Take the plunge for Africa

Hardy souls can take a dip for charity on Sunday.

On Feb. 11, the annual Zimbabwe Project Polar Bear Swim will take place at Kal Beach.

Registration starts at 11:30 a.m. with participants taking the plunge at 1 p.m.

Entry is $10 per person or $25 for a family and entry forms can be found online.

All of the proceeds go toward the Vernon-based Zimbabwe Project which helps communities in the African nation with fresh water, education and starting businesses.

For the past decade, Vernon resident Angela Yablonski has been running Zimbabwe Project from her home.

The mission statement of the group is, “To help impoverished children and families in Zimbabwe by creating opportunities for education, health care, child care and community sustainability projects. 

Working with schools in the rural communities is essential for building up strong leadership for future generations.”

Yablonski said the registered charity helps local families start businesses so they can feed their children and pay to send them to school.

“They really are just looking for help to help themselves,” said Yablonski. “We help them to create businesses.”

In Africa, families must pay so much per month per child to attend school. If a family does not have the money, the child will not get an education.

By establishing sustainable businesses, Zimbabwe Project gives families a financial means to send their children to school

Zimbabwe Project is also active in providing fresh water to villages.

“Unfortunately, most of our people are walking eight to 12 kilometres every day just to get fresh water,” she said. “Lots of our kids walk eight kilometres just to get to school, but when they get to school they don't have any food. We are really partnering with those families in order to get those kids fed and get them to school and get fresh water.”

For more information on how to become involved, go to zimbabweproject.com.

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