The Cedar Swiss Gala 2018

Kara Forte, Executive Director of “Friends of Cedar Tanzania”

Kara Forte, Executive Director of “Friends of Cedar Tanzania”

Kara is the Executive Director of the non-profit organisation “Friends of Cedar Tanzania” in Zug, Switzerland.  Her background in non-profit began over 25 years ago, straight out of university when she decided to teach for a non-profit organization called “Teach For America”. Later she became the director of the non-profit called “The I Have a Dream Foundation”, which she led for 9 years.

Now as Executive Director of “Friends of Cedar Tanzania” her role is mainly fundraising.  Through hosting events, grant-writing, cultivating potential donors, and marketing her goal is to raise awareness and funds for the life changing projects that Cedar Tanzania engages in. 

Today she speaks about the upcoming Charity Gala in Switzerland that will raise funds for Cedar Tanzania projects.

‘This year’s gala focus is on “Giving Kamanga Kids and Families a Brighter Future”.  We are focusing on three of the five major projects that Cedar Tanzania is currently implementing.  We chose the ones that focus on helping children have a better life. Therefore we are fundraising for the Health Centre and highlighting the fact that over 75 healthy babies have been born there in just its first 6 months of operation and that 2,000 children under the age of 5 have been seen by a doctor at our Health Centre too.

We are also going to talk about Tackle Africa as it directly impacts the health and well-being of adolescents in the Nyamatongo Ward and offers them a chance to learn how to protect themselves and be safe from HIV/AIDS.

Lastly, we are going to focus on the incredible Community Based Rehabilitation programme (CBR) that has made health care accessible to people with disabilities living in the remotest parts of the community, who otherwise would have no way to get to the Health Centre for treatment.  CBR has helped build wheelchairs for children who had never even sat up before or been able to go to school and now they can do both of these things and lead a much more normal life.  Just as important, our CBR nurse and occupational therapist have taught the parents of children with disabilities how to care for them and help them have more mobility and a better quality of life.

I am passionate about children and believe that since you cannot choose where you are born you should be given every opportunity to lead a healthy, happy life where you can follow your dreams and make the best of your abilities and talents to have a genuine chance at a fulfilling life.  I also believe that the adults in struggling communities such as Kamanga deserve the same chances because when they were children they were not given the resources, a decent education, or access to quality health care themselves and therefore have always had to struggle to get by and survive and that is not fair and they deserve to be healthy and happy too.

ball poster Swiss.jpg

The biggest difference in the way we ran this year’s gala as compared to last year’s was the fact that this year we have a fully functional and super helpful Gala Committee consisting of seven fabulous people who have made things happen because they believe in our cause and truly want to be a part of raising funds to change lives for the better in Kamanga.

Another change this year is that for the first time we have hired an auction company to run our silent auction and all of the items are posted on a special Cedar Tanzania gala website ( ) that we have sent out in advance to all of the guests and all of the people we invited but who couldn’t make it, so they can still support us by bidding on auction items from the comfort of their own home.  We also created a page with nine different pledges where supporters can click on a specific programme they are interested in funding and pledge a specific amount towards it; i.e. Tackle Africa Aids prevention, or the CBR programme, or training for our medical staff at the Health Centre.

We’ve also reached out and sent press releases to the local papers in Switzerland and will be featured in two of them so far.

We have awesome Sponsors this year for our gala.  Our Platinum Sponsor is Prime Property Lounge, with a 10,000 CHF contribution to Cedar Tanzania!  We have two Silver Sponsors this year, each contributing 3,000 CHF; they are UBS Zug, and Kalypso Partners.  Shire International GmbH also supported the gala financially. We are so thankful to these companies for supporting us so generously.

My hope is that we will have a fantastic night and that all our guests will be inspired to donate more as the night goes on and they learn more about the amazing work and progress of the Cedar Foundation Tanzania.  I am looking forward to our founder Mark’s speech and the new video presentation of Cedar Tanzania’s work, made by William Eskdale.  I am also excited to have fun and help create a very positive and engaging atmosphere as the MC of the evening.  My goal is for all 115 guests to leave believing that they have made a difference and helped change thousands of people’s lives for the better in Tanzania—all this while having the time of their life at our gala party!’