4th Annual Guinea Kids Benefit Concert

photo courtesy of Julie Graber c.2011
Guinea Kids Education Fund, with the help of many volunteers, put on a beautiful and exciting event this year to raise much needed funds in support of children’s education in Guinea, West Africa. It was probably our best event yet! I was so proud of the work that went into making it such a great opportunity to experience the rich culture of Guinea. Unfortunately, due to a beautiful sunny day and a very busy time of year for many, the turn-out was much less than hoped for and, therefore, the amount we raised was affected. So, if you couldn’t make it to the event or haven’t donated yet, keep on reading! How you can help us make a difference and reach our goals will follow the highlights of the event!




Amidst a room decorated with gorgeous African fabrics, masks, artifacts, and drums, everyone sampled fried plantains and ginger juice, shopped in the exciting African Marketplace

photo courtesy of Mark Saran c. 2011
where you could experience a bit of West Africa trying to carry baskets on your head
photo courtesy of Julie Graber c.2011
or pound rice, all while Karim Koumbassa serenaded us with music on his ngoni, a West African string instrument.
photo courtesy of Mark Saran c. 2011


* A sparkling dance performance from the 4 and 5 year olds in Marissa’s World Dance classes from New Discovery School…
photos courtesy of Julie Graber c.2011

* An inspiring video presentation about Guinea and GKEF
* Traditional music and dancing from Guinea including a performance by Karim Koumbassa
photo courtesy of Mark Saran c. 2011
photo courtesy of Julie Graber c.2011
photo courtesy of Mark Saran c. 2011

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

photo courtesy of Scott Tucker c. 2010
Thank you to all those who came to the benefit and who have contributed to GKEF’s fundraising effort this Spring. Because of your generosity, thus far we have raised over $4300!

We want to reach and exceed our goal of raising $13,000 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, breakfast and 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, Alya Koumbassa and Tina Zucchero, shared the touching story of how 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. Maintain the high quality of our educational support program providing school tuition, supplies, tutoring and a meal program, and

2. Increase the quality of educational support we provide by:
a. lowering the student to tutor ratio,
b. upgrading and maintaining the students’ homework space, and<
c. launching a new staff professional development program

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

photo courtesy of Scott Tucker c. 2010


  • 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 and Francoise who handle managing the project in Guinea. Thank you to the student’s tutor, Soumah.

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, persevere, and have hope.

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

The GKEF Team:
Marissa Baratian, Greg Evans, Kim Copeland, Lisa Sanderson, Alya Koumbassa, Julia Koumbassa, Karim Koumbassa, Sarah Lee Parker Koumbassa

Watch GKEF’s inspiring video at:

Help us reach our goal of $13,000 and/or if you couldn’t attend the fundraiser, please consider donating at:

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