Trees of Peace

Trees of Peace

From Ross McKenna

I am fundraising to send funding to a Zimbabwe Africa non-for-profit for solar energy panels for families in the region effected by the nation's energy crisis.

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Hi my name is Ross McKenna and I am a former urban core art teacher and a graduate of the University of Missouri Kansas City MA. I am also an artist and I love committing myself to any endeavor if can lead to another improvement of another's quality of life and betterment. I posses an unrelenting passion for social justice, equality, and acts of humanitarianism!

You can find some examples of my work on an Etsy store I recently opened...

Several months ago I met Lancelot Muteyo through a friend who had worked with him in Zimbabwe on missions trip. Lancelot shared his despair with me for the people of Zimbabwe and Africa. The country and the continent have been in an economic crisis for some time now. In the 1990s the Zimbabwe government's corruption lead to the great collapse of a once booming Metropolis. The people of Zimbabwe we're so crippled by the collapse of the economy that their hourly wages dived to pennies on the dollar. The people began leaving their jobs in masses. At the time, Zimbabwe had nearly 14 million citizens, now just over four million, nearly one-third of their population is of refugee status living in South Africa.The current situation in Zimbabwe has become even more critical. Massive debt have left Zimbabwe with virtually no electricity. For the families that are lucky, a couple hours of electricity a night is a luxury. Needless to say, the people of Zimbabwe need a way to refrigerate food, and to power everyday household items that we so often take for granted.

Long story short, Lancelot and I began a dialogue in the hopes we could find a way to fund certain projects that would bring economic independence to the people of his region. I have a great of experience with e-commerce and it was our hope teach individuals some tools in efforts to make income via the internet. However, after exploring payment gateway after payment gateway, we found only two ways to send money to Zimbabwe Pay Pal, and wire transfers. Just over a month ago Lancelot began his first fundraising effort through an online site Bonfire. Fortunate for Lancelot was able to run a successful campaign and raise just over $300, unfortunately Bonfire informed Lancelot that they would be unable to pay him due to circumstances regarding his country's economic standing. As a result I wire transferred nearly $300 and Lancelot was able to purchase a small solar powered unit for his home. This morning Lancelot sent me pictures of units. Please consider, three-hundred dollars in Zimbabwe is a great deal of money, it's well over the average monthly pay for an individual in Zimbabwe, and just to allow further perspective, the American dollar is their only really form of currency, and the cost of goods and services is often more than what we as American citizens pay.

Suddenly it occurred to me, why not swing for the fences a little bit? And so I began this fundly endeavor. 

Our goal is $4500 and as many solar panel units as he can afford to furnish the most of in need members of his community. If and when we are funded, Lancelot will continue to share his story, gratitude, and pictures of his work!As I aforementioned before I am an artist. I am however, donating all of my time and effort, no overhead, to also setting up some reward levels based on donations. I have posted a few already, and I will continue to post more as I have time that allows.

-Ross P. McKenna

As for a better description of what Tree of Peace Africa is about, Lancelot gives a better explanation just below.  Trees of Peace Africa is a community based non-for-profit organization in Zimbabwe and South Africa whose communal initiatives is to aid individuals and families with clean, independent methods of energy, and to foster economic development, as well as empowerment.

The name Trees of Peace is derived from African symbols of peace, life, and unity.

- Lancelot Muteyo

Musha Africa

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