Agnes Zabali Club launches 2023 fundraiser in Ottawa
You can make an Impact: Agnes Zabali Boys and Girls Club (AZBGC) Annual Fundraiser 2023 in Ottawa
By Joy Osiagwu
Saturday 11 November 2023
The impact of the work carried out by the Agnes Zabali Boys and Girls Club (AZBGC) in Kamengo, Uganda, is highly appreciated by the Ottawa community.
The show of support and solidarity at the organization’s 2023 annual fundraiser at the Carleton Dominion-Chalmers Centre depicted the value of community support for the vulnerable. Statistics from UNICEF on the share extreme number of poor children concentrated in Africa is alarming. Furthermore, COVID-19 has aggravated the challenges, which has kept over seven million children in extreme conditions, according to the report.
What better time than now for a call to action on the need for volunteers and funders to get involved in a program created to provide a safe learning and supportive place for the children and youth of Kamengo? Worthy of note is the consistency of the founder, Jimmy Sublime, who has kept the ‘compassionate torch’ of his mother, Agnes Zabali alive for 17 years.
I stood behind my camera recording the event but listening to Jimmy and all the speakers pour out their hearts, soliciting funds for children and youth in faraway Kamengo and was inspired to start something in my community. Such was the atmosphere and mood of the evening.
“Every village in Africa needs a boys and girls club,” said Jimmy Sublime as he spoke about the annual budget of the AZBGC, which is currently forty thousand dollars. They also have the cash and medical mission to Uganda and the focus on education as the club’s main priority. From one speaker to the other came an outpouring of their visit to Kamengo, and the amazing work done by the team responsible for the AZBGC. There were inspirational stories about Agricultural projects, impressive educational report cards, and narratives about excellent cooking skills by the young girls.
The speakers also spoke about the bleak reality for children today in Uganda and the importance of committing to support them. “When you support one child, you impact ten and when you support ten, you impact the community,” said David Kajoba, President of the Uganda Association of Ottawa (UAO).
Yvette Yende-Ashiri, a politician and community advocate, spoke about the rights of women and girls and the need to protect them from violence, abuse, and mental health challenges.
Father Martin Ndyanabo of St. Elizabeth Catholic Church, in a storyteller approach, conveyed a message of hope and how volunteers can change the mentality and disposition of the youth in Kamengo and, Africa towards life and leadership. “Go home and give back to change the community- the vital force is what connects us to create hope. Get involved.” He concluded.
Nambi and the Kamengo Cultural Troupe, plus Ngoma of Africa, entertained guests who also had the opportunity to get involved in the raffle draw at the event.
The organizers provided food and drinks and also a colorful bazaar with African crafts and other items for purchase to support the fundraiser.
The night’s ambiance nudged many attendees’ generosity and the need to stay focused on supporting the vulnerable in the community. The story of Agnes Zabali and her passion for the children and youth in Kamengo lives on through the AZBGC piloted by her son, Jimmy, supported by her friends in Canada and Uganda, the Canada Africa Community Health Alliance, and many other community advocates.
The Ottawa committee of the AZBGC is responsible for fundraising to keep orphans and vulnerable children and youth in Kamengo in school. Click on the link to watch the event’s colorful performances and a few speeches.
To read more about Jimmy, his passion, and how the AZBGC started in 2006, click the link to BOS Conversation with Jimmy in 2014.