Creation of Hope

February 2012 update

This has been an incredible month in Kenya.  Last week during a distribution day Ruth and Henry gave out a new record – 30 goats in one day!  All of those pictures have been shared with the person/school that made the donation and many of them are below.  Giving somebody a goat provides them with a secure ongoing supply of milk.  This milk can be consumed or sold in the market.  Goats can be raised and the baby goats sold.  There is such a ripple effect when an orphan is given a goat that impacts on their health, school results, security and their entire future.  $40.00 buys a goat.  It also buys a more secure future for one orphan.  I love goats.

Individual Donations

Gunter and Tamara Jahns in New Jersey made a donation which will result in the entire Rolling Hills Residence being supported for two days.

Karel van Dam made a donation that will provide for an entire week of support for the entire Rolling Hills Residence – see picture below

School Donations


As noted in their letter there will be $100.00 put toward the Light The Night program and in the coming updates we will document what was purchased and which children received lights.

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February 22, 2013

Dear Mr. Walters,

We are happy to inform you that you were the McKinnon inspiration for us wanting to raise money for your orphanage.  This is how we raised the money.

First, we thought of what we could do to raise money.  We had a hard time at first, but then it hit us!  Valentine’s day was  just around the corner and we usually sell candy grams.  Instead of using the money raised from the candy grams sales for school purposes, we donated the money to your own orphanage in Kenya! 

Next, Mrs. Sharma-Mehta’s class worked hard to convince students to buy them by making convincing announcements in the morning.  Mrs. Rumble’s class also helped sell candy grams and they also created posters that told the students when the sales were taking place.  Ms. Beckett generously donated the candy and the rest of the school bought a ton of candy grams.

Finally, you might be wondering how much we raised right?  Wait for it, wait for it… WE RAISED 550 DOLLARS!  Once again we would like thank you for inspiring us.  We hope we helped your orphanage a lot.


McKinnon P.S.

Shaylon and Meth

For ten days all of the children at Rolling Hills Residence are fed, provided school supplies, the salaries of the matron, night watchman and tutor are paid, and the electricity, water and sanitation for the entire building.  What a gift!

Guelph University Students – POLS 3000 – Politics of Africa Course

This is Benjamin.  He is a wonderful young man who resides with his grandmother Grace.  He was in grade 8 when we first discussed with him the possibility of funding his high school education.  At that time he had no hope of going further and his marks were poor.  He made a decision to go back two years in his elementary education and to focus on his studies.  The results were amazing.  He graduated from grade 8 having scored 311 in the National Exams.  This was the highest mark of any of the children we have supported coming out of elementary school.  He has qualified for a high level of education and the support from Guelph students will help pay for his first year in high school.  Thank you for helping Benjamin to reach his potential.

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Another young person provided with help in going to high school.

Daily Sponsorship

These three days were split between these two sources.


A goat is an investment in the long term health and care of an orphan.  It is a source of milk, a potential ‘breeder’ and the offspring sold.  This month we gave away a record 30 goats.  Below are some of the sixteen goats provided by the students Ecole Heather Park.  All of the pictures of all the goats they purchased were forwarded to the school.

Other goats


It only costs $8.00 but it makes the difference between shivering in the cold and being warm and secure, the difference between health and sickness, the difference between being ill or in school and learning.



Books for Raphael (his grandmother holding them) from his sponsor Richard

A letter and present for Juliet from her sponsor Birgitta in Germany

Special presents from Lucy for her sponsored child Mary.  This is even more special because this summer Lucy met Mary, went to her school and homestead and met her family.

January 2013 Update

As part of our Christmas celebration the children in the program and their extended family members came to the residence to receive food packages, presents from sponsors, other distribution items such as blankets and chickens, and each child was given new clothing and shoes.

A group shot of many of our children in their Christmas clothing!

Although our monthly distributions are now mobile – we travel out to make deliveries to them rather the sponsored child and extended family coming to the compound – there will still be three or even four times a year when everybody will gather at the Rolling Hills Residence.  These times of group celebration, and a shared meal, help to cement the bonds of all of those in the program.


Our program has operated by using Ruth and Henry’s very old car and pickup truck.  We launched an initiative to purchase a used vehicle – a 10 seat van.  We presented to the Georgetown Rotary Club and they made a very generous donation of $1,500.00 to help purchase the vehicle.  Special thanks to Barry Edington.

We are hoping to expand this partnership with the Rotary Club in Machakos – the doctor who treats our children is a member and has offered support.  The vehicle will be purchased in the coming months.

Our friends at William Dunbar P.S. made a donation for $100.00.  This donation is explained in the letter below and below that is the ‘thank you’ picture to show how we will use that donation.

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Thanks for thinking of us Susan!

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This donation is going to be used for literacy initiative in the program including books, chairs and tables in our new library at the Rolling Hills Residence.  We will forward pictures once the purchased have been completed and the work done.

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Our friends in B.C. at Van Bien E.S. will be sent pictures of the items – and the children who receive them – over the coming weeks.  Special thanks to Cliff Hall who is on our ‘waiting list’ for sponsorship but while waiting has made a monthly donation to go in our emergency medical fund.

We received donations from Clarkson Secondary School ($170) and the Witty Kniters Club ($25) by making and selling sock monkeys.

Thank you for taking time out of your busy schedule to come visit us here at Clarkson. My name is Kalin, and on behalf of Mrs. Mark’s grade 9 English class, me and these other five students would like to present to you the money we raised for your Creation of Hope charity.            

It’s funny because last week we had to present essays on heroes, and I stated in mine that a hero is someone who selflessly sacrifices something for the benefit of others, and that’s exactly what you and your husband do. Thank you for being heroes to the children in Africa and role models to us.


One of most faithful sponsors, Barb Kettle, has retired from her position as the teacher/librarian at Alexander Graham Bell.

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In her honor they collected $376.30 which Barb has asked to be directed toward tuition fees.

Brett Walker forwarded a donation for $100.00 from a student at St. Pius who wished to remain anonymous.

In the previous month St. Pius had made a donation of $750.00.

Along with Brett Walker there were two people specifically to be thanked at St. Pius.

I was at Mckinnon P.S. and two students, Trevor and Rahul donated enough to buy a blanket.

And here is Boniface with his new blanket!

Early in the week at St. Bridget a student, Devin Fitzpatrick, came forward with a donation of $40.00 for a goat.  I look forward to giving Devn and his family the picture of the child who will receive this goat.

