It has been quite a year. Abdoulaye’s passing was a huge shock and devastating loss, leaving a hole in our hearts and our lives. But he left so much more than that. He left us with our memories of his warmth and his humor, of his talent and his caring. He left us with his commitment to building family and community and bringing people together in a tapestry of mutual respect, joy, strength, and harmony. He left us a legacy of love and generosity; he was an example of how to live and love with a giving heart.
Guinea Exchange, the non-profit organization that assisted us with our Beyond Ebola benefit last year, has agreed to partner with us to establish the Abdoulaye Sylla Memorial Fund.
As many of you know, Abdoulaye was devoted to his family in Guinea. His extended family counted on us to meet many of their basic needs, such as food, housing, medical care, and education. Although Abdoulaye is gone, their needs persist. The Guinea Exchange Abdoulaye Sylla Memorial Fund will serve as a vehicle for tax-deductible donations to continue to help provide for Abdoulaye’s family in Guinea. Our dollars go a long way in making a difference in their lives.
$20 feeds Abdoulaye’s household in Guinea for 1 day
$30 pays for a month of after-school tutoring for five children
$40 pays for 100 pounds of rice
$100 pays for a clinic visit and a typical course of medicine
$200 pays for a year of school fees/uniform/school supplies for one child
$600 feeds Abdoulaye’s household in Guinea for 1 month
Donations may be made through Guinea Exchange’s website at http://www.guineaexchange.org/ or via checks sent to: Guinea Exchange, 35 South Willson, Bozeman, MT 59715. Checks should be made to Guinea Exchange. Be sure to indicate “Abdoulaye Sylla” on your check memo line. If you make an on-line donation, when you are in the “review your donation screen” you can click on the “Designate your program here (optional) line and write in Abdoulaye. They will be updating their website in the near future, making it easier to designate your donation. Gifts may be made in honor or in memory of someone. One hundred percent of your donation will help Abdoulaye’s family.
During this holiday season, please consider making a tribute gift to the Abdoulaye Sylla Memorial Fund. You can also give yourself or others holiday gifts that keep Abdoulaye present. We still have Abdoulaye’ traditional music CD, his “Guinee Faree” dance instruction DVD, and his “Doundoun Dance Workout” instruction DVD available. Abdoulaye Sylla memorial T-Shirts and tank tops are also available. DVDs, CDs, and T-shirts can be ordered through our website at www.danceanddrum.com. (Gifts will not arrive in time for Chanukah. DVDs and CDs will arrive in time for Christmas if ordered by 12/17. T-shirt/tank top arrival will depend on if we have size in stock or need to order.)
As the year draws to a close, I encourage you to take the time to reflect on and appreciate the blessings in your life, and all the ways you are a blessing to others. I hope 2016 brings you health and happiness, the fulfillment of your wishes and many unexpected joys.