Jun 19, 2010

Rotary Gala and Fundraiser for burn victims

Last night I went to a Rotary fundraiser for child burn victims. Apparently, very small children in poor families here are often at risk of falling into large ovens (fours) or open fires, which Moroccan families often use for preparing food.

The fact that these victims are known in French as  enfants brûlés, adds an aspect of Jonathan Swift-esque horror to this common domestic (kitchen) accident. Everyone seemed deeply moved and disturbed by the social/class element to this problem

In response to this issue, the Rotary club here has teamed up with l'association marocaine pour le sourire de l'enfant and the Rabat Hospital to raise funds for this cause.

The money goes towards reconstructive surgery and emergency care for the victims, and towards an awareness campaign for preventing such accidents from happening in the future. Many of the Rotarians I spoke to expressed interest in teaming up with the Knoxville club on this and other projects.

Here are some photos from the Gala! There were two bands: one from the Congo and another from Rabat.

Fundraising activities included:
1) a tombola or raffle: the top prize was either a Cartier pen and watch or a vacation package
2) a very cool fashion show followed by a dress auction: about 30 caftans or traditional Moroccan dresses were shown and auctioned off
3) and of course a cash bar with expensive drinks!

Also, Rotarians like dancing, singing, and clapping their hands so much that there was a fake wedding! This was a great chance for me to see an example of traditional Moroccan wedding attire and customs. Some ladies got into it so much that they started ululating.

I think may also have been an opportunity for the woman who designed all the dresses and clothing for the runway show to display a broader range of her products. I think she kindly donated the dresses to the auction.

Overall the Gala was a great success. People had a good time and the Rabat-Chellah club raised lots of money for a great cause.Below: a caftan, the blushing bride, and my host counselor Sidi Oumali getting-down to Congolese music

No comments:

Post a Comment