Students like Trevor, Rahul and Devin are inspirations to me.

Our support from schools has also come from teachers.

Stephen Obermeyer, a teacher at Rousseau P.S. made a donation to provide a day of support for one day and two blankets.

Individual Donations

Krista Pettey made a generous donation to be applied to tuition fees.

Fred Dawber is a sponsor in the program who is also a very generous supporter of special projects.  Our well is named after the Dawber Family.  He made another donation to help with the piping leading from the well to the residence.

Once again Sharon Freeman has made another donation.

*** Mary Anne Watson Bonsall made a donation in honor of her friend’s (Sharon and Michael) marriage.

Support for the Rolling Hills Residence is ongoing from our generous sponsors.  $50.00 provides the food for the children, medical treatment, school supplies, the salaries of the matron, night watchman and tutor, and the sanitation, water and electricity for the entire building for one day.

Specific Requests of Donated Funds

School is technically ‘free’ for students from grade 1 – 8.  However without uniforms the children are not able to attend.

High School Tuition

While 1 – 8 is ‘free’, high school involves tuition.  These fees are reflective of the level of school – local, regional or national with each level being more expensive.  This year we have 24 students in high school.  Some of the expenses are paid for by sponsors while other children are not sponsored – they are the siblings or cousins of sponsored children –  and are needy students identified in the community but unable to pay, and lastly, some students we ‘inherited’ when another orphanage had to close its facility.  Here is a sampling of the thanks we gave out for this support.


Christmas and Birthday Presents

Mailing parcels to Kenya is expensive, takes a long time for them to arrive, and there is always a slight risk that they will go astray and never arrive.  We try to send back a picture by email to the sponsor showing their child holding the things that were sent.  Here is a sampling of those pictures chosen simply because they made me smile the most.

Theresia from the Totens

Faith from Emily and Erin

Jan13update (29) Mwendwa from Nicole and Trevor

Mutunga from Wendy and Barb

Mary with letter a letter from Lucy and kerosene purchased by Lucy’s donation

Muthina receiving school books from Barb

A letter for Leonard from Lynda


Chris traveled with us to Kenya this past summer.  She was captured by the experience and made two decisions – to become involved in helping Anita and myself in the day-to-day running of the program and to sponsor a child.  Here she is in the picture being held by her sponsored child Kelvin.

Kelvin has recently moved to The Rolling Hills Residence.  This was precipitated by the death of his beloved grandfather who provided for Kelvin, but also was provided for by Kelvin.  I had met with his grandfather on many occasions over the years.  He was a true gentleman, generous of soul, an elder in his community and will be missed.

Already residing at Rolling Hills is Kelvin’s younger brother Eric, so in some ways this is also a reunion.

Lisa was the first volunteer to go to Kikima where she spent three months working in a local girls’ high school.  She has recently graduated from university and is one of our newest sponsors.

Her child, Mutunga, holds a picture of Lisa taken when she was volunteering.  It should also be noted that Lisa is our webmaster and posts our monthly updates!

MaryAnne Watson Bonsall and her family being ‘held’ by their sponsored child, Teddy

Mary-Anne has often made donations individually (see in first section) and with the students in her school and it’s wonderful to have her and her family as sponsors.

Anita Burnett and her family are our newest sponsors.  We welcome them aboard and look forward to them forging an ongoing relationship with Elizabeth Kamutu.

December 2012 Update

December is one of our busiest months.  It is a time when sponsors and schools often make generous donations, when the children all receive Christmas presents and parcels, when exams are written that will determine high school placements, when every child returns to their extended family to spend the school break, and everything is marked by a gigantic celebration and gathering of all our children and extended family members!  Wow . . . I got tired just keyboarding that!



That celebration – a gathering and meal for almost 400 people – was funded by a generous donation of Christ the King E.S. in Whitehorse under the direction of Tanis and spearheaded by 7G!  They donated $339.69 which paid for the food for the gathering and also a little bit more that went into the ongoing construction costs in finishing the building.

Special thanks to Marlene – and Sharon Jennings – for leadership for this donation from Associated Hebrew School!

The students of Glendale E.S. under the leadership of Ryan Rumsby  did their annual leaf raking.  This money – and other monies raised over the years has gone toward water projects.   Below is a letter written by one of the students, Caitlin, to explain the fundraising activity,


On Monday November 5th students from Glendale Elementary School roamed  their neighborhood in search of any lawn in need of raking. The students from the grade 4/5, 5/6 & 7/8 classes set off in groups to cover as many houses as possible in the area and raked lawns for any given price by residents. The students only went out one day but raised an astonishing $730.50 that was all donated to the Creation of Hope foundation.

I personally love funding activities where the children/students go out and earn the funds such as this one.  Ryan is not only a long term supporter of the program but he and his wife Amy are also sponsors of Musyoki.

We also received a donation from the Dashwood family in honor of Mr. Rumsby from Amber for school supplies – $25.00

This past summer we had 19 Canadians visit the program in Kenya.  Amongst those people were Stephanie and her two children Sydney and Gavin (Gavin being the youngest person to ever visit the program).  Recently I presented at Gavin’s school – Florence Meares P.S.   The fee they paid me has been donated to the program and will be used to help fund a new vehicle.

Those who follow our updates realize that we are presently dependent on two very old (almost 30 years old) vehicles that belong to Ruth and Henry.  We hope in the coming months to purchase a used van for the program.

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This fundraising of St. Pius X High School was under the direction of Brett Walker and we’d like to extend our thanks to him as well as two people, Ivana Etro and a student, William Rush, who donated from his part-time job.  The total donation was for $750.00 Once again, it always means so much when a student donates from their own money that they earned.  Way to go William!

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Sara has provided incredible leadership at Jack Hulland School in Whitehorse – the students of this school are amongst our most generous ongoing supporters.  Part of this donation was used for tuition for a student – see below. Sara, along with her daughter, Anwyn, are also the sponsors of a child in the program, Mwongeli.

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Once again Simone has taken on the leadership at St. Faustina and she and her students have made another wonderful donation to the program.

For a second month in a row we have a donation from Emmanuel Baptist Church, from their Sunday School Project, in the amount of $470.00.  Instead of exchanging gifts, the Sunday school children took up a freewill offering for Creation of Hope.  The money is to be used to build and stock the library in the Rolling Hills Residence.  Special thanks to Eric and Barb Ross for their leadership.  As well they are sponsors of a child, Ndaisi.

