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African Touch

Have you ever just taken a moment to pause and think about what meaning your life has on this earth? Am I making even a small contribution by utilizing the gifts I was given to help those less fortunate than me? As a 22-year-old woman in this complex and often crazy world, I find myself perplexed with the meaning of my life and wonder what I could be doing to make the world a better place.


September 28, 2009
By Angela Morris

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Have you ever just taken a moment to pause and think about what meaning your life has on this earth? Am I making even a small contribution by utilizing the gifts I was given to help those less fortunate than me? As a 22-year-old woman in this complex and often crazy world, I find myself perplexed with the meaning of my life and wonder what I could be doing to make the world a better place.

african-touch.jpg Africa is the world’s second-largest and second-most populous continent next to Asia. Although I’m not sure why, I have always been drawn to the country. Maybe it’s because of the HIV/AIDS epidemic that we all need to be more aware of, or maybe it’s the malnourished children that die everyday; nevertheless, it has always been my dream to visit Africa and provide much-needed assistance and support in any way that I can.

While thinking about how I could make a significant contribution to the world in which we all live, I also have been attending the Okanagan Valley College of Massage therapy for the last two years. During my second year of study, I was fortunate enough to meet a true gem, Yvonne Poulin (inset) from Victoria, B.C. who is a registered massage therapist a successful businesswoman, and the founder of The African Touch.

A rumour had been going around campus that some lady from the coast was coming to talk about Africa. I was floored, what an opportunity for me, maybe I would finally get some answers about my consistent yearning to learn about Africa. Waiting anxiously for her arrival I watched as a lady (Yvonne Poulin) wearing traditional African robes, walked into the classroom and listened to her share a story with us about her Massage Academy Project OR about her organization; The African Touch.

Her energy and love for the project immediately ran through everyone in the audience; “I simply want to do something to make a positive difference in this crazy world; this massage academy project is my something” she said. Captivated by her positive energy, I was instantly hooked; how I could be a part of this life-changing project?

The African Touch is a registered Non-Governmental Organization in the Sarangombe district of the world’s largest slum situated in Nairobi, Kenya. It is a Canadian registered non-profit society which facilitates North American funding.

The African Touch will provide formal education and encourage self-sufficiency to disadvantaged individuals in Africa.

The objective of the massage academy project is to provide low cost professional education and vocational training in the career of therapeutic massage. Candidates for the training are selected from the visually impaired community of Nairobi and residential slums of Kibera. Graduates of the program move on to provide massage therapy to tourists, utilize their skills in foreign aid, and assist in community HIV/AID treatment centres.

What struck me the most about this project was that it was in my field of humanitarian work, massage therapy. A few of my colleagues and I decided to help with a fundraiser that Yvonne and the members of The African Touch were hosting. Our role was to let the surrounding areas of the Okanagan Valley know what the project was about and how they could participate.

After helping with fundraiser event, I was inspired and wanted to share with others how important and life-changing this project is. This project was a true inspiration for me to make a change not only in my life, but to also raise awareness among the general population so that more people can become aware of this critically important cause.

I felt like it was my time to take action and I contacted the organization to learn more about what I can be doing in my own community to raise awareness.

Writing this article is my first step in raising awareness and getting people interested in learning more about The African Touch. I am also contacting the Registered Massage Therapists of Ontario, and other relevant organizations and people in the surrounding areas.

“If we take the time out of our busy lives to appreciate how fortunate we are and utilize our gifts to help those who are less fortunate than us, we can help the youth of Africa have a brighter future.”

If you are interested in this movement you can contact me personally at aemmamorris@hotmail.com or visit www.africantouch.org for more on donations and how you can help.

Donating to The African Touch

Your donation can be sent via cheque or money order to: The African Touch Education Fund Society, Department #26, Box 4276 Victoria, B.C., Canada V8X 3X8


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