Amazon – Africa Aid
Welcome to Amazon – Africa Aid
Amazon-Africa Aid is a 501(c)(3) charitable organization supporting the Fundação Esperança, a Brazilian nonprofit organization that has been providing health and education to the inhabitants of the Amazon for over 30 years. We rely heavily on volunteer and donor support. Join us and make a difference!
Pablo Picasso said, “Anything you can imagine is real.” At Amazon-Africa Aid, we believe that anything you imagine can be made into a reality. We imagine a world of healthy, educated, and happy children who have clean water to drink and fresh air to breath. Amazon-Africa Aid was started with the dream of affecting change – change in existing conditions and changes in people’s attitudes.
Why is any organization founded?
Organizations are founded because one or more people have a passion for a cause. The Fundação Esperança, a Brazilian nonprofit that has been providing health and education along the Amazon for over 30 years, was losing its funding from its long standing American counterpart, who had a change in philosophy, leadership, and vision. Dr. Bill Chase, Ron Bertagnoli, and Dr. Daniel Weiss were passionate about the work of the Fundação Esperança, and could not bare to think what would happen to the thousands of people who are effected by the Fundação Esperança. Thus, the (3AO)was founded in 1999 in Adrian, MI to support the activities of the Fundação Esperança.
In order to supplement income to offset expenses administrating Amazon-Africa Aid, several fund raisers are held every year. Our most successful fund raisers in the US involve a spinoff on the old “casino night”, that used to be a staple of PTAs and women’s auxiliary units in small towns, but organized so that the players are located all across the country. The most popular game is slots, because it does not require much skill, and can be enjoyed by anyone of any age. By partnering with websites featuring online slots for US players, our fundraising is not limited to the number of donors able to fit into a limited space. We’ve had literally thousands of contributors playing not only slots, but roulette, blackjack, and other games of chance simultaneously both entertained and raising funds. Our last event raised over $50,000 in one night. Because of this we’re expanding the effort to include many more countries – we have many willing online casinos ready to participate and have made inquiries to limit the legal restrictions that some countries impose on gambling.
The Original Founder: Luke Tupper
Fr. Luke, a former Navy and Marine Corps doctor, first witnessed the medical deprivation of the children of South America while traveling to the South Pole aboard a U.S. Navy icebreaker. After five years of Military service, Dr. Luke started a residency in plastic surgery at the University of Chicago. Haunted by the memories of the children, he resigned his residency and entered the Franciscan Order. After his ordination, Fr. Luke was assigned to Brazil and began the overwhelming task of bringing medical care to people in the region. Without money, medicine, vaccines, or equipment, Fr. Luke was determined to reduce the appalling infant mortality rate which approached 50% in some isolated villages. Help poured in form the United States and Europe. In 1972, a medical clinic, the Clinica Dos Pobres (Clinic of the Poor) was completed.
The Clinica Dos Pobres became the cornerstone of the Fundação Esperança. Over the years, other buildings have been constructed to house the burgeoning training programs, including a dental clinic, laboratory, operating theater and recovery rooms, classrooms, and living quarters for students and medical volunteers. Luke passed away on September 18, 1978. He was killed in a motorcycle accident while continuing his studies at Ohio State University. Though Luke may be gone, his legacy of compassion and caring continues.