Emceeing the Youth Education Farms Fundraising Gala 2017

You know that quote, “give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime.” 

That’s one way to describe Youth Education Farms.

YEF does more than just raise funds for orphans and vulnerable youth in Swaziland, it also provides them an opportunity to create a brighter future by helping them afford an education.

It’s because of the HIV epidemic in Swaziland that annually tens of thousands of children are orphaned and/or impacted in other ways, leaving them with little to nothing, according to YEF. 

YEF was founded in 2008, and what started as a rotational crop farm grew larger, and then fast forward a few years later, it opened up a store just several minutes away in a busy area of town.

The YEF store sells the agricultural products from the farm, and the profits go towards paying for tuition fees. And another goal of YEF’s is to provide jobs in the community to create income for people.

As of early November, there are 120 students in the YEF program who can now attend school.

Photos by: Allison Kuhl

It felt like an absolute privilege to be part of the YEF 2017 Fundraising Gala as the emcee, and to see the Vancouver community come together to fundraise for a community on the other side of the world to give them what so many of us take for granted; meals, transportation and access to education, to name a few.

The goal was to raise more funding to go towards student programs, tuition fees, YEF education courses, compensation for the teachers, and a small percentage for the YEF farm and store upgrades.

YEF President and Founder Riley Mari says $120,000 was raised that night  – big congratulations!

YEF Founder and President Riley Mari speech before video presentation. Photography by Allison Kuhl.

Booje Media did a fabulous job organizing such a wonderful event at The Permanent, a gorgeous heritage building in Vancouver. 

Howard Blank lead the live auction, there was also a silent auction, a raffle prize – and a live painting by John Ferrie, which went up for auction as well. 

John Ferrie painting live at gala. Photography by Allison Kuhl.

The music performers were in-cred-ible. Chloé Morgan played today’s and past hits while she DJ’d and sang, and Eli Bennet rocked the saxophone. 

Chloé Morgan and Eli Bennet. Photography by Allison Kuhl.

A big thank you again to YEF and Booje Media for the opportunity to be part of such a wonderful cause and evening! 

And thank you Allison Kuhl for all the amazing photos!

If you would like to contribute to YEF, or learn more, head to www.youtheducationfarms.com.

Booje Media’s Sandra Shechter, Chloé Morgan, Me, Booje Media’s Danika Thibault, Eli Bennet. Photography by Allison Kuhl.