Martin C. Barry
The Sarker Family Hope Foundation, whose primary goal is to create a positive living environment for children who are orphans, abused or underprivileged in developing countries, raised thousands of dollars on Jan. 26 during the organization’s first fundraising event at the Palace congress centre in Laval.
Children in need
The Montreal-based group, founded by Park Extension accounting services executive Mustaque Sarker, exists to provide shelter, food and education to abandoned and orphaned children in several countries where there are serious challenges.
One of the foundation’s first projects aims to build new orphanages in identified areas of Ghana and Cambodia.
According to information provided during a PowerPoint presentation at the Jan. 26 event, each of the planned orphanages would shelter 200 children from six to 18 years of age. The foundation hopes to raise up to $2.2 million to establish and operate the orphanages.
Orphaned by war
As the event’s MC, George Guzmas of Newsfirst Multimedia, pointed out while introducing Sarker, warfare is the main reason there are so many needy orphans in so many areas of the world.
“War is made with weapons,” he said, while noting that in the space of just one minute, $1 million dollars worth of weapons are sold.
“And, of course, those weapons need wars, they create wars, and wars create more orphans. The objective of the Sarker Family Hope Foundation is to be able at least to try to save 400 children from this.”
From humble beginnings
For his part, Sarker recounted that during his travels to various parts of the globe, he would see children begging for money and food. He said this marked the beginning of his efforts to create the Sarker Family Hope Foundation.
“As a mother who has raised two sons who are 33 and 30 today, I cannot imagine the struggle and adversity that these children face everyday,” said Vimy Liberal MP Annie Koutrakis, who was one of several Montreal area elected officials who attended the fundraiser.
MP Koutrakis impressed
“That is why the Sarker Family Hope Foundation is so essential,” continued Koutrakis. “They will help to provide housing, educational opportunities and vocational training. This is life changing for these kids. By learning useful skills, these children will be able to emerge from poverty and violence to contribute great things to their countries and to the world.”
Also among the guests, Saint-Laurent Liberal MP Emmanuella Lambropoulos, said Sarker and the foundation were to be commended for giving children in Third World countries a second chance.
MP Lambroupoulos touched
“Children who have lost their parents – who are the number one thing that every child needs in life – they’re giving them a second chance by allowing them to have an education, by allowing them to have some of the basic necessities of life,” said Lambropoulos.
The Sarker Family Hope Foundation is located at 524 Jean Talon St. West, Suite 3, Montreal, Quebec, H3N 1R5. They can be reached toll-free at (438)795-9691, or by e-mail at email@example.com