On Saturday, February 1, Abi Ndikum ’20 and Af-Lat-Am hosted an Afro-Fusion Regional Dance Fundraiser to raise money for Mother’s Heritage International, an organization that focuses on empowering at-risk women and girls in Ghana. The dance was initially planned to be held on January 18 but was pushed back because of a snowstorm that made it hard for other schools to attend.
Ndikum was the recipient of the 2019 Lorant Fellowship and spent the summer working with the organization in Ghana. After giving her presentation at the annual ASM, she felt inspired to continue the legacy of her work and spoke on her ambitions of finding a way to engage the student body in further helping the nonprofit.
“What truly inspired me to set up this dance is that I didn’t want my Lorant Fellowship to end by the time I finished giving my speech at the ASM. I really wanted to pursue another project that would give back to the organization because they were so kind to me during my stay in Ghana. They really transformed my way of thinking and really just transformed my own self-confidence. So, I wanted to find a way that I could engage the student body so that we could give back to them, because again, the Lorant Fellowship wasn’t a single person adventure, it was something that the entire school should be able to learn and grow from,” said Ndikum.
Mothers Heritage International is a nonprofit organization based in the Volta Region of Ghana, that aims to provide support and aid to at-risk women and children in Ghana. According to the organization’s website, they are putting efforts into providing refuge for mistreated women in the area, a variety of educational and medical missions, and also vocational education programs. According to Ndikum, most of the funds raised at the dance will go into the medical missions.
“The money that I fundraised is going towards these medical missions because when I was talking to the COO, she said that it takes about $800-1000 to hold these missions. I really wanted to help out so I planned to make enough to support one of these missions. We’re still waiting for the final number to come at the end of the dance, we made approximately $1500. But about $500 is for paying back the DJ and other things like that. But luckily, we still met our initial goal of $1000 and will be able to support one of these Medical Missions,” Said Ndikum.
Students from schools, including Exeter, Middlesex, Nobles, and Cushing, attended the dance. Ndikum was overjoyed by the energy of the dance and expressed how it went exactly as she had planned. She described how, despite fears of low turn out, the dance was still able to surpass her expectations.
“I admit that in the beginning, I was extremely nervous about the turnout because it is February, people had school, it was a long weekend, people had to go home. But because of scheduling conflicts, I couldn’t push it to any other weekend in the month. But, so many people from other schools came, and the DJ was just terrific. People danced in the center; there was line dancing, people were forming little circles of celebration, people just dancing themselves off. It was such a good time and honestly just such great vibes.”