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Helping in Malawi, one suitcase at a time

Malawian orphans are about to receive a surprise in the form of 19 suitcases full of needed supplies. - Photo submitted
Malawian orphans are about to receive a surprise in the form of 19 suitcases full of needed supplies.
— image credit: Photo submitted

This coming Sept. 11 at the Royal Coachman Carriage House, anyone interested in helping the people of Africa can learn more about another way to do just that.

For a $25 donation to The African Traveling Suitcase, an organization providing supplies to orphanages in Malawi, Kenya and Tanzania, participants will have the opportunity to enjoy traditional Malawian food prepared by chef Max Libala (who will also be performing the Malawian music) and bid on any of 19 empty suitcases.

Those suitcases each represent one orphan in the orphanage to which Yvonne Pelletier-Paul and her voluntourism group are travelling in October, and will be filled with supplies tailored for each child, either by the winning bidder, or by volunteers with the Travelling Suitcase organization.

“In my experience,” said Pelletier-Paul, who has been running tours and safaris in Africa for years, “people want to do more than just see the country they’re traveling to. They want to give back whenever they can, for having the opportunity to see it.”

Pelletier-Paul said she’s also hoping that 19 people also sign up for the Malawi tour (they don’t have to be the successful bidders on the suitcases) to deliver the now-full luggage to the Chikondi orphanage in Malawi.

For more information on the fundraiser, to purchase tickets, or the Malawi tour itself, contact Pelletier-Paul at 250-204-3332 or Arlene Lihala at 250-204-3612.

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