Individual Donations

We would like to sincerely thank the following generous donors:

Sharon Freeman made a very generous donation to honour all of the people listed below!

Ila and Jim Appleby, The Brunato Family, Karen Danderfer The Dasovic Family, Rae Figursky, Linda and Bob Ford, Jody Freeman, Rob Freeman, The Gambron Family,Janet Goodman, Jennifer Griffin, Pam and John Hossack, Patti Jukes, Danica Kanjer, Vesna and Slav Kanjer, Heather Mackay, Christine and Marjan Markota, Monica and Tom Markota, Zvonimir and Janja Markota, Kath Mathisen, Jeff Peters, Giannina Rakic, Keely Stott and Sharon herself! We are so grateful that Sharon has chosen to benefit the orphans by providing the funds that are given on behalf of many of her special and dear friends and colleagues. Thank You Sharon and company!

A thoughtful and timely donation from Teresa and Ken Toten will be put towards the purchase of our new vehicle.

Donation from Cynthia Kirkpatrick:

We received a donation from Bob and Linda Ford (3 days) both on their behalf and on behalf of Sharon Freeman (2 days) .

Sally Briggs donation will be used to fund 10 days at the program!

Karen Danderfer

Erica Yost and Dr.

Fei Min Lorente and Keita and Kirin

Catherine and Randy Palach for Ms. Healy

Teresa Chircop donated to purchase 4 chickens on behalf of her sister Mary.

Hilary Dawson donated on behalf of her niece Jenna.

Paula and Al made a donation which has been used for tuition fees for a student – see below

Irene and family made a donation to be used for a goat and chicken on behalf of her children Noah, Julia and Cameron

Granny Bags

Anita sent out an email to sponsors and friends to advertise that we had ‘Granny bags’ that had been hand-made by the grandmothers in Mbooni.  She received an overwhelming response, selling out and raising over $1,000!  All the money goes directly back to the program to support the orphans.  The grandmothers were paid a living wage to produce these bags – in some cases the purchase of a bag almost doubled their monthly income.   Sharon Jennings is going over in February and has agreed to bring back another suitcase full of the bags . . . so if anybody else is interested in purchasing . . . we’ll have some more on hand!

School Presents

When I present at schools I am often given tokens of thanks that represent the school.  I try to pass them on to our orphans whenever possible.

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A  hoody from Belle River district High School

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T-shirts from an amazing multi-school social justice day held at St. Anne in Kitchener

A necklace – originally made in Kenya – was donated back by Elizabeth

York River Otters Scarf

High School Support Acknowledgements

To attend high school in Kenya a student must pay.  The amount is determined by the ‘level’ of qualification with National being the highest followed by Regional and Local.  This fee covers tuition, room and board, books, school uniform, transportation to and from school for breaks, and school supplies.  In the coming year we will have 23 students in high school and one student in post secondary.

Christmas Presents and Parcels

Often at Christmas and for birthdays our sponsors send over parcels for their child.  So far every parcel has made it – although sometimes after 3 or 4 months.  We send back a picture of the child holding the items in the parcel.  Here are a few pictures from the Christmas period.

Sarah receiving a parcel from Lou-Anne

Mwende receiving a parcel from Lynn and Orleen

Charles receiving a parcel from Margaret

Every child in the project got new clothing and shoes for Christmas as well as parcels and specific presents sent by their sponsors.  Below are some of these pictures!







Water Project

One of our most generous and ongoing supporters and sponsors is Fred Dawber and his family.  Between Fred and his daughters Kate and Emily they have four sponsored children.  Fred has also been a strong proponent in our ongoing quest for a stable water source for the project.  The well has been named in honour of the Dawber family!

While we have successfully undertaken water projects across Mbooni District we experienced difficulties in providing a similar source for our residence.  Below is the final completed well – 67 feet, often through solid rock with a combination of ‘chipping away’ and blasting with dynamite!

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The water from the well is pumped up the hill to two large storage tanks.  From there it is transferred to the Rolling Hills Residence and also used to irrigate the crops.  If you have water you have life.  We now have plentiful, clean and FREE water!

Thank you pictures

We try our best to send thank you pictures for those offering support.  We email them directly to the supporter and like to post a few each month.  Here is a selection of the pictures.


We are such a small organization – basically run off our kitchen table in Canada and Ruth’s desk in Kenya – that we have decided to limit our number of sponsors until we can evolve in a different way.  Right now we have 6 people on our sponsorship waiting list.  We recently expanded by one sponsor – pictured below!

This is a picture of our 116 sponsor, Beth, being held up by her sponsored child Ruth.

We thank all our faithful and generous sponsors and donors and look forward to a successful year of growth and caring in 2013!  May you too find 2013 to be good and productive.

November 2012 Update

School Donations

St. Joseph Catholic French Immersion in Bowmanville donated $254.00 to be used to purchase two support days; 12/12/12 and January 24, 2013, 4 chickens, 5 blankets and some farm tools and uniforms.  Thanks to Lynn Paquettte for leadership.

Bryan Beauchamp and Girls (Pink Team) of York River made a donation $28.00

Faith Mentors Group at St. Francis Xavier H.S. in Ottawa gave friendship bracelets to be passed on to our children in Kenya.  This group has previously raised funds to support our program and is involved in ongoing fundraising.  Thanks to Deb Campbell for her leadership.

Ecole Heather Park Elementary School in Prince George, B.C. made an incredible donation of $2270.15!  The school has done a wonderful job of not only involving the children in raising the funds but in asking them how they want the funds used.  Below is the ‘grocery’ list of exactly how they want their money to be spent.

In total they want 19 goats, 74 chickens, 8 sets of farm tools, 16 school uniforms, 384 saplings planted, 44 blankets, and 3 full days support for the orphanage.

Special thanks to Ms. Waterman, Mrs. Attree, Mrs. Saro, Mr. Edge, Mr. Parry, and Mr. Pineault.

Immaculata C.H.S. in Ottawa donated $200.00 which they raised by selling popcorn.  This money is going toward support for the Rolling Hills Residence for 4 days.  Special thanks to Darlene Charron for her support.

Individual donations

Barb Tilander made a donation to go toward high school tuition for the coming school year starting in January.

Deborah Kerbal made a Christmas donation.

Anita Davidson made a donation to go toward high school tuition.

