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Helen Seifu, Spokesperson for People to People Aid Organization (P2P)

A short description of P2P

People to People Aid Organization (Canada) - P2P, is a non-profit organization founded in 1999 in the City of Toronto by a group of concerned Ethiopian-Canadians with the commitment to reversing the spread of HIV/AIDS and other preventable diseases. Our aim is to break the silence within our own communities in Canada and to pursue the following core objectives — provide care and support for those affected by HIV/AIDS, increase awareness about preventable diseases, and contribute towards addressing determinants of health (physical, social, economic, and cultural) including mental health.

Tell us a couple of things the network should know about you personally.

am passionate about human rights and social justice issues. I have been working in the field of human rights with particular focus on women and children in African and now in Canada. I have keen interest in working with vulnerable and marginalized groups and had the opportunity to develop and manage programs aimed at protecting and promoting the rights and wellbeing of vulnerable children and women, including victims of gender-based violence.

How can individuals support P2P initiatives?

Anyone who believes in the cause of P2P could support its initiatives in so many ways. P2P carries out two major programs. The first program is public education and campaign around HIV/AIDS and other emerging health issues in the Greater Toronto Area. P2P always seeks for professional expertise and volunteers to organize, conduct, and facilitate this program. This local project is on going and a great opportunity for anyone to join P2P. 

The second  program that P2P runs is the Orphan Sponsorship Program that provides life-sustaining support for children who lost one or both parents due to HIV/AIDS in Ethiopia. Individuals or organizations could sponsor a child with a monthly contribution of $30 per child. This support would cover their daily living expenses including food, shelter, clothing and education. On the other hand, P2P organizes various fundraising events throughout the year such as Annual Walkathon and Fundraising Dinner as well as takes part at the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon. These fundraising activities are another  great opportunity for interested people to take part and support P2P. People could support P2P's fundraising events either by offering their time, skills, advice or through financial contributions. Moreover, P2P is open to any individuals who would like to make professional contributions by joining various committees established to meet P2P's objectives and further its mission.

Why did you decide to partner with Manyatta Network for the upcoming Manyatta Cares gala?

P2p strongly believes that partnering with Manyatta Network would bring a unique opportunity o expand its visibility in and among diasporic organizations within Canada as well as create a platform for sharing expertise, knowledge, information and resources between the two organizations.

he partnership would also strengthen P2P's community outreach endeavours through engaging with Manyatta's members.  

Tell us about your first experience at a Manyatta Event.

I was invited by Tina Sweeney, Outreach and Partnerships Officer at CUSO International to attend the Diaspora Strategic Outlook 2017 held on February 8, 2017. Idid a presentation about P2P and had the opportunity to meet with Angela Khakali, Manyatta Toronto Lead. We spoke about our work and appreciated the impact it has on our community. I found this meeting to be a great opportunity to learn about Manyatta Network and start a collaboration to enhance our common values.

What is your networking philosophy?

P2P believes in collaborating with various individuals and groups from different walks of life and background with a strong belief that each one of us has a unique ability and power to make a difference in our community.

Few events you are working on and would like to share with us?

2017 Fundraising Events
Oldies Night – May 20, 2017

Oldies Night is an event P2P holds for its friends, supporters and sponsors as a way to say "thank you" for all of the support they have shown over the years for P2P's cause. This event is a night filled with good food, good music and plenty of dancing. This year the event will be held at Estonian House and is sure to be a great night.

Annual Walkathon – July 15, 2017
Every year P2P holds a walkathon to raise funds for HIV/AIDS orphans in Ethiopia. This event is an opportunity for people of all ages to engage in outdoor activities. The Walkathon provides an opportunity to inform the community about the work of P2P and cultivate the culture of giving through play and fun. 

Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon – October 22, 2017
The Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon offers participants the opportunity to take part in the 42K, 21K and 5K events. By entering the race with Team P2P, participants have the opportunity to raise funds for the organization and increase awareness about the activities which P2P is involved with. 

Annual Fundraising Dinner – November 25, 2017
P2P organizes an annual fundraising dinner gala.  The dinner serves as a dynamic platform to continue engaging friends and supporters of P2P in its overall goal and activities. Additionally, the annual dinner has been a strategic opportunity to solicit support including signing up new orphan sponsors.

How to reach you online?