Doing good

Three-Day Event Raises Money for Rural Schools in South Africa

Safari Sarasota participants can listen to wildlife stories, taste wine and sample South African cuisine while supporting South Africa's Good Work Foundation.

By Shelby Schwartz October 10, 2019

A Good Work Foundation classroom 

Michael’s on East, in partnership with the All Heart Fund of South Africa’s Good Work Foundation, is bringing a safari to Sarasota Oct. 24-26. Safari Sarasota will allow ticket holders to listen to stories about wildlife, taste wine, eat South African food and learn about the Good Work Foundation.

South Africa's Kate Groch, who aptly refers to herself as a “serial educator,” founded the Good Work Foundation in 2006. The nonprofit brings digital learning to rural South African communities and has so far established five "digital campuses," each an advanced hub of technology and teachers.

Reaching 7,000 children and young adults each week, the Good Work Foundation focuses on uplifting marginalized individuals with the power of education. "What careers can we create so we don’t miss and lose all the talent?” Groch says. Good Work campuses are located near national parks and help connect students with potential careers at the parks in fields such as drone technology, data mining and hospitality.

Good Work Foundation students

The Good Work Foundation works outside of South Africa, as well. It created the All Heart Fund in honor of Sarasota’s Leanna Knopik, who passed away at age 16 after contracting and battling a rare heart infection. Her passion for South Africa connected her to the Good Work Foundation, which now keeps Knopik's love for Africa alive with volunteer and donation opportunities.

Not only does the All Heart Fund link the Good Work Foundation to Sarasota; it also opens Groch’s students to the other side of the world. "Young people have so much to teach us," Groch says.

Safari Sarasota runs from Thursday, Oct. 24, through Saturday, Oct. 26. The event features a talk by wildlife expert and author Boyd Varty, an interactive cooking dinner and live auction led by Londolozi Game Reserve chef Anna Ridgewell and Michael's on East chef Jamil Pineda, an "African Bush Dinner" prepared by Londolozi chef Anna Ridgewell, a South African wine tasting and a South African wine dinner. Ticket prices and event locations vary. Click here for full details.

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