Thanks to Denver-based Africa Development Promise (ADP), an estimated 150 people came out to witness the work that the American NGO does, thousands of miles away from its Colorado headquarters. Billed as a Winter Gala, the fundraising event occurred on Saturday, March 4. The location was the Arvada Center for the Arts and Humanities.
Attendees included members of local community organizations, businesses, and educational leaders. Sitting at tables, participants shared in stories about their love for farming, agricultural cooperatives, vocational training, and the things that help rural women in East Africa improve their lives.
The celebration was preceded by musical entertainment and West African drumming from Kofi Togo. This led to dinner, and drinks, culminating in a time of testimonies about the important mission the 9‑year-old organization said it is playing to improve the lives of women in Uganda and Rwanda.
“The job of development takes a long time and we are here for the long haul,” said Monica LaBiche Brown, founder and executive director of ADP, during a video introduction of the organization. Remarks were made by Nina Miller, ADP’s board chair, Benilda Samuels of the AYA foundation, as well as Mowa Haile of Sky Blue Builders. Stephanie Daniels of KUNC, an NPR-affiliated radio station in Greeley Colorado, moderated the soiree.
The highlight of the event was a keynote speech delivered via video by Wanjira Mathai, daughter of the late Nobel peace laureate and environmentalist, Wangari Mathai. Mathai hailed the work that ADP was doing, especially as it relates to uplifting women and the underprivileged in Uganda.
When asked by Daniels about what was next on the organization’s plans as it looks to the future, the director said even while they have tried to scale back, they remain comfortable with the program model they have adopted. This, she said, includes the organization’s strategic plan through 2025.
In her closing remarks, LaBiche Brown thanked the attendees for helping ADP raise funds that she said would be used to improve the lives of hundreds of women in the communities the organization serves.