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Tuesday, October 30, 2018

Charitable Cincinnatians: Set the Date for Tandana Foundation Fund Raiser

Tandana's Cincinnati committee members are Hope Taft and Kit Duval (front row); Suzanne Sizer and Kitty Rosenthal (second row); Alta Beasley (third row); Dick Duval, Brent Coleman and Jennifer Goodin (top row).

The Tandana Foundation, a non-profit that sponsors community initiatives in Ecuador, South America, and Mali, West Africa, will hold a "Friends and Funds Raiser" at the Bell Event Centre on the evening of Thursday, November15.

Hosts will be Tandana founder Anna Taft and her parents, Hope and Bob Taft. The first major foray into Cincinnati by the Dayton-based charity offers Greater Cincinnatians the chance to learn about Tandana's programs and volunteer excursions. Also, they can commit to sponsoring the education of a student in Ecuador and bid on auction items that vary from special experiences to indigenous artwork and clothing hand-selected by the Tafts.

The winner of a $100-per-ticket raffle of a seven-day, Victoria Falls African Adventure for two will be announced during the event. There will be appetizers and a cash bar, as well.

Cincinnati native Anna Taft founded Tandana in 2006, having been humbled by the love she was shown by friends she made in the highlands of Ecuador while teaching English there. Tandana launched its first Mali project - a school garden - in 2007, and the foundation's respectful, face-to-face relationships in both countries have blossomed ever since.

Tandana provides school scholarships and medical services and helps to plant gardens, construct buildings and create financial  cooperatives to improve community infrastructure and the independence of local residents. Volunteers from around the United States - including University of Cincinnati students earlier this year and Purcell Marian High School students in 2019 - experience Tandana in Ecuador. Cincinnati physicians, master gardeners and plain folks have been Tandana volunteers, too.

"It has been exciting to collaborate with our Cincinnati committee to share Tandana's philosophy of working from the inside out with our many friends here," Hope Taft said.

Volunteers, she added, are like mentors who guide and provide, show - instead of tell - villagers how to develop the courage and confidence needed to elevate their quality of life. Many Tandana-supported scholars have become the first in their families to attend high school, let alone college. Most return to their communities to lead and work.

The the goal of the "Friends and Funds Raiser" is to spread awareness of Tandana in the Tafts' former hometown while raising scholarship and project money. 

"Tandana means 'unite' or 'bring together' in Ecuador's Kichwa language." Hope Taft said. "This is Cincinnati's opportunity to partner with us and local organizations to build self-reliance, dignity and hope for a better future. 

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