Blood diamond children in Kono

*The Finaza Foundation, an organization that supports children in the impoverished region of Kono, Sierra Leone, is holding its first annual fundraiser on Sunday, March 11, in Beverly Hills, Calif.

The afternoon of entertainment, appetizers and thoughtful dialogue will take place from 2 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. at Nirvana, 8689 Wilshire Blvd. The public is asked to provide a minimum $20 donation at the door.

Co-founded in 2009 by filmmaker Adisa Septuri, Finaza provides annual academic scholarships for children who might otherwise work year-round in the region’s blood diamond mines.  [See video clip below.] Tuition is $30 per student for an entire year, yet many of these children have no means to cover the expense. To date, over 300 students have received scholarships.

(L) Finaza co-founder, president and CEO Adisa Septuri

Finaza also plans to open its first computer lab this year through the generous donation of Cowan Avenue Elementary School in Los Angeles.  The lab will include 25 new computers, Internet access, computer training and Skype classes with both local and international instructors.  This will be the first of its kind in the area.

Additionally, Finaza has sponsored an annual soccer tournament for the last four years and provides tuition scholarships to the winning teams.  This year’s “Spread the Love” soccer tournament is being held in Kono in April, with over 35 boys and girls teams (more than 500 children) participating.

Now in its fourth year, the Finaza Foundation seeks the generous support of individuals, corporations and other global partnerships to ensure the longevity of its current programs, and to expand its initiatives and community service in the region.

For more information, please visit www.finazafoundation.org, @FinazaF on Twitter and Finaza Foundation on Facebook.

Below, Adisa Septuri’s film “A Day Without Mines – Sierra Leone” and footage from the 2009 “Spread the Love” soccer tournament.