February 20, 2015
On Saturday, January 31, 2015 the third annual dinner and auction in Namsos, Norway raised 115,000 NOK for Lene Maria for Rent Vann (or Lene Maria for Clean Water), the Norwegian memorial campaign that has funded 17 distinct clean water access points with Voss Foundation, along with sanitation and hygiene infrastructure and maintenance. Renowned chef Jens Ramfjord led a team of 20 chefs from Chefs Master Guild of Nord-Trøndelag to serve the 130 guests a seven-course gourmet dinner of the best quality.
“This was an absolutely wonderful evening thanks to the impressive chefs, students who volunteered as servers, artists who donated art [for an auction], and all others who generously contributed their time and talents!,” said Arnulf and Tove Bergum, the founders of Lene Maria for Rent Vann. Their daughter Lene Maria, was tragically killed in the attack at Utøya on July 22, 2011.
100% of proceeds went directly to the organization, which is now raising funds for a new water project with Voss Foundation in the Samburu region Kenya. The plan is to open the project in August 2016.
Cecilie Malm Brundtland, Voss Foundation’s European Representative who attended the event, had only the highest praise for the evening – including the scallops which were fresh from the local fjord – “the best I’ve ever had!,” she said.
In attendance was also Marianne Ofstad, the mother of Maria Annette Ofstad, a friend of Lene Maria’s who sadly died of a terminal illness in 2013. A new water project in Lekeri, Kenya, will be opened shortly in memory of Maria Annette, thanks to a joint fundraising effort. Marianne Ofstad will join the Bergum family on an upcoming trip to Kenya.
“It is great to see what these water projects have led to. I think Maria Annette would have liked very well that her name can live on and benefit so many in this way,” says Ms. Ofstad.
Lene Maria for Rent Vann has already collected around 1.5 million Norwegian krone, to help nearly 8,000 people gain access to clean water in Kenya, Liberia, and Uganda. Their goal is to collect enough money to help 13,000 people access clean water, equivalent to the population of Namsos, Lene Maria’s home town.
Voss Foundation is honored to be associated with this beautiful and impressive campaign, and was delighted to join in the event in Namsos. We thank the Bergum family, the Ofstad family, and everyone else who has contributed to this extraordinary success!