Michele Sprada, a second-grade teacher at Lindbergh School in Kenmore, a suburb of Buffalo, N.Y., has spent three summers volunteering in Kenya and Tanzania, with the international fund-raising organization Future In Our Hands.
Sprada, who co-founded the American branch of the agency in 2004, will discuss what she learned volunteering outside of the classroom when she speaks at 4 p.m. on Friday, March 7 in Coxe 8.
Future In Our Hands currently sponsors 30 students in African high schools and colleges by paying their school fees. Its volunteers have built 14 wells to supply clean, safe drinking water and provided transportation for HIV/AIDS patients to receive their anti-retroviral medication. The group also provides small loans to 12 women’s groups to assist in income-generating activities and provides children’s books to local schools that lack reading material. FIOH has been active internationally since the 1960s.
“If everyone does just a little bit, a whole lot can be accomplished,” Sprada said. “Many people believe that we have poor people in our own country and we should just take care of our own. They don't understand the difference between relative poverty and absolute poverty. The poor in the USA would be considered wealthy by Kenyan standards.”
Sprada's visit to campus is sponsored by the Intercultural Affairs Center, the Multicultural Awareness House and the Women’s Collective, as part of the celebration of International Women’s Day and the Women’s Collective third annual “Reclaiming the Sunlight” Conference.
A tea reception will follow at 5 p.m. at the Intercultural Affair Center; all are invited.