Send Mary to Guinea with WOFA!

WOFA (means "let's get together" in the Sousou language of Guinea) is Pioneer Valley Performing Arts School's (PVPA, African Drum and Dance troupe founded and directed by Guinea Artist Alpha "Kabisko" Kaba. They are currently performing and giving workshops in any venue that will have them. Their mission is to raise enough money to send the troupe to Guinea in January 2014 so they can immerse themselves in the culture from which their craft originated. They are presently learning French, designing their own authentic costumes, and learning how to choreograph and compose song and dance, all the while becoming fluent in the art of self promotion. They are a dynamic and culturally diverse group of students with a real passion and commitment to what they do.

In Guinea students will be immersed in daily drum, dance and language lessons, as well as, educational trips throughout the capital city of Conakry and visits to several nearby villages. The educational outcomes of this trip will be enormous as WOFA students get to experience first hand the culture in which their art form is from.

As the School Nurse at PVPA, I feel that my experience and skills as a medical professional would be of valuable service to WOFA on their educational/experiential journey to West Africa so I offered to accompany them to Guinea in January. The members of WOFA enthusiastically accepted my offer. I have been given the green light to accompany WOFA to Guinea if I am able to cover the cost of paying for a substitute nurse for the 3 weeks that I would be away and for my costs for the trip. I need to raise $3,750.

I have a deeply held belief in the trans-formative and life-long impact that these kinds of experiences can have on the young adults in our lives. I believe that my accompanying WOFA will make their journey a much safer one. As much as I believe that this experience will enrich the lives of our students, I know that it will enrich my own life, as well.

I am unable to cover the total cost of this trip personally so I am reaching out to family and friends to consider helping me underwrite the cost of my accompanying the WOFA students on their amazing venture to Guinea. Please know that I have no expectations. You have my endless gratitude for your support in any amount.

I plan to pay this incredible learning experience forward by sharing my experience - both in my community and with family and friends.

I will set up a web page with photos and a narrative while I am in Africa so you can come with me to Guinea.
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Mary Colwell 
Northampton, MA
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