On Wednesday, December 13th, Village Health Works (VHW)hosted its 10th Annual Holiday Luncheon at the Loeb Boathouse in Central Park. The festivities have been a tradition since a small but mighty group came together to support healthcare and education in Burundi a decade ago. Hosted annually by Sharon and Bill Jacob, this event has grown in number and commitment and now raises support for the Kigutu Hospital and Women’s Health Pavilion, an 85,000-square-foot hospital in the mountains of Kigutu, rural Burundi, which opened in June 2023.
VHW founder and CEO Deogratias Niyizonkiza, the subject of Pulitzer Prize-winning author Tracy Kidder’s book, Strength in What Remains, along with the Jacobs, welcomed Mr. and Mrs. Kidder, as well as new and long-time supporters of Village Health Works to the event.
The excitement in the room generated by video updates from Kigutu set the tone for a panel discussion moderated by Ali Wentworth. The panel included Deo Niyizonkiza and VHW board members Dennis Hanno, Michael Hebb, and Rishi Narang.
Guests included Ali Wentworth, Eileen Guggenheim, David Kratz, Camilla Park, Delphene O’Rourke, Grace Gould, Jonathan Goldberg, Nicole Salmasi, Barclay Collins, Isaac Thweatt, Tracy and Fran Kidder.
The event was an opportunity for a wonderful community of Village Health Works friends to gather together and to celebrate the spirit of the holiday season in gratitude while supporting an incredible cause that helps so many mothers, children, and families in Burundi to receive life-saving care and the highest quality education.