in Niger, Africa, as well as also 30 sewing machines for the community.
Using the funds raised, three young women were sent to nursing school and two of them have come back to their community to work there.
Funds raised by TTAND also have been put towards the cost of building two permanent kindergartens in Niger, in addition to the furnishings such as desks, chairs, blackboard, teacher's desk, and student resources. The schools were just recently launched in the past few months and now an additional two schools will be built using TTAND’s new funds from this conference.
According to TTAND, the kindergartens are being built to replace the ones made of straw that are no longer allowed in the country after a fire in the capital city of Niamey, which claimed the lives of children in a building made of straw.
“When that happened, Pencils for Kids was determined to rebuild any kindergarten of straw in the community of Libore where we were helping -- 13 of them -- so that all children of kindergarten age would be able to still go to school,” said Robin Mednick, President and Executive Director, Pencils for Kids. “Every kindergarten we erect is built in memory of the children who perished in that first fire and there is a plaque to this effect on each and every one we build.”