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Volunteers meeting (25 October 2014)

At 11 in More Café the meeting begins, including Janine, Natalie, Judy, Holly (a Repton representative), Annerine, Asha, Jake, Aaron, Annalies, Sam, Janneke, Anne-Marie, Afework and Anke. Unfortunately Mila was unable to attend. They then proceeded to run through the agenda.

The agenda items consisted of:

1.Strategy day in Dubai

2.RAEY 100

This new campaign is to drum up donors – this can be an individual, group, company or organization – who pledge to raise a minimum of USD1,000 for the benefit of RAEY. Each of the RAEY 100 donors will go on the RAEY Wall of Fame at the school, on the RAEY website and get social media and newsletter recognition. We already have three members and are planning a marketing push to get more corporations to take up the challenge. 

3.Fundraising activities – 

•Calendar sales

•Christmas card sales 

•The shoe project

During summer school Asha and Aaron thought the greatest need for the children was new shoes. They found a local shoe factory in Addis "Peacock" who can provide custom made leather school shoes at USD11 per pair (ie. USD3,300 in total). Peacock staff will visit the school to do fittings as well and will take 2 weeks to prepare. Aaron would like to do the fundraiser as part of a school project, which will start in Q2 - it will therefore not be in time for Christmas, but could be done during Summer School/graduation in time for the new school year. 

The volunteers discussed best way to collect the funds, perhaps through website. Janine reminds that Paypal was used for Marie's bus fund, but was too difficult to get the funds from the States.  Annalies has a contact as JustGiving, who is already registered in Dubai, so easy to use them from here. Often used for marathon fundraisers etc, and donors can donate any amount via credit card online. Annalies can put Mila and Janine in touch with her contact.

4.RAEY Christmas

There are a few planning to make Ethiopian Christmas at Raey, which will be held at the school Friday January 9th. Dr Anne-Marie dismissed Ebola concerns as there is currently no threat in East Africa. It was agreed that the volunteers buy gifts in Addis rather than trying to transport from Dubai. Not only does this support the local economy, it avoids customs and transportation issues. Volunteers travelling should focus on transporting clothing and shoes. Books and stationary are also discouraged, as they are too heavy. 

Ethiopian guests at the meeting, Anke and Afework have a contact at Kaldi's coffee who has offered to sponsor cookies for Christmas day celebrations.

5.Transportation of items to Addis Ababa

6.Summer school

One of the guests from Australia, a nutrition student, suggested replacing one of the grains with a more nutritious type. Airlie and Judy worked on a visitors guide. Janine will arrange to circulate the final version to everyone.

7.Vacant positions

8.Tablet donation

There has been a generous donation of android devices from a contact in Saudi Arabia. Applications still need to be identified and uploaded onto the devices and they need to be transported to Addis. This could be an issue as it’s often not possible to transport more than two electronic tablets at a time through customs at Addis airport. 

The meeting closes at 1pm with a lot accomplished.