Marie Campbell and Bruce Cooper made a donation toward high tuition.

Ann Marie made a donation to purchase a goat.  We’ve already communicated with her that we don’t buy goats at this time of year – the purchase price goes up around Christmas! – but we’ll buy that goat for a worthy orphan and get her the picture in the new year.

Emmanuel Baptist Church, under the leadership of Eric and Barb Ross, donated $400.00 to be used for high school tuition.

I presented in Las Vegas to the ALAN conference.  The participants spontaneously donated $144.00 which has been used to support the Rolling Hills Residence for 3 days.  Special thanks to Don Gallo for organizing this panel.

Water Projects

Progress continues on the Hope Springs project at the bottom of the mountain by our residence.  This project, build in partnership with the local community, and finances by Mr. Rumsby and his school, Glendale, is now finished and functioning.

Our newest well at the Rolling Hills Residence is fully functional, deep and providing plentiful quantities of clean water.  The well will be known as the Dawber Well in honor of the Dawber family!

Special Thanks

$50.00 provides support for the entire Rolling Hills Residence for a day – food, medical treatment, clothing, school supplies, the salaries of the night watchman, tutor and matron, and the electricity, water and sanitation for the entire building.


Christmas Wishes

Our sponsors are always incredibly generous and this generosity extends throughout the Christmas season.  On December 15 Ruth and Henry will be hosting a distribution day in which all of the children in the program will receive Christmas presents from their sponsors.  These presents will include new clothing, shoes, school supplies and toys.  As well, the regular food distribution and giving out of other supplies will also take place.

New Sponsors

Our two newest sponsors aren’t really new, but volunteers who are already involved in the project.

Lisa Farlow was the first person to go and volunteer for an extended period in Kikima and she also runs our website.  She is the new sponsor of Mutunga Mativo.

Chris McGinnis  came with us to Kenya this summer and will soon take on an administrative role in running the project is the new sponsor of Kelvin Muendo.

We are happy to welcome these two valuable supporters as sponsors as well!


We wish you all a very happy holiday season and health, harmony and happiness in the New Year!  Thank you for your interest and support in the Creation of Hope program.  We look forward to working with many of you in the coming year.

October 2012 Update

School donations

October is when the school year gets into full swing and we start to have schools raising funds.

Glendale P.S. in Welland, under the direction of Ryan Rumsby, donated $522.62.

Alexander Graham Bell P.S. in Ajax, under the direction of Barb Kettle, donated $1643.67.

LaSalle P.S. in LaSalle, under the direction of Martha Martin, donated $2522.62.

Above, students from LaSalle Public School presenting their cheque to Eric Walters.

All three schools have agreed to allow the money to be used for high school tuition fees in the coming school year.

The Kenyan school year begins in January.  Children who have qualified for high school or have sufficient marks to remain in high school must pay a yearly fee.  This fee is dependent upon the ‘level’ of the school (local, regional or national – with each becoming more expensive).  Last year we had 21 students in high school and one student in post-secondary.  We know we will have one more high school graduation but we anticipate we will have 24 students in high school.  Until they write their exams in late November/early December we do not know which of our Grade 8 students will qualify to go on and to which level they will qualify.

There are also extra expenses involved with the first year in ‘sending’ a child off to school as they need the school uniform, personal supplies (including things like a wash basin, mattress), and specific books.

All three of the schools listed above have agreed to apply their funds directly to the high school costs.  LaSalle has an ongoing relationship with two children, Faith and Richard, and will pay for their tuition specifically and then have the remainder of their funds applied to support other children.  It is only an estimate at this time but we will probably require around $6000.00 for high school tuition.

Once we have all the facts and figures we will get back to the schools to let them know exactly which children they supported – how their money was used!

Individual donations and some thanks you signs!

Jill and David Powell made a donation to support the whole program for two days.

Margaret Louise Phillippe and Gregory Phillippe made a generous donation to support the entire program for 10 days.

Aimee, Sara, Airah, Brooklyn, Ella and Isabel, from Prince George, B.C.  donated money purchase a goat and 3 chickens for a needy family.  These pictures will be posted on the website when they are given out.

Corine provided for day of support for the whole Rolling Hills Residence – food for 44 children, their daily needs including medical, the salary of the matron, night watchman and tutor, and the electricity, sanitation and water for the entire building . . . amazing what $50.00 can do!

5 days support from Princess Anne for the Rolling Hills Residence

Chloe supported the entire orphanage for December 10th!

The students at St. Joseph supported the Rolling Hills Residence for a day.

Samantha is a young girl who is an ongoing supporter and continues to help our children.  They wanted to let her know how much they appreciate her efforts.

The students of Christ The King in Whitehorse, under the leadership of Tanis, made a donation and then decided as a group how to spend the funds they raised.  Below are pictures – thank you photos – showing some the things they decided on.

Three children with new school uniforms.

I love when an orphan gets a goat!  This is a life changing event.



Our sponsors often send their child a small gift.  Sending things halfway across the world can often take a long time but so far every present sent has been received.  We always try to send back a picture to the sponsor showing their child holding all of the precious items sent and received.

Wanza holding prized things sent by her sponsors, Jessica Patrick and her family

A birthday greeting from April for her sponsored child Mbula– I think the smile says it all.

Christmas Presents

Many of our sponsors have made a generous donation to provide for their child as well as presents for other children in the extended family who might not have anything.  Our hope is to stretch this money sufficiently that each child will receive new clothing and shoes as well as some other less practical items.  In addition many sponsors have sent over a small package or a greeting card to be shared with their child.  The generous nature and kind spirits of our sponsors continues to inspire all of us.

Progress on The New Water Project

If you give water you give life.  We have been partnering with a group of people who gather their water at a small puddle in the mud at the ‘bottom of the hill’ a few kilometers from our residence.  This project was launched almost a year ago, but sometimes partnerships take time to develop.  We provided the cement, iron rods, pipes and hardware, and expertise of a water engineer and stone mason and the people in the community provided sand, gravel and labour.

Previously their water was merely a trickle coming out of the rocks and settling into a small pool in the mud. This new source will be clean and fast running.

Here are some pictures of this almost finished project, funded by the students of Ryan Rumsby.

The pipes have been dug down to ‘tap’ the source of the water

A cement retaining wall will hold a reservoir of fresh water

Another view of the stone mason at work


Rolling Hills Residence II – Diane’s Wing

Bit by bit the whole residence is being completed.

