UVic students, businesses, team up for African relief

Merchants discount cards valid around Oak Bay and elsewhere

A University of Victoria club has joined forces with several local businesses to raise money for the drought-affected Horn of Africa.

UVic Hope is selling discount cards for $10, which entitle the holder to special deals at 15 Greater Victoria businesses. All of the net proceeds from card sales will go to the Canadian Red Cross relief effort in the troubled region, which includes Somalia, Kenya, Djibouti, Ethiopia and Uganda.

The club formed earlier this year in response to the earthquake and tsunami that hit Japan.

“The magnitude of the crisis in Africa is so profound that I felt it imperative to help out,” said Julia Denley, president of UVic Hope. “It’s been wonderful to see how generous and willing these local businesses have been to assist us.”

To date, $10.8 million has been raised in Canada for Horn of Africa relief. Red Cross officials say much more is needed to properly address the problems in the area, where an estimated 13 million people have been affected.

“The situation in the Horn of Africa is the result of years of ongoing natural disasters and civil unrest,” said Bruce Andrew, Red Cross spokesman in Victoria. “Many people have been living in refugee camps all of their life … The camps are not set up to assist that many people and as a result many are not surviving.”

Participating businesses include Island Runner, Rebel Rebel, Flavour, Decade, Little Thai Place, Maude Hunter’s Pub, MokSana Yoga Centre, Sparrow Salon & Spa, Free Spirit Botanicals, Bosley’s Pet Food Plus, Barefoot at Heart Yoga, Sweet Delights – Candy Bouquet, Mary’s Tailoring, D’Lo Mobile Spa, and Electric Brains Computers. To purchase cards, which are valid until September 2012, email uvichope@gmail.com or call 250-920-8685.

editor@oakbaynews.com