NewburyportNews.com, Newburyport, MA

Opinion

April 9, 2013

Thanks for supporting Amesbury for Africa

To the editor:

On behalf of Amesbury for Africa, I want to personally thank all those who attended the 25th anniversary dinner celebration at Restaurant Molise in Amesbury on Monday, April 1. The event was held in appreciation of the many years of service by a generation of local citizens to the cause of world peace and understanding.

Amesbury for Africa is a citizen exchange group and a member sister-city organization of Sister Cities

International. For a quarter century, people from the Amesbury area have been traveling to the small farming community of Esabalu in Western Kenya. These citizen-diplomats have home-stayed with African farm families and participated in the daily life of an African village. Many of the visits have involved service activities of one sort or another. Attendees at Monday’s dinner heard from members of Amesbury for Africa who reprised our many activities in health, school-to-school partnerships, literacy, water and re-forestation.

However, the most important outcome is not the projects that we and our partners in Kenya have accomplished. The most important result has been to foster some extraordinary friendships that bring our two widely diverse communities together.

Thanks especially to the 25th Anniversary committee — Chairman Deb Welch, Gaylene Main, Rose Cole and Deb Carey for organizing a successful event. Thanks to our supporters including Congressman John Tierney and Mayor Thatcher Kezer who attended. Extra special thanks goes to all those visitors to Esabalu who shared their enthusiasm, stories and camaraderie at the event. Because of you the world is a smaller and more neighborly place.

Last but not least, thanks to Antonietta and her staff at Restaurant Molise. The food and arrangements couldn’t have been better!

Mark Bean

President, Amesbury for Africa

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