About Us

Tumaini Afrika Sault Ste. Marie is a locally based group of volunteers who are dedicated to giving a "hand up" to children and youth in Africa. In March 2014, a group of women from across Ontario travelled to Kenya, Uganda and the Democratic Republic of the Congo with Africa By Design Safaris. Some women from SSM, who had been in the group, came home clearly moved by what they had experienced and realized that we fortunate ones, needed to do something to help those less fortunate. Several friends and interested others came together to form Tumaini Afrika and we have been raising funds and helping support children and women in Kenya ever since.

Through a variety of fund-raising initiatives, money is raised to support projects and programs that provide students with skills, lessons, and the opportunity for a sustainable life that will last for years. We see education as the key and helping children and schools have been the focus so far.

Current Members of Tumaini Afrika- Diane Hilderley, Judi McLeish, Jan Poulin-Zurawinski, Wendy Upton, Maria Burgess, Sheena Smith, Gabi Doleske, Marg Dodds, Carey Groot, Sheree Wilson, Mary Anne Gasparetto, Jeannine Jefferson, Micheline Findlay, Holly Wickett, Cheryl Mireault, Maxine Lalonde, Linda Mizzi, Sherri Johnson and Heather Douglas.

How We Raise Money

Major Fundraising Events

A Taste of Kenya Dinner 2019

Our Taste of Kenya dinner, held at the Water Tower Pavillion, was a huge success! We had a sell-out crowd who thoroughly enjoyed the wonderful Kenyan food prepared by Chef Todd (assisted by Chris) as well as the delectable dessert auction and fabulous musical entertainment. Check out our Blog for more information.

Reptiles Pub 2018

The Reptiles

The Reptiles, again, demonstrated what a fabulous band they are, playing all night long to a sold out crowd and a full dance floor! Spearheaded by Jeannine Jefferson and featuring the Reptiles Band, was an amazing event! JJ Hilsinger and the Water Tower Inn donated the Pavilion and the pizza. 76 local businesses and individuals contributed to the prize table and Sylvan Automation contributed a 49" TV for our door prize! As if that wasn't enough, we sold an additional 30 goats to be distributed on our 2018 trip to Kenya.

Murder Mystery Fundraiser

On January 27, 2017, we hosted a Murder Mystery Theatre and SOLD OUT! Under the direction of Jeannine Jefferson and with assistance from other members of Tumaini Afrika and community actors Anthony Aceti, Megan Wigmore and Bob Cooper, a murder took place and the crowd helped to solve it. Special thanks to Grand Gardens and their staff for helping to make this event special. Thank you to all who supported!


Reptiles Pub 2016


Local 11 piece band, the Reptiles, put on a fundraiser Pub Night for Tumaini Afrika. The evening was sold out and many monetary donations came in from people unable to attend! Over 55 prizes were donated from local businesses, schools and generous individuals! Additionally, thirty four goats were sold and were distributed on our 2018 trip.

As Big as an Elephant Garage Sales

Garage Sale CrewTo date we have had 5 large Garage Sales at the St. Andrew's United Church auditorium. All items are donated by generous members of the community and hundreds flock to the Church to buy up the great deals. We've noticed that many buyers quietly slip in a little extra cash knowing the good their donation will do.

Station Mall Pre-Christmas Sale

Every American Thanksgiving Thursday, Tumaini Afrika sets up two tables with wonderful items to sell donated by many community members at the Station Mall. Thanks to Kenyan-Canadian, Mary Idehen, who instructed us on how to make her mother's famous Kenyan bread to sell at this event.

Mill Market Mill Market

Selling handmade items at a booth at the Mill Market prior to Christmas, has been another great fund generator! Members of Tumaini Afrika and family, friends and other supporters, have all contributed to items for the table. Many community members have purchased our items!



The Ole Warehouse (formerly the Vintage Co-op)

Tumaini Afrika has a booth at the Ole Warehouse at 69 Church St. (behind the Bush Plane Museum)  The Ole Warehouse houses a group of local vendors who provide re-purposed, recycled and new, gifts and crafts. TA sells all sorts of great gift items and as usual, all of our proceeds go directly to assist children in Kenya! Store hours are Saturdays from 10 - 4.


To find out how we use this money, check out our Initiatives page.