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Samoan ferries will be safer thanks to capital fundraising

May 24th, 2013 | By | Category: Latest News, News

MUSIC, money boxes and chilli oil are helping to raise $17,000 to make Samoan ferries safer.

The ferries are without lifejackets or proper lighting so Richard Khouzame has organized a charity named Manono Afloat, previously called Project Ferries.

Mr Khouzame has fundraised for Samoa since visiting the island for a wedding just before the tsunami in 2009.

The name Manono Afloat came from the island Manono, where Mr Khouzame had previously helped rebuild a school destroyed in the tsunami.

A recent concert at his Cuba St business Heaven’s Pizza, organized by Jordan Gray, raised around $350 towards the project through a door charge.

“The ferries are in need of repair” says Mr Gray.

He says they need lifejackets and proper lights on the boats because currently “a guy will have to sit out front with a torch”.

The concert drew a crowd of around 75 people throughout the course of the night, during which local bands The Velvet Regime, Funkacybin, and The Blind Venetians played for an hour each.

The earlier Project Preschool surpassed its $50,000 fundraising goal and the extra money will go towards Manono Afloat, which has a $17,000 fundraising goal.

Jessie Howell, left, a staff member at Heaven’s Pizza, is part of the charity and says that there will be more fundraising events to come.

Ms Howell says they will hopefully surpass the $17,000 goal, and the extra money will go towards a Women’s Refuge on the island.

Other fundraising activities are collection boxes scattered around Wellington businesses, and Heaven’s Pizza will be selling Chilli Oil with 100% of the profits going towards Manono Afloat.

Even after the Manono Afloat has reached its goal, the group will still help fundraise for Samoa.

“There is still plenty to do on the island” says Ms Howell.

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is a Whitireia Journalism student covering the Newtown area of the Wellington region.
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