The Chase Community Giving Facebook Campaign is over.
It was an amazing month for us at Andando as many worked to rally the vote and so many of you responded.
1613 individuals voted for Andando.
Chase took away 658 of these votes citing voting irregularity. We ended the campaign in 233rd place with 955 votes.
We have had communication with Chase concerning this 'voting irregularity' and although the responses have been quite vague, we understand that they deleted many of our African votes because it appeared to them that someone was setting up profiles for the sole purpose of voting for Andando.
The truth of the matter is very different.
In Liberia, Andando is involved in a women's empowerment program. These women heard about the Chase Community Giving program and wanted to participate and support Andando.
They saw this as a way to be involved in helping themselves. These women are all desperately poor and of course have no computers etc. But because they were determined, they rounded up four or five computers, borrowed a generator, (no electricity there), bought gas to power the generator and started voting. They encouraged family members to vote and excitement built as they saw the vote count rise. Then on Sunday night, about 24 hours before the end of the campaign, they saw the votes disappear.
For us this was disheartening and discouraging. For the Africans it was heartbreaking.
Olivia, one of the women who voted- "...We feel like this was a slap in the face. We have gone to great lengths to support our charity by purchasing gas for our generator to power our obsolete computers just to be a part of this campaign. Women queued up in numbers and rallied their family members as a way of saying thank you for their support...."
We have explained to Chase how these ladies voted and are convinced that they have done nothing wrong. We will continue to try to dialog with Chase and at least try to make sure that this never happens again.
But, this is not the end of the story........
On Monday night, after the voting closed, Andando received a call from someone who had voted and had been following the story of the lost votes. This person said " We cannot let things end this way. These people have all worked so hard and have been pushed aside. They must know that hard work is rewarded and that hope follows tragedy. I am giving $20,000 to Andando to make this right."
We were overcome, there were a lot of tears and so much joy! We called our contact in Liberia and told him what had happened. He was speechless (unusual for him!) at first and then just began praising God- " He is our Sole Provider...depend only on Him...to God be the Glory.."
The women have been told, there is much rejoicing today in Liberia, and after work on Friday, there will be a party!!
To God be the Glory indeed.
Once again we are so grateful and humbled by all your support. We had votes from the U.S., Senegal, Liberia, Canada, the U.K., Chile, Australia and Paraguay. We wish we could thank all of you personally but we don't have contact info for many. If you know of people who voted who may not read this, please share it with them.
We hope you will all continue to follow the story of Andando. It looks like there are many chapters yet to be written!