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The Ninth Annual but First Virtual Imara International Fund Raising Gala will bring together supporters of Imara's mission in Kenya that benefits Kenyan teenage moms with education and life skills, along with early childhood education for their children, enriching both mom and child with a more promising tomorrow.

The event is scheduled for 7:00 p.m. CST, Sunday, November 8th, to be held in the comfort of your own home. A silent auction featuring unique experiences will open at 6:30 p.m. and close at 8:00 p.m. CST.

The Gala offers supporters the opportunity to virtually hear from Imara moms as they share their stories about how they came to live at Imara House. Learn how Imara continues to nurture and educate teen moms and their children through the COVID-19 pandemic, both on and off site. We will share with you the challenges and successes of Imara House in 2020 and what a year it has been.  Despite the hurdles and drastic changes, Imara continues to make a difference because of your great support.

The host and Emcee for the event will be The Rev. Cindy Hillger, Deacon at St. Martin's-by-the-Lake in Minnetonka Beach, MN.  Prior to her ordination, Cindy spent 20 years reporting and anchoring the news, most of them at WCCO, the CBS affiliate in Minneapolis/St. Paul.  Cindy won numerous awards for her work including a regional Emmy for spot news.  She has also been named Best Anchor in a City Pages reader poll.

The Key Note speaker for the event is Carol Erickson, Executive Director of Imara International.  In 2006, as the Director of Children's Ministry at Messiah Methodist Church in Plymouth, MN, she had an opportunity to serve in Africa and work with orphaned girls in Kenya.  This was the first of many trips to Africa.

In October of 2011, Carol's vision became clear.  Nanyuki, Kenya and teenage moms and their babies were exactly the place and people she was called to serve.  By 2012, she began life in Kenya, preparing a rescue home for young teen moms caught in a cycle of poverty and rejection.  That rescue home became Imara House.

Carol and her staff offer schooling for moms along with job, parenting and life-skills training.

Carol's vision is growing along with the number of pregnant teen girls that need Imara resources. Her remarks will include an update on the new Skills Center and Imara Village, which will bring a five-fold increase in the number of moms and babies that can be served.

“Our message focuses on ‘Gathering for Such a Time as This.’  Though the pandemic has made being together difficult, being virtual allows us to share our joy and support for Imara across the country and around the world,” said Carol. “Now more than ever, it is critical to support these teen moms and their children who would otherwise have no viable options for a safe life and bright future.”

For more information about the Imara Gala visit 

About Imara International

Imara International is a registered 501(c)3 charitable organization, based in the United States and working in Kenya.  Imara aims to empower Kenya's future by providing education and life skills to Kenyan teenage mothers and early childhood education for their children, to break the cycle of poverty and create productive members of society.  For more information, go to or visit us on Facebook and Instagram.

The Details
Sunday, November 8, 2020