Leah Bedford and friend Miranda Tymoschuk shared an experience that has forever changed their lives.
The two met in high school, where they went on a aid mission to Kenya for the Free the Children foundation.
That journey prompted more trips to Africa in hopes of making a change.
The close friends are attending Simon Fraser University, with Tymoschuk majoring in health sciences, while Bedford is majoring in international studies.
“We both have done multiple trips with Me to We, including advanced facilitation training provided at their Arizona location and have volunteered locally,” said Bedford.
But they want to do more.
That’s what has prompted the two to start their own society, called Infinite Hope for Change, in hopes of helping grassroots organizations.
“Our goal is to help existing organizations work together while creating sustainable and life-changing solutions to various issues while supporting social justice initiatives and social movements,” said Bedford.
To launch their initiative, the two are holding a garage sale fundraiser May 30-31 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at 19460 – 117th Ave. in Maple Ridge.
“We decided to start this society because of an opportunity that came up to work with an organization called West African Children Foundation in Ghana,” said Tymoschuk. “We are working with this foundation to help them get back up on their feet again.”
Tymoschuk said the foundation is a home for 22 orphans and is a school for more than 100 kids. She said the foundation is struggling with funding and they hope fundraisers like their garage sale will not only raise money, but get more people involved to help keep these children in school and provide a loving, safe home.
“Over the past few months, we have been collecting as much information as possible to ensure we have a good understanding of the organization and community,” said Tymoschuk. “We have re-made their website and are hoping to get more schools involved in the next year to help fundraise.”
Both SFU students said they are passionate about sustainable development and positive social change in Africa and around the world.
“We feel that this project works along side our studies and we can apply the things we are learning in school to this work and vise versa,” said Bedford. “We are hoping that with Infinite Hope for Change we can hold conferences, speak to classes in schools, run workshops and get youth involved in various projects locally and globally.”
• For more information or to donate, visit www.facebook.com/infinitehope2015. Also visit the website www.wacfghana.org.