On Saturday, April 27th, at 6:00 PM an unusual sound could be heard echoing through the elegant lobby of Oracle's office building in Reston, Virginia. Drumming. As Daniel Greenburg played beautiful rhythms on various percussion instruments, guests at Global Camps Africa's Celebrate Sizanani 2013 immediately caught the spirit of the evening's event. And when South African Camp Sizanani Director, Kabelo Malefane, joined him, the tone for the night was set.
Guests at the sold-out event enjoyed South African wine, an extensive silent auction offering, beautiful music sung by the children of Laurel Learning Center, and delicious appetizers donated by various local restaurants (click here to see donors and sponsors).
After a wonderful dinner, the Honorable Harris Wofford - one of the
co-chairmen of the event - shared his experience visiting Camp Sizanani
with his grandson. He expressed how deeply both he and his grandson
appreciated their time there, and how important he considers the work
that Global Camps Africa is doing.
Phil Lilienthal, the President & Founder of Global Camps Africa, then introduced Kabelo Malefane. Kabelo came to the United States just for this special event and he took the opportunity to thank all of the generous supporters of Global Camps Africa for making Camp Sizanani possible. "Without Camp Sizanani," he said, "the children in my neighborhood would not realize that it is possible for them to take control of their lives. They would believe that it is their fate to follow in the footsteps of their parents or older siblings who dropped out of school, could not find work, abused drugs and alcohol, sold their bodies for money, and were sick with HIV." At Camp Sizanani, Kabelo said, the children are given hope through education. "Without education, there can be no progress."
Following Kabelo's remarks, Ken Plum led a spirited live auction. After bidding on trips, sports memorabilia, and other great items, guests were asked to bid on various levels of support for Camp Sizanani. The auction paddles featured the faces of Camp Sizanani campers on one side and the phrase, "Light Up Sizanani" on the other. As the guests raised their paddles, the children's faces were lifted high over the crowd, reminding everyone of the most important reason they were there that evening.