‘Market’ to support Western Heads East

Next week, the Great Hall at Western will be transformed into an East African market and art sale showcasing local talent as well as Tanzanian and Kenyan crafters.

In The Market supports Western Heads East, a grassroots Western-based program focusing on health and nutrition in East Africa. The event is scheduled for 4-6 p.m. Wednesday, March 19, in the Great Hall. Tickets can be purchased online at westernheadseast.ca, by phone at 519-661-3548 or by email to whe.events@uwo.ca.

Although an annual event, this year’s focus on art is a new direction.

“More Western staff members became involved in the event this year, and one of our colleagues from Visual Arts, Julia Beltrano, suggested the art focus,” said Bob Gough, project driector of Western Heads East. “We were looking for something new to add, and also wanted to collaborate more with the London community.”

The event also celebrates the women who make the program happen.

“At the heart of Western Heads East is the women in the African communities we partner with – who are known as ‘Yogurt Mamas,’” Gough said. “They work daily to operate their community kitchens making sustainable difference in their own communities and in their own economic and family health.”

Western Heads East interns will share their experiences and a representative of the High Commissioner from Tanzania will attend the event. The evening will also include food and wine, entertainment, a silent auction and a raffle featuring packages donated by sponsors including VIA Rail, the Fairmont Royal York and Toronto International Film Festival.

More than 60 student interns representing all faculties at Western have travelled to Africa over the past decade to work with Yoghurt Mamas, industry, institutions and government partners to run the program based on the probiotic research of Western professors Gregor Reid (Schulich Medicine & Dentistry) and Sharareh Hekmat (Brescia University College).