3rd Annual Guinea Kids Benefit Concert

We had a record turn out this year at the 3rd Annual Guinea Kids Benefit Concert on October 17th. Over 200 friends, families, and community members showed up to celebrate the rich culture of Guinea with us and help Guinea Kids Education Fund (GKEF) move forward on our mission to enrich the lives of so many young people and their neighborhood in West Africa.

Amidst a room decorated with African fabrics, masks, and drums, everyone sampled fried plantains and ginger juice and shopped in the gorgeous African marketplace while Karim Koumbassa serenaded us with music on his ngoni, a West African string instrument.

The highlights of the show included:

– a sparkling dance performance from the 4 and 5 year olds in Marissa’s World Dance class from New Discovery School

presentation about Guinea and GKEF

– more traditional dancing from Guinea including an acrobatic and humorous performance by Karim and Abdoulaye Sylla, a former member of Les Ballets Africains.

We ended the afternoon with a community dance-along and lots of happiness!

See more event photos on Facebook
photos courtesy of (c) Ilona Berzups
Thank you to all those who came to the benefit and who have contributed to GKEF’s fundraising effort this October. Because of your generosity, thus far we have raised over $8500!

We want to reach and exceed our goal of raising $10,000 this year! If you weren’t able to attend the fundraiser or didn’t turn in your donation at the event, now is your chance to make a difference!

Here is how Guinea Kids Education Fund is making a difference for children and families in Guinea: for the children that enter our program, we pay for tuition, book supplies, uniforms, shoes, lunch, and tutoring. For these children, we have completely changed the trajectory of their family’s futures along with the futures of the generations to come.

During the concert, our MC, Sarah Lee Koumbassa, shared the touching story of how this past year the parents of these sponsored students pooled what little money they had and bought a beautiful carved wooden statue as a symbol of their appreciation for the immeasurable difference we are making in their lives. The statue stands tall, slender, and proud and is of two people, both holding a book in front of them and a globe over their heads. Every meeting that the board members have, this statue is present to remind us of the difference we are making.

As we move forward and are clear about our mission, we have 2 goals in mind:

  1. To fund the complete education of the twenty children currently enrolled.
  2. To increase the number of kids enrolled in our program.

We invite you to join us in fulfilling these goals by making a financial contribution.

  • If you took a donation card home, you can mail it in. Just fill it out and remember to make checks payable to: Fabric of Life.
  • If your employer will match funds, here is the information they will need:

    Fabric of Life Foundation
    PO Box 547
    Edmonds, WA 98020

    Fabric of Life is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. Tax ID 91-2172230


We would like to send thank you’s out once again to all of our volunteers who supported this event with their time, energy, amazing talents, and kindness. We watched a room transform before our eyes and a beautiful multimedia show full of talented performers filled our senses.

We would like to thank all of our board members for their countless hours of love and dedication. Huge thanks to our Guinean members Karim, Alya, and Yamousa Koumbassa who handle managing the project in
Guinea. Thank you to the student’s tutor, Sumah.

Lastly, two important thank you’s. One to all the donors who have and continue to support this project and keep it going. And, lastly, thank you to the GKEF students and their families in Guinea who work hard, per
severe, and have hope.

Wonawali and Wontanara,
(Thank you all and We Are All Together)

The GKEF Team:
Marissa Baratian, Ilona Berzups, Kim Copeland, Jill Jameson, Alya Koumbassa, Julia Koumbassa, Karim Koumbassa, Sarah Lee Koumbassa

Watch GKEF’s inspiring new video at:

Help us reach our goal of $10,000 and/or if you couldn’t attend the fundraiser, please consider donating at:

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