By Monica Zurowski – As it is for many travellers, Africa had been on my “bucket list” of places to visit for years.
I wasn’t sure when I would go, until opportunity – or, rather, the Awali group – knocked on my door late last year. I’d heard of Awali, of course. It was a group formed by Calgary philanthropists and local business gurus, such as Jim Gray, Brian Felesky, Sherali Saju and Chris Robb. They were raising millions of dollars for a program that trains teachers in East Africa – a program receiving international kudos and helping to ensure that an increasing number of children in Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda receive quality education. A former colleague, Bob Remington, had travelled with Awali members in the past and written a series of beautiful articles about their work, so I knew a bit about the group, their partnership with the Aga Khan Development Network and the Institute for Educational Development they helped fund.