A side view – also showing some our kids playing and smiling!

Front view

The older boys residence (this would be second from the bottom on the side view)


We have added a new sponsor this month with three new ones coming ‘on board’ in the next month.  As we are limiting the number of active sponsors currently to 115, the new sponsors take over when another individual is no longer in a position to continue the financial commitment.  We actively encourage our sponsors to write letters, send pictures and then each summer we hope that some of them will have a chance to travel to Kenya to meet their sponsored child and their extended families.  One of my greatest joys this past summer was being present to see these first meetings.

We strongly believe that this commitment is much more than simply providing money.  When you get involved with a child you give them back a role that was lost – they are a member of your family.

September 2012 Update

I’ve been doing these updates – monthly during the school year and one per summer – since the project began.  This is always a fairly time consuming and highly detailed task.  Without exception each time I finish I give a big ‘sigh’ of relief, but also look back with a real sense of accomplishment – not my accomplishment for finishing but for all of those individuals and schools who have given so generously to Ruth and her team and who have done so much.  A big thank you  to everybody who was part of this month’s progress!


Personal Donations

We would like to thank all of the following people for their generous donations to the program.

Dawn Nazareth and Sydney Fernandez

Joanne Gordon

Mary Kacur

Laura Mead

Cliff and Sandy Hall – they are making a monthly donation to be used for our emergency medical fund while they wait to become sponsors.

Connie Masich

Rebecca Watts

Stacie Lee Gray

And her donation funded the program for two days.

Brittanie Rassveld – student at LDSS in Burns Lake purchased this chicken

Teresa and Matt Monkman

And how their support was used!

Cassandra Scavetta – Staff at St. Jean Brebeuf Catholic Elementary School – $30.00


Charles Vandervaart – $150.23.  Charles requested 2 goats, 1 school uniform, 1 blanket, 1 sapling, and for the remaining $50 to go wherever need is greatest. He will receive pictures of his requests being filled.


This summer while visiting in Kenya, Julia decided that every child in the orphanage needed a new pair of running shoes!

Pretty classy looking!

Mutisya was provided by a new uniform by his sponsor Matt.



Christ the King Elementary School, Whitehorse, Tanis, $172.24



Here’s what the class has decided:

        1 X goat                $40

        9 X unifiorm              117

        3 X blanket               25


It was a passionate conversation, and heartening to hear the value that the kids placed on an education.  They also made sure that everyone’s voice was heard, that’s why they decided to “spread the money around.”  Another really great group of kids this year!  We look forward to supporting you again.


And here’s the first part of their request being fulfilled.


Prince Anne French Immersion P.S. $516.08

This money will be used in the coming months and a report given back to the students on how their donation was put to use.


Pictures of Support and thanks from the Kids of Kikima

I was just at Ryan’s school and gave them a ‘granny bag’ made by one of our grandmothers and purchased from her to help support her grandchildren.  We hope this can be used as a diaper bag for  Ryan and Amy’s new born daughter Maddie!

More Daily Support 

$50.00 per day provides the food for all the children of The Rolling Hills Residence, the salary of the matron, night watchman and tutor, the electricity, sanitation and water for the entire building and a prorated amount that provided medical treatment, clothing and school supplies for all the children in the home.

Here are some pictures – others have received their pictures directly.



Light the Night

For the vast majority of children in our program electricity and lighting does not exist.  This is not just in their homes, but in their schools, churches and community.  Many children are go to school before light and return to do chores until once again the sun has set.  The only light possible is a kerosene lamp and often the cost of kerosene is so high that this is only used for work related tasks around the homestead and not for school work.  Repeatedly we have had children request lamps and kerosene so that they could do their school work.  We have provided both but the ongoing cost of kerosene is expensive and the fumes are rather toxic.  We are presently investigating a number of options including solar powered lanterns to replace these.  Once we have come up with the best possible option we are going to look at funding an entire Light the Night campaign.  The initial costs will be higher than simply providing ongoing kerosene but there will be – we hope – basically no ongoing costs.

Distribution Day

Each month we distribution over 2.2 metric tons of food to the children in our program who reside in extended family situations.  As well, they receive beds/chickens/tools/goats/mattresses and assorted other items which have been donated or are deemed to be necessary for that child and household.  This month for the first time we did out outreach in a different way.  Rather than the children and extended family members coming to The Centre we hired a vehicle and brought the items to them.

A number of centralized distribution points were arranged and our vehicle arrived at agreed times.  This method saved time, money and proved to be a wonderful new definition of how regular food distribution will be done in the future.  While we will still continue to bring everybody together two or three times a year, this will now be the new ‘normal’ in how this happens on a monthly basis.

Thank you pictures

In last month’s update which covered the summer period, I gave very specific breakdowns as to how funds were spent for each school.  These are just thank you pictures that go along to different schools and people for helping us to grow.

Of all the wonderful people who have been involved Abbie and the students at Rolling Hills have been our biggest supporters.  These children – and all of us – owe a big thank you to this devoted group for their ongoing involvement.


A final special thanks to Lorraine and the entire team at Fairview for all that they have done.



At present we have 115 sponsors in Canada, Germany, the United States, and of course in Kenya.  We are a very small organization – completely volunteer driven in Canada – and operated by Ruth and her small team in Kenya.  We collectively made a decision that we had to limit our sponsor simply because we couldn’t – at this time – manage any more sponsors and give the personal attention that we and our sponsors value.

We have had people continue to request to be involved in sponsoring a child and we have placed them on a ‘waiting list’.  At present there are nine people on the list.  While we feel badly  we have no choice at this time.  In the coming months help is on the way.  Chris McGinnis will be retiring and offering her assistance to Anita at this end while in Kenya hiring Irene to replace Kay (and keeping Kay on to handle some tasks) combined with the completion of the building will hopefully free up enough time to allow growth.  We thank those on the waiting list for their patience.  In some cases the ‘sponsors in waiting’ have actually started making monthly donations which are going to our emergency medical fund. 

Health care is not free in Kenya and we have approximately 400 children who are involved in the program, so you can imagine that there is almost always somebody who needs medical treatment.   This ranges from minor medical attention, medication, dental care and surgery to children who have ongoing medical needs.  Support from those who are waiting to become sponsors, or any others who choose to donate, is a valuable and significant contribution towards meeting the needs of the orphans requiring medical attention! Thank you.

