Through their annual charity volleyball tournament and other fundraising efforts, West Chester University’s Circle K has raised more than $1,500 for Empowering Humanity One by One (EHOBO), a charity co-founded by a WCU professor, on Sunday, Feb. 21.

The tournament took place from around noon to 5 p.m., when 22 teams competed in single-elimination volleyball games that ran for 20 minutes each. Teams had between six to eight members, with registration costing $10 per person.

The first place team was “I’d Hit That.” Second place was “The Purple Cobras,” while “The Rehoboth Beach Cuties” won Most Spirited.

As Circle K is a community service club, they promoted doing service at the event.

While teams waited for their game to occur, they could participate in service projects, including blanket-making, making coloring books for children in hospitals and making caterpillar toys for children.

If someone participated in a service project, they earned a raffle ticket. Raffle tickets were also available for sale for $1 per ticket or $5 for an arm’s length of tickets. Raffle prizes included gift cards to Burrito Loco, Kildare’s, Ryan’s Pub and more.

According to Katie Rincavage, the WCU Circle K president, the tournament “is a day where a diverse group of people come together for a common cause.”

The entire tournament benefited EHOBO, which was founded by Dr. Gustave KN Mbuy, a professor at WCU, and his wife Julienne B Muntu-Mbuy, in the summer of 2006.

According to its website, EHOBO’s mission is to “[prevent] premature deaths in children less than seven years of age in the Democratic Republic of the Congo with the help of local trained professionals (nutritionists, nurses and doctors) by providing emergency medical care for children, and educating their mothers on nutrition and child care techniques that increase their likelihood of survival.”

According to Dr. Mbuy, who is the chairman of the Board of Directors, “children are the knots in the fishing net of humanity.”

“They’re the base upon which we live and breathe as humans. They should not be left to suffer and die,” said Dr. Mbuy. “If humanity is a net, then its strength is only as great as our devotion to one another. The integrity of our future depends on the health of each knot, and the act of catching fish that only our children may live to eat.”

EHOBO leads mothers through a full tutorial on childcare, development and local food preparation.

There are monthly follow-ups with trained healthcare professionals until the child is school-aged.

According to the website, “The goal is for the mother to maximize their limited resources in order to provide better child care.”

By helping the families with proper nutrition and hygiene, families are able to avoid preventable childhood diseases, EHOBO is decreasing childhood mortality.

Theresa Kelly is a fourth-year student majoring in English literature secondary education. She can be reached at TK780615@wcupa.edu.

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