The Community Action Fund for Women in Africa

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By Olivia McCafferty-Cable

The Community Action Fund for Women in Africa (CAFWA) is an organization that was founded in 2006 by Linda Cole. CAFWA supports the women in post-war communities of Uganda. CAFWA focuses on educating women, training in agriculture and farming , and teaching them how to microfinance in their communities. On Saturday, September 10, Linda hosted a movie night under the stars to benefit CAFWA.

The event was designed to look like a safari camp site. There were several silent auction tables with hand crafted goods, some from Africa and some by local Santa Barbara craftsman and artists. A photo booth was set up to look like a hot air balloon. There were beautiful, large photographs hanging from trees which had been taken of the women and the communities which CAFWA is involved. The event had a huge piece of canvas to project the film Out Of Africa. Fresh popcorn, beautiful home made desserts, and a dinner of shish kebabs and salads were served.

Guests were able to watch the movie from chairs or lay down on hay bales. We were given lots of blankets to stay cozy while watching the film which looked amazing under the starry sky. Overall, it was a wonderful night, and all the money that was raised was going to a great cause.

I was fortunate enough to have the opportunity to speak one on one with Linda and ask her some of my own questions about CAFWA and how big a part it plays in her life. I asked Linda if she thought about her work as changing the world. She told me that she never thought about it in that way, however it is important to her that she is able to make an impact in people’s lives and she is proud of how far the organization has gotten and hopes to keep expanding it. She explained to me that there are other organizations which are doing the same or similar things, but some are not as successful as others. She said that CAFWA assists each person for approximately 3 to 5 years, and that these people inspire her because during that amount of time, they never give up. They set their minds to learning and becoming successful in a job because they want to impact the future of their communities.

I’m so glad that I got the opportunity to learn more about CAFWA’s programs. These women have faced horrific and incredibly hard times, and yet, they continue to keep pushing forward for their families. It is truly inspiring, and I hope more people will get involved. To learn more about CAFWA, go to www.cafwa.org.

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