Facebook contest sends Alberni teacher to Africa

ADSS social justice teacher Kama Money is off to Rwanda

A local teacher has won a trip to Africa to do humanitarian work this summer—her second such trip in a year.

Alberni District Secondary School social justice teacher Kama Money is going to Kigali, Rwanda from Aug. 2–11.

Money, who possesses an MA, entered the aptly called Smart Girl contest on Facebook in last spring and was sent a congratulatory note last Thursday.

“I let out a yelp in class when I read the note and my students thought something was wrong,” she said.

The former B.C. educator of the year winner will be participating in humanitarian work with a women’s rights focus, including helping build a girl’s school and participating in classes with students.

She’ll also be going on a gorilla trek in a nature reserve, as well as visiting the genocide museum in Rwanda.

“It’s hard working in conditions of extreme poverty—it’s not fun,” Money said. “ But I want to go back—I need to go back.”

Money found a contest aptly called Smart Girl on Facebook and submitted a 500 word essay on why she wanted to go to Rwanda.

“ What is a smartgirl? She is equipped, educated and empowered to fulfill her dreams. She listens carefully, asks questions and confidently shares her voice,” Money wrote.

“She works as an ally to improve the lives of girls around the world. Please help me continue to influence our next generation of smartgirls.”

The initiative is sponsored by Smartwater, which is a subsidiary of Coca-Cola.

Joining Money are two other Canadian contest winners as well as 2010 Olympic silver medallist Jennifer Heil, who donated $25,000 to the Because I am a Girl campaign.

The visit to the genocide museum in Rwanda will have a profound impact on Money, both as a social justice and a high school teacher, she said.

The facility commemorates the more than 800,000 Tutsi people who were killed by Hutu peoples in the 1990s.

“What the UN said would never happen again after (the Second World War) did happen,” Money said.

“It’s important for me to be a witness and do my part not to forget.”

Money won a similar contest sponsored by Red Rose last year.

She and fellow teacher Kym Cyr spent two weeks in Nairobi, Kenya doing humanitarian work.

“That experience really touched my heart and soul,” Money said.

Sometimes Money says she is asked why she doesn’t do humanitarian work in Canada.

“I do ‘do’ that kind of work during the school year,” she said.

Experiencing extreme poverty, advocating for women’s rights, and supporting alternate income projects abroad pays dividends back home.

“It makes me a better educator about those issues when I discuss those issues here in Port Alberni,” Money said.

After her stay in Rwanda, Money is plowing into another project, this time with fellow teacher Donald Montgomery in Nicaragua.

“The model in Nicaragua fits best practice,” Money said.

“It’s charity and dependence versus sustainability and independence.”

reporter@albernivalleynews.com

Just Posted

Accident causes power outage on Beaver Creek Road

One sent to West Coast General Hospital in crash

West Coast Hockey Prep Camp draws nearly 1,000 players to Port Alberni

History-making Korean hockey coach joins league of celebrity instructors

Port Alberni co-ops targeted in different crimes

One break-and-enter, one case of graffiti at each gas station

Offroad racing happening at Alberni Motorsports Park July 21–22

Last mud truck event until September on the Port Alberni track

Lease agreement signed for Port Alberni oil spill response base

25-year lease agreement is part of a larger expansion plan

Here’s what you need to know about Day 1 at the BC Games

All 18 events kick off on the track, riding ring, fields, courts and lake in the Cowichan Valley

VIDEO: How to throw a frisbee

Ultimate frisbee player Amy Mackay shows off the proper technique

Site C dam project plagued by problems: expert

E. Harvey Elwin expresses concern about internal BC Hydro and government documents

Seal attacks kayakers in the Broughton Archipelago

“It has to be one chance in a million of this happening.”

Victoria-area park sign removed after glitch redirects to porn site

Resident looking to learn more about workout equipment discovered the problem code

Special Olympic athletes take on BC Games during special anniversary

Known as the Global Day of Inclusion, July 20 marks the first Special Olympics in 1968 in Chicago

Scammers dressed as Mounties threaten to arrest senior if she doesn’t cough up cash

Pair of fraudulent officers threaten to arrest 90-year-old woman

Fundraiser to help mom of jogger detained after crossing U.S. border

Cedella Roman, 19, was held in U.S. after accidentally crossing border in South Surrey

Okanagan Wildfires: The latest on wildfires and evacuations

A Friday morning look at the major wildfires impact the Okanagan and Similkameen.

Most Read