What began as a pen pal project for her Grade 2 students has led to Nicola Toomath being awarded the YMCA’s Peace Medal on Thursday afternoon.
Toomath is the founder of Students for Africa, a charity that aims to provide better educational opportunities and improve living conditions in a remote community in Tanzania.
David Allen, the President and CEO of the YMCA of Central East Ontario, says the awarding of this medal is not an annual occurrence.
Toomath who was very humbled by the honour says it’s great to help get the word out about the work she and her students do.
She says 100 per cent of the funds raised go to the work in the village.
The list of accomplishments for Students for Africa is extensive, but Toomath says there is still much more to do including a number of specific projects lined up for 2018.
Some of the things Students for Africa have been able to do since it was established seven years ago are: installing 15 solar panels to help provide electricity and installing a well so the families don’t have to travel as far to gather water.
She has been to the village twice now and says when she describes the village off the beaten path, she isn’t exaggerating as the closest village is 40 kms away.
Toomath says a Tanzanian proverb she lives by is “Little by little, a little becomes a lot” and she says that drives her to keep doing what she is doing.
For more information on Students for Africa visit https://studentsforafrica.org/