MAMATOTO African Marketplace Gala 2015 in support of Amref Health Africa-Daniels Spectrum

Mamatoto” is the Swahili word for “MotherBaby” and reflects the belief that mother and baby are one.

On May 26th, 2015, mothers and babies in Africa were celebrated at the Mamatoto Gala held at Daniels Spectrum.

In the sub-Saharan Africa in 2013, more than 179,000 died in childbirth; 62% of all maternal deaths worldwide.

The fundraiser’s cocktail reception featured an African Marketplace in the Kilimanjaro Room where Authentic African artifacts, jewelry and crafts were available for sale.

Dinner was served in the adjacent Serengeti Room (Aida Slaight Hall).

The evening’s opening addresses were given by Anne-Marie Kamanye, the Executive Director of Amref Health Africa in Canada and Dr. Lennie Bazira Igbodipe-Kyomuhangi, Interim Global CEO of Amref Health Africa.

Amref Health Africa is the leading African public health organization and partners with communities to save the lives of mothers and babies. Amref trains African midwives, ensures access to pre-natal and post-natal care and helps women in remote areas access healthcare.

Since 2012, when Amref started to focus on mothers and babies, almost 6,000 midwives have been trained saving thousands of lives.

Dr. Makaziwe Mandela, eldest daughter of Nelson Mandela, gave the night’s keynote speech and true to her roots, gave an impassioned plea for Canadians as well as current African leaders, to help Africans help themselves.

Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of International Development, Lois Brown, whose son-in-law is African, also petitioned for continued support from Canadians for her adopted country.

Five food stations showcased African food: lamb kebabs, spicy chicken, and various rice dishes.

Red and white wines provided by House of Mandela were found on each table.

The highlight of the evening occurred when African drums were passed around, and guests were taught how to create a beat together. It may not have sounded authentic, but it was certainly was fun!

(photos by Tanya)

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