Annual Pennies for Panzi Campaign Begins February 22


Photo used with permission from the Panzi Foundation USA

The Panzi Hospital is located in the Sud-Kivu province in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Tyrone High School’s Youth Action Network (YAN) will hold its annual campaign to raise money and awareness for the Panzi Hospital in Bukavu, Democratic Republic of Congo from February 22 to March 5.

The hospital was founded by Nobel Peace Prize winner Dr. Denis Mukwege in 1999 to serve women who are victims of war, rape, and abuse and their children. Many of the patients treated at the hospital are victims of severe emotional and physical abuse. 

Even in this time of an international pandemic YAN recognizes the need to continue our support of the Panzi Hospital and the work being done by Dr. Mukwege and his staff

— Mr. Cummins McNitt

YAN has been supporting Panzi hospital for over 10 years, contributing more than $14,000 in total. Over the years, students in Mrs. Tracy Redinger’s world cultures classes have learned about the violence in central Africa and the response by Dr. Mukwege and others to care for the victims of war in Congo. 

Tyrone High School is one of the hospital’s longest serving donors in the United States, and one of the only high schools in the nation that support the hospital on a regular basis.

This fundraiser is an annual event, but because of the pandemic, this Pennies for Panzi fundraiser is more important than ever.

“Because of the pandemic YAN has not been able to use our traditional means of raising funds for the hospital, as such we anticipate a lower donation, but something is better than nothing.” said YAN adviser Cummins McNitt. “We are after all trying to have an effect on our world, regardless of how large it might be.”  

Donation cans will be placed in each Social Studies classroom: Mrs. Burket, Mr. Cammarata, Mr. Elder, Mr. McNitt, and Mrs. Redinger. The objective is to see which classroom can raise the largest amount in pennies, and who can raise the most overall. Pennies score a point each but any denomination other than a penny (dollar, nickels, quarters, etc.) takes that many points away from the penny count. All proceeds will be donated to the Panzi Hospital and the two winning classrooms will receive a prize from YAN for their contributions.

“Even in this time of an international pandemic,” said McNitt. “YAN recognizes the need to continue our support of the Panzi Hospital and the work being done by Dr. Mukwege and his staff.”