The Guardian (Charlottetown)
Opinion,
Thursday, July 7, 2005, p. A7

Letters

Seeing the spirit of this country at work

Editor:

At a time when we've just celebrated Canada Day, I'd like to express some thoughts about the cold wet Victoria Day weekend on which the Tip to Tip for Africa bike ride took place. I'd like to congratulate Prince Edward Island on the strength of its community spirit, as found in its private business sector and its community groups.

Prince Edward Island is often criticized for its 'over-reliance' on government funding. Well, in this case, private business and private donors alone made Tip to Tip for Africa possible. Not a nickel of government money, municipal, provincial or federal was involved.

The four-day, three-night Tip to Tip for Africa raised more than $17,500 to make loans to start or expand tiny businesses of individual Africans. Prince Edward Islanders should be proud of their charitable record. Where else would a $50 registration fee pay for such an amazing array of goods and services? That same amount, $50, is sufficient to help an individual in Africa to self-sufficiency through a micro-loan.

We should be thankful to the many individuals, community groups and businesses that volunteered time or offered support by way of accommodations, meals, water, buses, bikes, sweatshirts, music, entertainment and insurance coverage. There were also many thousands of dollars donated by individual Islanders.

On the May long weekend, many Prince Edward Islanders displayed the true spirit of this great country - a spirit of generosity which will help to make extreme poverty history.

Martha Deacon,

founder,

The Townships Project

Category: Editorial and Opinions
Length: Short, 206 words

2005 The Guardian (Charlottetown). All rights reserved.