Hi, my name is Shaun Joynt. I live in Pretoria, South Africa and work as a pastor and research associate in the discipline of practical theology. I have the opportunity of attending the Annual Meeting of the American Academy of Religion in San Antonio, Texas from 19-22 November this year (more info at the end). My professor attends the AAR every 2nd year and this is her allocated year, which makes this significant as she will mentor me and introduce me to the various important role-players in my field. Maybe, equally if not more important, I will have the opportunity to visit my sister who settled in the USA 10 years ago after getting married to a great guy. So this is CONVERGENCE - an opportunity to BOTH attend an important conference and visit my sister for the FIRST time in the USA (I am staying with them for 2 weeks). Unfortunately, I don't qualify for any financial assistance so am reaching out to family, friends, and kind strangers who are willing to help me realize this dream within the next 60 days.
I have been able to cover some of the costs but not all and that is why crowdfunding is my last resort, as the $2000 is crucial in making my attending the conference possible.
Here are the costs associated with the trip:
- Visa and documents related expenses - $160 (covered by me)
- Conference fee - $270 (covered by me)
- Flight to Atlanta, then Dallas (return) - $1100 (need your help!)
- Conference accommodation - $650 (need your help!)
- Transport during conference - $200 (need your help!)
- Living expenses for 2 weeks - $420 (covered by my sister and me)
TOTAL: $2800 ($850 cover by me, which in South African rands is R12,392.00)
$2000 is 2000 people donating 1 dollar (R14) each or maybe 500 people donating the equivalent of a Bic Mac meal ($4/R56) or any other fast-food meal for that matter. It seems small. Yet, the success of my campaign will mean South Africans will benefit from my specific research in the discipline of practical theology. I hope you will be a part of my journey in transforming South Africa: one opportunity at a time, one day at a time, one life at a time.
More on the AAR at https://www.aarweb.org/annual-meeting, a synopsis follows:
"The 2016 Annual Meetings in San Antonio, Texas, November 19–22, hosted by the American Academy of Religion and Society of Biblical Literature, is the world's largest gathering of scholars interested in the study of religion. Academic sessions, workshops, meetings, receptions, and tours … more than 1,000 events take place during the Annual Meetings. The Annual Meetings Employment Center provides job seekers and employers a convenient, private setting for interviews. The Annual Meetings Exhibit Hall, with more than 150 publishers exhibiting, is the best place to review the latest publications within the field. The Annual Meetings offers unparalleled opportunities to engage with leading scholars and scholarship within the field of religion. Register this spring to receive the best attendee rate and hotel selection, and join some 10,000 attendees who are expected to attend the 2016 Annual Meetings!"