Creation of Hope

August and September Update, 2013

August 16 – September 30, 2013

So much happened this past summer – and September tends to be a less busy month for our updates – so I’ve combined this into a six week update.

To start this update it’s necessary to comment on the tragedy in Kenya.

I first heard news as I was in Regina getting ready to give a keynote address. I called home and asked my wife to make telephone calls to our friends in Kenya. We were so fortunate that all of our friends and their families were safe. This did not, of course, diminish the extent of the tragedy. The background of this situation is complex and not something that I feel qualified to comment on.

It is, however, a reality of all conflicts that those who suffer the most are the children – It is in fact an African saying that “when elephants fight, the grass suffers”. This attack will cause a contraction in the tourist industry in Kenya. This industry employs so many people and there will be a decrease in incomes, employment and subsequently the ability of those parents to provide for their children. This could ripple through the entire economy resulting in inflation which will affect prices for everything including food. Our commitment is to ensure that our orphans and their extended family members will continue to receive the same level of support even if that means we are less able to expand into new projects. Our focus has to always be with the children in the program, not those who need to be in the program. Over the next six month period we will focus on stability, completion of existing projects and providing a constant level of support to the children/extended families we are serving.



In August we send out a special, rare request for additional donations to friends, family and sponsors. We were $3500.00 short of being able to purchase a van. Up to this point in the program we’ve relied on borrowing Henry and Ruth’s car or truck – both of which are around 30 years old.

This request – sent by email – was far more successful than anything we could have even imagined. In the end over $10,000 was donated! This included corporate and individual donations. All contributors will receive an individual thank you in the coming months.

This outpouring of generosity allowed us to order our vehicle. Our new/slightly/gently used vehicle is ‘at sea’ as I write this and due in port in three weeks. This vehicle is a 14 seat vehicle that is being shipped from Japan. It will be used to transport our orphans, for the daily needs of the program, and for the food distribution days. Up to this point we have often had to rent a matatu bus to deliver the items in the distribution. Instantly we save money on a monthly basis. The additional funds are being sent over to fulfill the other projects listed below.


We are just putting the finishing touches on the new Rolling Hills Residence. The children – now numbering 52 – are already in the new building. Younger boys are in a lower level, the older boys, one floor up. Above that is the kitchen/dining hall/meeting room. The kitchen and dining hall is fully in use. The floor above that has two separate dormitory areas – one for the younger girls and the other for the older girls. Again, they are now in their new, spacious dorms. As well in this area is the office space. Up until this time Ruth and Henry’s dining room has been our office. Now the entire operation, not only for the Residence, but all the children in the community and the community projects, will be located in the office area.

The top floor is divided into two areas – a library for the children and a meeting area. The meeting area – which has a separate entrance, will be rented to community groups and the funds will be used to support the ongoing needs of our orphans. As always we are looking for ways to make the program more self-sufficient and less dependent on outside funding.

Play area

Up to this point the play area for our children is Ruth and Henry’s driveway. While they love having the children near, the accidentally broken windows of their home have not been so great. There is a plot of land right beside the Residence which we hope to purchase. It is flat and would be converted to a playing field with soccer nets, a basketball and net ball hoop and even a playground with swings, climbing apparatus and a slide. While this would belong to our facility we would also welcome other local children. Children really do need to play and to have sufficient space to do so!

Purchasing land is always a tricky proposition. In some cases the land has been owned by a family since ‘forever’. We also don’t want to overpay for anything. There is a natural inclination for local people to believe that since the program receives outside funding, money is limitless. This is certainly not the case, but regardless, we need to be part of the local economy and not distort prices, wages or purchases. If we were to overpay for this property then others would expect us to start to overpay for other things – including the food supplies, tools, uniforms and livestock we both distribute and need for our residence. In the end our children would suffer. We would like this plot of land – or another nearby – but we leave these decisions and negotiations up to Henry and Ruth.


We probably have the only oven in the whole region. Our staff have been baking cookies, cakes and muffins and selling them to local schools and stores. This is a direct way to raise funds for the program and is part of our efforts to become more self-financing. One of our sponsors, Sue, was part of the visiting group this summer. She is a former home economics teacher who has worked with teachers across Africa to help develop home economics programs.




Monthly distribution

Every month we distribute approximately 2.2 metric tons of food to the orphans who reside in the community with extended families. In addition we give out uniforms, solar lamps, tool sets, livestock, beds and blankets during these distributions. While the vast majority of the funding for this is provided by sponsors we have additional costs – in part due to providing items for children who are orphans but not directly sponsored. As such we are utilizing other donated funds to supplement the costs.

Daily support

Over the course of our program we have evolved a daily support donation. We calculated that $50.00 provided food for the approximately 40 children in the program, their routine medical care, school supplies, the salaries of the matron, night watchman, and tutor and the sanitation/electricity and water for the building.

Our program has subsequently grown and expanded and we have also been experiencing issues of inflation that have swept Kenya. We recalculated our new costs and realized that the daily cost was closer to $75.00. This provides food for 52 children, their routine medical care, school supplies, the salaries of the matron, caretaker, night watchman, tutor, the librarian at our community library, and the sanitation and electricity for the building. With the completion of our well the only cost for water is simply the electricity to pump it from the source to our building.