Summer Update 2012

June 16 to September 1, 2012

Those who follow our updates know that the new building has absorbed much attention – and much of our donated funds.  This building is so important beyond the 44 children who reside at The Rolling Hills Residence.  It is the ‘tip of the iceberg’ as this building is becoming the epi-centre of all charitable projects within the Mbooni region.  It is being constructed to move towards self-sufficiency. The biogas plant on site provides fuel for cooking and the construction on the top floor is for use as a conference centre which will be rented out for community functions, with that rent going towards the ongoing support of the program.

Listed below are schools that have made donations and as well as the ways that this money was spent.  Often we ‘hold onto’ the money for a number of months while we designate it to specific tasks.  This summer all available money was spent to move the new building to the point where it is getting close to completion so I have listed the schools fundraising efforts and the way the money was used in the same sections.

Previously Raised Funds and how they were spent

Rolling Hills Public School in Bethany Ontario, under the guidance of Abbie Wright, has been the school that has raised the most money for our program.  The original building was named in their honor and now with the construction of the new building the name itself, Rolling Hills, is being transferred over.  In addition part of this new building is being designated Diana’s Wing in memory of a teacher whose life was tragically cut short.

This past year they raised $8022.36 in their annual Hoops for Hope Tournament.  We are truly appreciative of their amazing support!! Here’s how the money was spent on our new building.

12 double steel doors @ $120.00 ($1440), 10 loads of sand @ $75.00 ($750), 3 loads of ballast @ $162.00 ($486), 5 water tanks @ $75.00 ($375), $1000 of plumbing materials, 30 boxes of floor tiles @ $15.00 ($450), 100 bags of cement @ $10.00 ($1000), and $2521.00 in labor costs.

Ray Lewis P.S. in Hamilton donated $1237.00.  These funds were used to pay for 10 small window panes @$46 ($460), 3 large steel windows @ $73.00 ($219) 1 load of ballast @ $162.00, 10 boxes of floor tiles @ $15.00 ($150), and $246.00 in general labor costs.

Neha Shah, a student at White Oaks P.S. donated $390.00.  This money was used to purchase a large window pane for $51.00, 10 boxes of floor tiles @ $15.00 ($150), a water tank @ $75.00, and 12 bags of cement @ $10.00 ($120).

St. Paul’s School in Norwood, under the direction of Shirley Coughlan raised $660.30.  This money was used to support the program for 11 days!

St. Joan of Arc C.S. in Maple under the direction of Ms. Rustja raised $1086.92.  These funds were used to purchase 5 loads of construction sand @ $75.00 ($375),  2 water tanks @ $75.00 ($150), 20 boxes of floor tiles @ $15.00 ($300), $201.62 in electrical fittings and supplies and 6 bags of cement @ $10.00 ($60).

Queens University provided $380.00 which was used to purchase 38 bags of cement @ $10.00 ($380).

Thanks to the fund raising efforts of Jack Hulland P.S. under the leadership of Sara Tillet.  As requested these funds were used to purchase $1200 in textbooks for the school where our children attend.

The amounts to between 5 and 7 textbooks per subject area for every grade 1 – 8.  This donation more than doubled the texts books available at this school and will have long term positive effects on the education of children throughout this school for years to come.


Fund Raising – Funds Spent!

William Dunbar – $724.50

A donation from our Student Council.   We look forward to reading how you can best use our donation this year!

Susan Wright

These funds were used to purchase 5 water tanks @ $75.00 ($375), 2 single steel doors @ $85.00 ($170) and 18 bags of cement @ $10.00 ($180)


Stewarttown funds were used to provide paints and painting, $650.00, 6 single steel doors @ $85.00 ($510), 10 small steel windows @ $45.00 ($450), and 39 bags of cement @ $10.00 ($390.00)

Stride School in Burnaby B.C. contributed $300.00.  These funds purchased the glass for 5 windows @ $46.00 ($230) and 7 bags of cement @ $10.00 ($70).

These funds from Associated Hebrew Schools were used to support the entire program for 2 days @ $50.00 per day, and 3 bags of cement @ $10.00 ($30.00)

Ballantrae P.S. Aurora raised $742.92.  The money was spent to purchase 5 small steel windows @ $45.00 ($225), 2 large steel windows @$73.00 ($146), and $371 toward the electrical wiring and fittings for the building.

Grandview supported the entire Rolling Hills Residence for 1 day – the food for 44 children, school supplies, clothing, medical treatment, the salaries of the matron, night watchman, tutor, electricity, sanitation and water for the entire building!

These funds were used to purchase 1 double steel door @ $120.00, 1 large steel window @ $73.00, 1 water tank @ $75.00 and 9 bags of cement @ $10.00 ($90.00)

These funds were used to provide 5 large steel windows @ $73.00 ($365), 5 large window panes @ $51.00 ($255), and $324.00 for plumping materials including pipes and fittings.

Monsignor Uyen C.S., Chatham, $362.00 Carmen Gagnier

These funds were specifically donated to provide 23 orphans with blankets and 28 chickens to be distributed to orphans.  Pictures will be sent to the school – and displayed on our website – when these donations are finalized.

The money raised by Coldwater students is being used to provide support for three days of the Rolling Hills Residence and to purchase 1 bag of cement @ $10.00 for the new building.

Fairview Public School is one of our most generous schools.  One of our sponsors, Lorraine Toma-Jones, teaches there but it is a full school effort.  Once again they have contributed, this time, $2334.59.  Their donation was used in the following way – 5 large steel windows @ $73.00 ($365), 5 large window panes @ $51.00 ($255), 1 load of construction ballast @ $162.00, 5 loads of sand @ $75.00 ($375), 20 boxes of floor tiles @ $15.00 ($300), and $877.59 toward labor costs.

Personal Donations

Sharon Freeman – Sharon’s donation went toward plumbing (pipes and fittings)

Samantha’s money went toward supporting the entire Rolling Hills Residence for 4 days!

 Letter to Canadian Tire:

Attention: Mrs. Hilda Line

Dear Mrs. Line

                  Re: Your Donation of 140 Bubble Wands to the Kenyan Orphans

On behalf of Creation of Hope, the Hope Development Centre and the orphan children of Kikima Kenya, I would like to extend our sincerest thanks for your generous gift of 140 Giant Bubble Wands early this year. In July 2012, those wands were carried by Canadian sponsors into the Mbooni mountains to provide the orphans of this program with an afternoon of magic and entertainment.

