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JAM teams up with The Raey Foundation

Posted by mariaa_petit on August 26, 2012

The Raey Foundation Dragon Boat Team

Elaine Kelly, Maria A. Petit, Dr. Alexandra A. Gabriele, Elias Beyrouthy, Gray Mcculloch and Team

I was pulled into Dragon Boating by accident.  A team was being organized to represent the UAE in an international competition in Sarawak on the island of Borneo. They were short on people to complete the UAE team and my friend Elaine Kelly who was participating some how managed to recruit me.  In her defense it didn’t take much convincing. The combination of learning a new sport and competing in an exotic location had “hell yeah I’m in!” written all over it.  I had less than 3 weeks to get the hang of it before I found myself on a flight to Malaysia.   Initially we started the tedious task of paddling in the pool to get the technique, but once we were on the dragon boat for our 6 AM runs on the ocean, it was heavenly.   After it was all over and done with though I moved on to playing polo with little interest for getting back in the boat.

UAE Dragon Boat Team 2006

Until 5 years later, when Elaine and her husband Gray asked me to participate in the annual dragon boat race in Festival City, Dubai to raise funds for The Raey Foundation, an organization in Ethiopia, which they were passionate about.  I didn’t hesitate for a minute and there we were paddling again like good old times. Both Gray and Elaine had just returned from Ethiopia where they had volunteered at Raey and wanted to raise funds which were desperately needed to build a second school.

UAE Dragon Boat Team 2006

The Raey Foundation is a registered NGO (strictly not for profit) community development project in Ethiopia providing education, meals and welfare to a community of school pupils, many who have lost their parents to HIV/AIDS.   Some of the services provided by Raey are:

JAM teams up with The Raey Foundation Education

- Quality heath care

- Psychological support and counselling regarding death

- Legal protection & Immunizations

- Food & Clothing

It didn’t take long before JAM wanted to get involved too.  So our pledge is that for every JAM Fruit & Vegetable flashcard set purchased, JAM Language Ltd donates a set to The Raey Foundation, Child & Family Development Association.  The JAM cards donated are for the enjoyment and education of the kids in the Raey school.