WASHINGTON D.C. —
Zimbabweans in the United Kingdom are preparing for a gala dinner at the Hilton Hotel in Reading, Berkshire, on Saturday to raise funds for disadvantaged children and communities in Zimbabwe.
The event will be hosted by a charity group called Creating Better Futures Out of Africa.
Co-founder and volunteer chief executive officer, Dorothy Dix, told VOA the gala, which last year raised £4,520 to support the education and welfare of orphans and vulnerable children in Zimbabwe, will also celebrate African culture.
“Zimbabwe has got more than a million orphans that need our help and I’m glad to say so far in the few years that we have been in existence, we are managing to send 135 disadvantaged children to school and we are also feeding 1,000 pupils every day in rural schools,” said Dix.
“Among many others, the Mayor of Reading, Sarah Hacker, has confirmed that she will be attending our biggest event of the year and we are very excited.”
Now in its third year, the Out of Africa Charity Ball brings together Zimbabweans from all walks of life and friends of Zimbabwe from different cultures and countries.
The evening will include sensational live African and Zimbabwean entertainment, a three-course meal and an exciting charity auction with vendors selling different artefacts and products to raise as much money as possible as the charity seeks to increase the number of children under its care.
The charity, which is registered in Zimbabwe, works directly with churches, rural schools, orphanages and also the Rotary Club of Harare, among others, in its quest to help struggling communities and orphans in Zimbabwe.
It provides school fees, uniforms, stationery, medical care and other necessities for children under its program.
Dix says she set up the charity with her husband and friends from her church in 2011 as a way of giving back to the community.
“I was sponsored to go to high school in Norway for two years and then I was sponsored again to come to the UK on a full scholarship at Reading University so education really changed my life and opened up opportunities for me that I know that my mother as a single parent would never have been able to afford and we just felt that God had blessed us to be a blessing to others,” she said.
“So when the opportunity came up to set up an organization that works directly orphans and the vulnerable in my country, I was very excited and I thought this is a great way of not only giving something back but also of possibly creating opportunities that these children would have otherwise not have.”
Tickets are selling for £50 per person and £450 for a table of 10 guests.
For more information on the gala, please visit http://www.creatingbetterfutures.org.uk/out-of-africa-charity-ball-2015