The wands came out after a rousing round of soccer in the field outside the local school. The temperature was moderate, the wind was light and the kids were completely taken by the bubbles.

We’ve included an album of the best photos taken that afternoon in the hopes that you’ll get a sense of just how much wonder and joy you provided. Canadian Tire Burlington/Guelph Line and Hilda and Bill Line have also been formally thanked on the Creation of Hope website at

Again, thanks for your kindness. It means more than you know.

Warm Regards,

Stephanie A. McManus LL. B.

On behalf of  Creation of Hope

Employees of Aviation & General Security Consultants have been actively involved with our program since July 2010 when they made their first visit.  They come up to the program 3 times a year and always bring food – 20,000 Ksh worth – and other items. On this occasion they came and made a donation of 48,000 Kenyan Shillings which was used for windows in the new building.  The people in this visit were, Danson Kioko, Iyona Kioko, Faith Wairimu, Esther Mwasambo, Irene Arupia, Benedict Nyaga, Wilson Masake and Humphrey Simiyu.

The support of Kenyans has become a hallmark of our program.  AIM reports that we receive more than ten times the amount of money for our program that is usually hoped for from local sources.  The people of Kenya realize that this program is ‘their’ program and have generously, frequently and continually contributed.  This money was used to purchase 4 large steel windows @$73.00 ($292), and 6 large window panes @ $51.00 ($306).

We also know how much it means to the children in our program that these wonderful people from SGGG come up to take part in ceremonies as well as give donations.  They joined us at the distribution day and birthday party and were part of the celebrations!

In fact, I think they’re having as much fun as the kids!

Ruth and Henry’s son Kioko is employed by the security firm and is always there when they come up to the program.  He personally donated 5,000 Kenyan shillings.  This money was used to purchase material to put a roof on the stairwell.

Tasleem Abdalla donated 5,000 Kenyan shillings.  This money was used to purchase 6 bags of cement @ $10.00 ($60).

Dr. Sarah Davidson made a personal donation of $500.00.  This money was used to purchase 3 large steel windows @ $73.00 ($219), 3 large panes of glass @ $51.00 ($153) and 12 bags of cement @ $10.00 ($130)

Beth McLaughlin donated $500.00.  This money was used to purchase $200.00 of electrical fittings, 1 large steel window @ $73.00, 1 large pane of glass @ $51.00 and 16 bags of cement @ $10.00 ($160).

Although doors, windows, cement, wire and tanks are not exciting purchases to some, they are the backbone of the building out of which our program will be run for many decades to come.  They are creating a legacy of serving the orphans to give them hope in their future. Thank you to all for your generosity in assisting to build this project and this dream!


Walking Home

As always when I’m in Kenya I work on a story.  This story, Walking Home, is inspired by the tragic violence in Kenya in 2008 after the disputed Presidential elections.  My main character is a 13 year old boy, Muchoki.  He and his mother and younger sister, Jatta, flee to an Internal Displacement Camp (IDP) after the violence kills his father, other family members, and their property and possessions are all destroyed or taken.  In the camp his mother, who has been suffering from malaria dies.  He takes his sister and walks 150 km across Kenya to find his mother’s family – grandparents he’s never met.

As with other recent books I decided to experience what my character would experience.  We started our walk – four Canadian young – Kate, Connor, Matt, and my daughter Julia – along with four children in our Children’s program – Matuku, Baraka, Mulwa and Keli – and co-led by Henry.

The route we were following contained some dangers – both animal and human – so we also took along with us two guards; special forces police.

We started our walk in the Maai Mahiu IDP (internal displacement project),

and continued up, out of the Rift Valley, where we stopped at The Robin’s Nest – an orphanage for children who have parents in jail and thus unable to provide care.  This was a place of both hope and tragedy.  Arrangements were made for Ruth to return to ‘compare’ notes on their operation.

We continued on our second day toward Nairobi. Our third day started within a section of Nairobi called Kibera.  It is the largest slum in Africa.  It is estimated that there are 600,000 people who reside in an area no larger than a few square kilometers.  They reside in metal shacks with no running water, no functioning sewage system or garbage disposal or in most cases even no electricity.  Within this small area, children are born,  families raised,  people do business, go to school, and worship.  This experience was both disturbing and moving for all of us.  Despite it all, the spirit of human dignity remains strong.

Leaving behind Nairobi we went along the Mombasa highway heading for Machachos.  One of those days – in honour of a great Canadian hero – we wore Terry Fox T-Shirts.

This coming September all of the Hope children will do a Terry Fox Fun in Terry’s memory.

For two nights we visited at Suivi Children’s Home and stayed at the home of the Director, Reverend Nicholas.  Finally our last day took us all the way ‘home’ to Kikima.  During the last part of our walk we were accompanied by the children of our residence – Rolling Hills.

This entire trip was filled with thought-provoking, eye-opening experiences for all of us, seeing parts of Kenya none of us had ever seen before.  The book, Walking Home, will tentatively be published in late 2013 or early 2014.  


Ruth and Henry always say – ‘bring us more visitors’ – so this year we brought 19 people, all of whom are either sponsors or supporters of the program.

This initial meeting between the Canadian visitors and the children, was wonderful and there were very few dry eyes as the children offered greetings and song.  Quickly our visitors realized that they were much more than simply ‘guests’ but welcome members of a large extended family throughout Mbooni District.

Our group had the opportunity to spend time in the program – living on the grounds of the Children’s Home, taking part in official ceremonies, meeting their sponsored child or children and visiting their homesteads.  Below you can see pictures of those meetings.

We also arranged for people to go on safari.  If you go to Kenya and only go on safari you haven’t really seen the country – however if you don’t go on safari you’re missing something special.

We travelled by safari vehicles down from Nairobi and to the Mara where we stayed at the Mara Simba Hotel

We were fortunate enough to see many of the ‘Big Five’.

In all cases, every part of their trip is completely paid for by the individual – including myself and all members of my family.  Never does one cent of donated money go to anything other than the program.  Some costs, such as staying at the Mara Simba, are expensive – at $220.00 per person per day. Others, such as staying at the Children’s Residence are relatively inexpensive.  This year we charged $10.00 per person per day.  This covered the cost of food and the salaries of the additional help necessary to cook and clean.  While we don’t want charity money to pay for anybody’s trip we also do not want to make profit from our sponsors.

Below you can see some of the projects they saw and things that they experienced and get a feeling of what our guests were participants in.

