Fire in our Guinea Home

Below is an appeal our student and good friend Komala created on our behalf. We appreciate any support you can provide:

Dear Friends,
I'm writing to let you know about members of our community who have experienced a tragic event and need your help.

African drum, dance, music, and culture fills a space and ignites a passion in the hearts of many. I am thankful for this experience and
the space that it occupies in my life.

Abdoulaye Sylla, from Guinea, West Africa, and his wife Laurie Sylla, have experienced a devastating loss. Their family home in Guinea Conakry, which took them over a decade to build and where about a dozen and a half of their family members live, including Abdoulaye's elderly mother, granddaughter, and nieces and nephews who are mostly young children, caught fire and was severely damaged.

Fortunately no one was home when the fire started so no one was hurt, but the fire burned for quite a while before it was put out. They no longer have a roof over most of their house- you stand in the living room or dining room and see the sky. The walls are blackened. The wiring needs to be completely redone. It is imperative that these repairs are completed by May, before the heavy rains of Guinea's rainy season come, and destroy what is remaining of their home. There is no insurance on their home there.

It will cost about $7500 USD to make the repairs, and a couple thousand more on top of that to replace furniture and belongings. (Rounded estimate figures they have received include: nails- $70, tile- $130; cement $250; paint- $270; windows $1100; electrical - $1300; wood $670; ceiling material $650; roofing $2400; labor $700).
This fire comes on the heels of a fire in their Seattle home and two car accidents. Many in the family are sleeping on the floor, under the open sky. They have lost most of their possessions. All the furniture, their clothing, etc., is destroyed.

As you may know, the well-being of their family in Guinea, as is the case with many Africans, is the responsibility of family members who live outside the country. In this case, that is Abdoulaye. The family has attempted to find local assistance, but so far none is forthcoming. There isn't the same web of social and economic support there that we have in the US.

(Some of the family members who have been burnt out)

I have watched Abdoulaye and he continues to give to our community and to his family, even in the presence of multiple adversities, no matter what. He has extended himself countless times to others.

Please join me and give your support as generously as you can in their time of need. You can make secure donations through their , or if you prefer, you can contact them for their paypal account info or to get their address to send a personal check. If you don't have your own funds, perhaps you could host a benefit. Please also share this with others you know who might be inspired to give- through your email lists, your facebook pages, twitter, etc.

Thank you.

Komala Martin

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Laurie Sylla 
Seattle, WA
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