Here is what Pat Tanner wrote when she attended the African Soiree to benefit the United Front Against Riverblindness. Thank you, Pat for helping us spread the news.
And here is an account of how the family of the late Peter Meggitt received a very special award. From left: Hugo Meggitt, Liz Meggitt, and the presenter, Rev. Tom Lank.
This statuette of a child leading a blind adult was made by a third-generation sculptor from Burkina Faso. It represents the tragedy of the disease that affects more than just the infected person — and the hope that, with sustained community-based mass treatment, this common depiction of the disease will soon disappear.
The fifth annual African Soiree, held on March 1 at Princeton Theological Seminary, raised $16,000 for UFAR, the African-inspired, Lawrenceville-based nonprofit that aims, in partnership with other organizations, to eliminate and eventually eradicate riverblindness as a major public health and socio
–economic problem in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
In 2010 Peter traveled with a Princeton United Methodist church mission team to the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), and he made significant contributions to UFAR’s fundraising efforts for the past five years.
Also presented that evening: a certificate showing that a village has been sponsored in Peter’s s name. This sponsorship, which includes a picture of the village chief, keeps the entire village from going blind.
More than one-third of the 60 million people in the DRC are at risk for contracting riverblindness, according to Dr. Daniel Shungu, UFAR founder.
Photo by Robin Birkel.
Too many cooks won’t spoil the broth on Saturday, March 1, at the African Soiree to benefit United Front Against Riverblindness. Along with listening to folktales, shopping in an African market, and bidding on auction items, Soiree guests will enjoy a feast prepared by two dozen cooks and chefs from two restaurants: Makeda and Palace of Asia.
From the Democratic Republic of Congo:
- Goat a’la Congolaise
- Chicken moamba
- Banana snack
- Makayabo/fish & collards,
- Sliced mangoes and pineapple
From Ethiopa: injero, shero wat and doro wat (chicken stew)
From South Africa: oxtail casserole and chicken birnanyi
From Sierra Leone, Bean patties and fritters ‘Oleleh and Akara Balls’
From India: Samosa, meatballs, and goat
And for less adventurous appetites: chicken fingers, Chinese fried rice, green salad, tetrazzini, and barbecue wings.
The African Soiree is 5 to 8 p.m. at the Mackay Center of Princeton Theological Seminary. Tickets at $60 ($30 for kids and students) are still available by contacting event chair Susan Lidstone at UFAR@PrincetonUMC.org or 609-688-9979. Offstreet parking is free.
“We welcome the community to the fifth annual Soiree,” says UFAR founder Dr. Daniel Shungu. “As we enjoy the entertainment and the delicious African meal, we will enable UFAR to keep an entire village from going blind.” He will present a special award to the family of the late Peter Meggitt, a UFAR supporter who traveled to the Democratic Republic of Congo with a Princeton United Methodist Church mission team.
Photos by Robin Birkel
This painting by Rhinold Lamar Ponder is one of the items to be auctioned at the auction for the African Soiree, held at the Princeton Theological Seminary Mackay Center on Saturday, March 1, 5 to 8 p.m. It will benefit the United Front Against Riverblindness (www.riverblindness.org). For tickets, UFAR@princetonumc.org or call 609-688-9979.
Michele Tuck-Ponder, a member of the mission team from Princeton United Methodist church, will call the live auction of items. In the auction are also a framed needlepoint picture yby Susan Lidstone, specially designed copper bracelet from Randi Forman of Nassau Street-based Forest Jewelers, a needlepoint picture, a quilt that Tuck-Ponder made from African fabric. Aruna Arya, owner of the Palmer Square-based fashion store Zastra , will donate one of her designs. Elsie McKee will contribute items made by a Congo-based charity, Woman, Cradle of Abundance. A professor at Princeton Theological Seminary and a member of Witherspoon Street Presbyterian Church, McKee is in charge of local arrangements and the African market.
More than one-third of the 60 million people in the Democratic Republic of Congo are at risk for getting riverblindness. Caused by a parasite and transmitted by the black flies that live near the river, the disease takes two lives – the life of the adult who goes blind, and of the sighted child who must leave school to be the caretaker. The medicine is provided free by Merck & Co., but the distribution is a challenge. Using a community-directed approach that involves villagers who are appointed by their village chief, UFAR is able to treat more than two million persons each year. Annual treatment for each person in required for ten years to eliminate the disease.
UFAR is an African-inspired, Lawrenceville-based nonprofit charitable organization that aims, in partnership with other organizations, to eradicate onchocerciasis, a major public health problem in the Kasongo region of the DRC (riverblindness.org).