Water Projects

If you give water you give life.  Those words were spoken to me by a man who was a committee member on one of our water projects and they remain strong motivation as we continue to be involved in water projects.

As part of our tour we brought our sponsors to what we thought was a visit to one of our projects.  Instead, to our surprise, we were there for the opening.  We were greeted by the members of the committee as well as other community members who worked on, and will benefit from, the project.  We provided the funds to purchase cement, steel rods, pipes and hardware.  The committee provided labour, sand and gravel.  The government provided expertise in the form of a water engineer.  The result is a water project which provides water for irrigation, for livestock, washing and drinking for 900 people.

I was there to ‘turn’ the tap, sending the water from the holding pool to the fields below.

Through a series of furrows, channels and pipes the water is diverted from terrace to terrace irrigating each successive plot of land.  The community cooperates on how the water is shared and work together to benefit the entire community.  They estimate that this project will result in  the ability to double or triple crops.  In addition, the local level of government is so pleased that they have offered their agricultural officer to work with the people to introduce different and hybrid crops.

They also have a schedule for maintenance and to provide any repairs and are hoping to expand the use and minimize water loss by using more pipes.  We have agreed to match their efforts – for every pipe they purchase we will purchase a second.  This is an extension of the partnership.

We also took our group on a tour of another water project which has continued to be improved by the local committee.  This project, which provides water for close to 800 people was funded originally by Ryan Rumsby and his class.

When this water source was simply a puddle in the mud the community suffered from many water-borne illnesses.  They now report absolutely no water-borne diseases.  Not only are they able to grow more food but these types of illness – which are devastating – have been eliminated.

A third project – at the bottom of the mountain by our Children’s Home – has been continuing but at a pace slower than we would like.  This project, also financially supported by the efforts of Mr. Rumsby and his class, is similar to the project immediately above.  We are attempting to tap a small spring and then provide a storage tank to gather the water.

This water is gathered at source by scooping with a gourd.

During the rainy season – which has just passed – people are occupied with their crops and the spring water is not as used or necessary.  Now that the dry season has arrived we are hoping the local committee will be willing to continue to put in the work necessary to utilize the funds we have made available.  As always our partnership model works when the community takes ownership for the project – sometimes this takes more time.  Ruth will be taking members of this community committee on a tour of the other two projects to witness the results and talk to the other committees about mobilization of their community.


In the blog Kate wrote about walking home, she used a line that I loved, about how sponsorship is more than just providing the necessities of life, but how it allowed these children to again feel like they were part of a family – somebody’s son or daughter, brother or sister.  In a society and culture so focused on family this is so important.  This is one of the reasons we ask sponsors to give us a picture so that their sponsored child can ‘see’ the person or people who are their new family.  Here are two of our of our newest sponsors being ‘introduced’ to their new family members.

Sarah ‘meeting’ Lou Ann and her new family

Eric ‘meeting’ his new family – Marc and Christina.  Christina is my oldest daughter and plans are underway  for her and her husband Marc to meet Eric next summer.

One of the greatest joys for me this summer was being there to introduce orphans to their sponsors.


Barb and Muthina

Connor and  Mwau

Teresa and Ken meeting Theresia

Sydney, Gavin and Stephanie meeting Mwithi

Also meeting their child John

Matthew meeting Mutisya

Nicole and Trevor with Mwendwa

Trevor and Nicole meeting Nicole’s mother’s sponsored girl Mwende

Lucy meeting Mary

Gisela meeting Naomi

Kate meeting ALL of her kids – the children she taught!

And with the children sponsored by herself and her family

Kate and Minoo

With Mutanu

With Nicholas

With Wayua

Julia spending time with Baraka – meeting him again!

My wife Anita meeting Mary for the first time!

Building Grand Opening

While there is still much construction needed to completely finish the building, it is already in use for the boys, and the dining hall and kitchen are complete and in use.  While we were there on our trip the committee decided to have the ‘official’ opening of the new building.  This was a joyous occasion that involved all of the committee members, the Bishop who did the blessing of the building, and local government officials as well as all of the children from the school.  There were speeches, songs, and a meal for all.  The girls will soon take up residence on the next floor, leaving only the conference area, the offices and library to be completed.

Birthday Party

We started a tradition last year holding a birthday party for 90 children.  The first party was sponsored by Rolling Hills school.  Many of our children do not know their birth dates as they were orphaned when they were very young.  We decided that we wanted them to not only see their date of birth as a joyous occasion but to be in a position where we could obtain a birth certificate for each child.

This year’s party was for 140 children!

Each received a ‘loot bag’ filled with items appropriate for their age and gender (school supplies, toys, clothing, pens and pencils, stuffed animals, candy, personal items), a party hat, cake, and a guarantee that we would work to obtain a birth certificate for each child who previously did not have one.  With a birth certificate they are guaranteed rights which could have been ignored.

The cakes were baked in the ovens of our new residence and there was enough for all of the party guests which included hundreds of grandmothers, grandfathers and guardians.

Singing Happy Birthday to Me!

They loved the hats!

Distribution Day

The birthday party was part of our monthly distribution day.  Orphans and their guardians either walk or are transported to the site of the Children’s residence where they receive monthly food packages.

These packages, totaling over 2 tons of food, provide the basic staples to support the orphan – and assist the extended family and other orphans in the homestead – for that month.  They contain rice, beans, maize, cooking oil, soap, meat, salt, sugar, cocoa in addition to other items.

This month close to 300 people were in attendance.

As always everybody at the distribution – children, guardians, extended family – are fed a meal.

As well as food, other items are always given out including school uniforms, goats, chickens, beds, mattresses and tool sets.  Here are some the goats – I love giving away goats!

As always we try for a level of accountability – the sponsors get to see the items in the hands of the children they sponsor. Here are a few pictures – sponsors have already been sent the picture by email of all those presents being given.

For Mwongela from Bilaal

Lorna receiving her present from Sue

Hand-made for Kanini-Beth from Marian

For Charles & Boniface from Jan & Richard

Other presents provided for the children

Rugby shirts given by the TDSB

Pillow case dresses from a special tender-hearted donor at The Hamilton/Wentworth Board

School t-shirts from LaSalle P.S. in Windsor

The trip was a powerful experience for both the Canadians who visited and the orphans, the Kyatha family and others running the project.  We give thanks that all went safely, smoothly and successfully, building memories and relationships for all.