Students to unite for Africa on break

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This January, Ginny Winninger and 14 other SLU students will realize a great milestone for the Students United for Africa organization that Winninger started four years ago.

SUFA members will travel to Kasum, Ghana, to visit a school that was built using money that the organization has been raising for four years.

Ginny Winninger went to Ghana in high school, where she met a priest who told her about a local school of 900 children that was far too small for its student body.

“I felt like I needed to help,” said Winninger, president of SUFA and a senior in the school of Nursing.

Winninger started SUFA at her high school in 2003 and eventually brought it to Saint Louis University.

SUFA became a club at SLU in 2006 to help raise awareness of the economic and social problems that face Africa.

The group has raised money by hosting fundraiser events such as the Dance-a-thon with OneWorld, another SLU organization, and by hosting The Halloween Bash at Iggy’s, to raise money for the school in Ghana that Winninger found out about four years ago.

Members also raise money through fundraisers in their hometowns and churches. SUFA has raised $13,000 for the project.

“I can’t wait to go back,” Winninger said.

The group will leave for a 10-day trip to Ghana on Jan. 3 and will return to the United States on Jan. 18. A guide will accompany the group.

They plan to take with them books and other school supplies. SUFA also collected basic medical supplies to bring to the school, the majority of which will be shipped to Ghana before the group leaves. They have so many medical supplies that most of them will be shipped to Ghana before they leave. In Ghana the group will visit the school and learn how it is using the funds that SUFA raised.

“I can’t wait to meet the people,” said Lauren McCray, a junior in Doisy College Health Sciences, who will be going on the trip.

“I’m looking forward to learning about a completely different culture. I also looking forward to seeing the good for the community we have helped to create.”

Another student, Brad Zarling, looks forward to the experience.

“It will be cool to put a face to what we’re doing,” said Zarling, a junior in Parks College of Engineering, Aviation and Technology. “[We will also] be able to see the people who are benefiting from all of our hard work.”