On June 2nd, 2018, four benevolent women, Susan Morrison, Linda Salzer, Lois Gundrum, and Janice Joyce, held a sidewalk sale during the Watervliet Citywide Garage Sale in Watervliet, NY. Watervliet is a small city located about 10 miles north of Albany, the state capitol of New York. All of the proceeds from the sale went to two nonprofit organizations, Espace Opoko and eSynergy. Both of these organizations are dedicated to assuring the indigenous students living in the village of Bambama, the Republic of Congo, get the same opportunity for a proper education as their peers in other villages. These indigenous students are pygmies; they are not treated at all well by the rest of society.
The sidewalk sale took place on Third Avenue between the hours of 9:30am and 3:30pm. For the first 30 minutes, nobody stopped at their booths, so these “vendors” began to become alarmed and starting questioning their initiative. They wondered how else they could raise funds to contribute to the education of these indigenous children in Congo if the sale was not a success. Soon afterward, the first person stopped to ask about the price of some of the books that were for sale. This person agreed to pay $1.00...at last, the first sale was made. Sporadically, people stopped at one of the stands to ask about some of the items; occasionally, they would purchase something, but most of the time, not.
It wasn't until noon, when a young lady stopped at one of the tables with her cute baby daughter. She was in her twenties and her daughter was 18 months old. The young mom tried to buy some toys for her daughter, but her daughter did not show much interest in them. The young mom later learned that the sale was being held to support underprivileged pygmy children in Congo. She was so moved by the cause that she donated $20; this was the highest donation given by one person that day. May God bless this young lady, her daughter and all the other wonderful people that made donations.
Later, on June 23rd, Linda Salzer held a tag sale at her apartment in Cambridge, New York. Linda was determined to find a way to help more of the unfortunate indigenous students living in Bambama, the Republic of Congo. She went to the extent of selling some of her daughter's old items in an attempt to raise as much money as she could. Unfortunately, June 23rd was a rainy day, so it really came as no surprise that there weren't a lot of people out that day looking for tag sales. However, it was surprising to see how Linda managed to raise $134 that day. Under a small blue tent, Linda constantly moved objects from one place to another to protect them from getting wet. Linda’s persistence shows how much she cares about vulnerable kids. Because of Linda’s effort, and the work of the entire group, they raised a total of $434. Thank you to Susan Morrison, Linda Salzer, Lois Gundrum and Janice Joyce; May God bless you all.
The funds raised by these compassionate women will be used to rebuild a roof attached to one of the classrooms in Bambama that was torn off during a violent storm. It is in this classroom where many pygmy students learn to read and write. Students from the classroom that lost its roof had to squeeze into another small classroom with other students, making learning very difficult, almost impossible. However, the solution came quickly thanks to the support from people who know how to make a difference.
This is what we all decided to do: The $434 would be used to purchase a large tree in order to use that resource to make enough lumber to repair the roof so the classroom could become usable again. We will update this article when the construction of the roof is complete and we have further information and pictures.