After a kitchen fire wrought havoc on last month's Taste For Change event, the charity dinner series will look to bounce back today with its final meal of the semester.
Today's dinner, which is set to begin at 6 p.m. at Ladd House, will highlight the Maine-Ghana Youth Network, a nonprofit that sponsors a cross-cultural exchange program connecting Maine students with the children of a poor West African village.
Taste for Change has invited MGYN co-founder and director Mollishmael Kwame Gabah to present at the dinner, along with 15-year old student Joshua Abalo.
According to Aisha Woodward '08, the speakers' presentation will specifically focus on the obstacles facing the youth of Ghana in Kissehman, the area of Ghana's capital, Accra, where MGYN is based.
"The presentation will be a combination of dance and drumming which will be meant to educate the audience on the challenges that are facing the village of Kissehman," said Woodward.
"It's exactly the type of partnership we like to see with all our dinners," said Ian Yaffe '09, executive chef of Taste for Change.
According to Woodward, the timing of the Food Forward event was fortuitous because it coincided with one of Gabah's rare U.S. visits.
"We spoke with Ian because we knew how successful his program has been and it seemed like a great match," said Woodward.
Tonight's dinner is not the first time Bowdoin has worked with the MGYN.
"We have had a few events sponsored through different departments on campus," Woodward said. "Last spring, the directors gave a presentation co-sponsored by the Education Department and the College Dems."
"This fall, the African American Society and the Democratic Left co-sponsored a yard sale to benefit the organization as well," she added.
Yaffe said that Taste for Change dinners have always partnered with other groups, with generally good results.
"We'll take care of the organization and the food component, and get 50 people there, and another group will come lead the education component of any type of community change."
A presentation component is always included at a Taste for Change dinner, though speakers are not necessarily from outside the College.
"The goal is always to have some kind of speaker come in, not necessarily outside the community, but outside our organization," said Yaffe. "Next year, we would definitely be looking into getting a couple of faculty lined up to give talks."
Today's dinner will be the third and final dinner of the semester. Although he is going abroad next fall, Yaffe said he hopes to fit one or two dinners in this spring, since they have all been successful.
"We've been pretty much booked for every dinner," he said.
Due to the high attendance at last year's dinners, Taste for Change was able to give $700 from donations to the Midcoast Hunger Prevention Center.