Alicia Fall is raising funds to help build a school in Burkina Faso.

Alicia Fall is raising funds to help build a school in Burkina Faso.

Local teen makes a global difference

Fall has taken it upon herself to raise funds to build a school in Burkina Faso , a small land-locked country in west Africa.

You can hear it almost anywhere, that general negative hum about teenagers. Their list of sins is long; they’re irresponsible, they lack manners and they care about nothing but listening to weird music, texting and hanging out with their friends.

People with opinions like these have obviously never met 16- year-old Honeymoon Bay resident, Alicia Fall. If there is such a thing as a renaissance woman in this day and age, Fall would be its poster-girl.  She’s a Grade 11 student, works two part-time jobs, is an accomplished dancer and has a social conscience that belies her tender years.

Fall has many interests but it is her love of one place in particular that is fuelling an amazing project.

“I’ve always really had a passion for Africa, and have always wanted to go there,” said Fall. “ Hopefully, I will have the opportunity to do that soon. But until then, I really want to do something to make a difference there.”

It may be some time before she herself is able to visit her dream country, but her efforts here at home will soon be making an impact on one part of that continent.

Fall has taken it upon herself to raise funds to build a school in Burkina Faso , a small land-locked country in west Africa. The project came about through an Alberta based non-profit group called Bridges of Hope, whose goal is help poor communities in third world countries by relieving poverty and helping build badly needed amenities like schools.

Fall has organized a Fair-Trade Coffee House which takes place this Saturday, Feb. 25 from 3p.m. to 11p.m. in the hall at Sylvan United Church in Mill Bay. The church is located at 985 Shawnigan-Mill Bay Road right beside Frances Kelsey Secondary School which Fall attends.

“The church is not charging us for this event and is letting us use their sound equipment and kitchen facilities and all of the artists, speakers and performers are showing up free of charge,” said Fall. “The vendors are either supporting us by purchasing a table or donating a portion of their profits.”

Besides the fair-trade and local products available, Duncan’s Sunflower Café will be on hand to provide dinner and refreshments. Entertainment runs from 6:00 to 9:00 PM with Falls rounding up an impressive line-up of local artists and musicians.

“We’ve got The Small Town Villians and Naomi Payan from Duncan, Ryan McMahon from Ladysmith, Redwood Green and many others,” said Fall. “They’ve all come out to help.”

Admission to the event is by donation with all proceeds going to the African school project. Donations may also be made by dropping off returnable bottles to the Return It Bottle depot in Duncan and letting staff know it’s for the “Schools to Schools” account. In Lake Cowichan, the Country Grocer is accepting returnable pop and juice containers with jars set up at the tills for the project.

Fall is no stranger to hard work and following through with a dream. She has been dancing with the Carlson’s School of Dance in Duncan for five years and this year will take her Grade 8 Ballet finals. This summer she will be working on a Habitat for Humanities project in Slave Lake, Alberta and hopes eventually to pursue a career in medicine and use her skills to help others in an organization like Doctors Without Borders.

Fall began organizing the Fair-Trade coffee house project in the fall of 2011, taking her idea to a service club at Frances Kelsey because of her keen interest in Africa and ended up taking on a leadership role.

“This is her personal initiative and she’s done all the legwork,” said Lesley Fall, Alicia’s mother. “She has always been into helping others and this is totally her project.”

 

Just Posted

Sarah Simpson
Sarah Simpson column: A shift in perspective can sometimes change everything

Have you even been forced to wake up at 5:30 on a Saturday

Black Press file photo
RCMP seek suspect in Vancouver Island-wide crime spree

Crimes stretched from Deep Bay to Qualicum, Ladysmith, Chemainus and Youbou

North Cowichan’s committee of the whole have rejected staff’s recommendation to limit the use of fireworks to Halloween. (File photo)
North Cowichan rejects limiting fireworks to Halloween

Municipality decides staff recommendation would be unpopular

Things are looking up for Vancouver Island as zero COVID-19 cases have been reported for the first time since October. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Island records zero new COVID-19 cases for the first time since October

For the first time since October, the province is reporting zero new… Continue reading

CVRD Area E director Alison Nicholson, right, hiked two hours to Waterfall Camp at the Fairy Creek watershed along with Comox town councillor Nicole Minion and Comox Valley Regional District director Daniel Arbour to meet with old-growth logging activists on Monday, June 7. (Submitted)
Cowichan Valley regional director visits Fairy Creek protest camps

‘They clearly communicated that they are committed to what they are doing’

A small pod of Pacific white-sided dolphins pass by close to shore in Campbell River June 16, 2021. Still capture from video courtesy of Kimberly Hart
VIDEO: Dolphin sunset captured from Vancouver Island shore

Spectacular setting for view of travelling pod of Pacific white-sided dolphins

New research suggests wolves can be steered away from the endangered caribou herds they prey on by making the man-made trails they use to hunt harder to move along. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Culling cutlines, not B.C. wolves, key to preserving caribou herds: researcher

The government has turned to killing hundreds of wolves in an effort to keep caribou around

Gary Abbott (left) and Louis De Jaeger were two of the organizers for the 2014 Spirit of the People Powwow in Chilliwack. Monday, June 21, 2021 is Indigenous Peoples Day. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress file)
Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of June 20 to 26

Indigenous Peoples Day, Take Your Dog to Work Day, Onion Rings Day all coming up this week

Central Okanagan Grade 12 grads are set to get $500 each after a more than $1 million donation from a Kelowna couple. (File photo)
B.C. couple donating $500 to every Grade 12 student in the Okanagan

Anonymous donors identified as Kelowna entrepreneurs Lance and Tammy Torgerson

Rita Coolidge played the main stage at Vancouver Island Musicfest in 2017. (Black Press file photo)
This year’s Vancouver Island MusicFest to virtually showcase beauty of Comox Valley

Returning July 9 through 11 with more than 25 hours of music performances

British Columbia’s premier says he’s received a second dose of the Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine. (Twitter/John Horgan)
B.C. premier gets 2nd dose of AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine

John Horgan shared a photo of himself on social media Friday afternoon holding a completed vaccination card

A lotto Max ticket is shown in Toronto on Monday Feb. 26, 2018.THE CANADIAN PRESS
No winning ticket sold for Friday’s $70 million Lotto Max jackpot

The huge jackpot has remained unclaimed for several weeks now

Karl and Stephanie Ann Johanson were thrilled to spot a pair of Sandhill Cranes in the Panama Flats this month, an unusual appearance for such birds. (Photo by Stephanie Ann Johanson)
WATCH: Sandhill cranes an unusual, joyful sight in South Island parkland

These birds don’t often touch down on their way between northern B.C. and Mexico

Most Read