Therefore, from this point on, daily support will be $75.00 for new donations. Donors will receive a picture thanking them for the individual day they have sponsored.

Individual Donations

Natasha Bachus-Buschkiel is a Canadian author who I had the good fortune to meet at the Prairie Horizons conference. She had mentioned that she wanted to make a donation to the program. When her donation arrived I was astonished. Her generosity will be used to supplement a food distribution and also provide for the entire Rolling Hills Residence for ten days!

Also at this conference, writer Deb Froese, contributed the sales of her books to fund one day of the Rolling Hills Residence. She will soon know the day when she was the ‘parent’ of 52 orphans!

Another emerging writer at this same conference, Miriam Korner, gave me money for a goat for an orphan. She will shortly receive a picture of her goat and the orphan who received it.Thank you Miriam.

Krista Labelle – a teacher/librarian in Regina – made a donation that will fund the Rolling Hills Residence for two days. She will soon receive the pictures telling her what days.

At the end of a presentation in a school in Regina a student came up to me and gave me all she had – 25 cents – ‘for the orphans’. This donation will plant one seedling in Kikima. Thank you Viola for caring. You may not know how much this inspires me to continue moving forward.

We were staying at the Kenya Comfort Hotel and struck up a conversation with a traveler at the next table. It turns out Angela was from Canada, grew up in Oshawa, was teaching in Waterloo and had previously taught in Tanzania. With her – donated from her parent’s church – was a big bag of crank flashlights and radios. These are amazing devices that never require batteries to work so are useful and useable for years to come. She generously offered all of these to our program. Below are a few pictures of those who received these valuable items.

Funds donated from the following schools were used to purchase materials/supplies/labor to help finish construction on the residence.

A donation from Mary Anne in honor of her friend Pam

Keaton and his parents, Cliff and Sandi, are sponsors – Jackson is their sponsored child – and supporters of the program. They spent time this summer living on the grounds of the orphanage. Keaton’s friends made donations which were used to build a wall on the stairs.


Jackson receiving two chickens.

Chickens purchased from money previously donated by Earl Beatty Library Helpers


When a sponsor sends a present to their child we try to give them a photograph that not only thanks them but gives them reassurance that it has arrived and is in that child’s hands. Over the years we have only had two parcels that didn’t arrive. Here are some of those parcels.

A present from Barb for her sponsored child Muthina. In the summer of 2012 Barb had the opportunity to meet with her sponsored child and her extended family, visiting the homestead and Muthina’s school.

Mutunga receiving a parcel from his sponsors Barb and Wendy

From April for Mbula Henry and Ingrid’s present for Emmanuel

From Mavis for Faith

Narcaster receiving a present from Diana

Summer 2013 Update

June 15 – August 15

I keep waiting for things to ‘slow down’ but each update seems to contain more and more information, as more and more schools and individuals become involved.  It was an active summer with food distributions, the completion and dedication of a new water project and trips to Kenya from sponsors.  As always all trips and all expenses when in Kenya, are paid for directly from visitors.  Never will any money from donations go toward any expense that isn’t completely directed – 100% – toward the orphans and projects of the Mbooni District.

School Donations

Many of the donations are acknowledged throughout the update.

You will find thank you signs to give credit to the specific donations.

“After your visit, the Grade 5’s at Associated Hebrew School were so inspired by your talk that we decided to adopt your orphanage in Kenya as our charity for the year. Our school theme this year was “What a Wonderful World”, and having a charity in Kenya fitted right in. For one of our holidays, the students each brought in a toonie specifically for the orphanage, but we felt it wasn’t enough. So, in order to swell our coffers, we held a “Tuckshop Day” and raised $1300! We hope that you will be able to use this money towards a birthday party at the orphanage, and this really touched our hearts.

Thank you for showing us that we can all make a difference.

Have a wonderful trip, go safely, and come back and share more with us!”

Warm regards,

Faye Rewald




A birthday party has become a yearly tradition at Hope.  This year, thanks to our friends at Associated Hebrew School, 150 children had a birthday party!  There was a meal, cake for all -including another 200 grandparents and guardians present for the food distribution day- and a loot bag filled with goodies which included pencils, pens, note pads, a toy, treats, and assorted other little goodies.

This party originated when we realized that many of our children did not know their birthdays and did not have birth certificates.  Now all of our children are in the process of being officially registered and as such must be given ongoing services by the government throughout their lives.


Hi Ruth and Eric,

This spring, the Alexander Graham Bell P.S. Creation of Hope Committee ran a snack bar at lunch and during Intermediate dances, offering healthy snack choices. With the help of the A. G. B. student population, they successfully helped raise $1504.75 for The Creation of Hope. 

Cheers and have a great day!

Lisa Ruta-Litwin

Grade 8 Teacher

Alexander Graham Bell P.S.

The money from Alexander Graham Bell is being used to support the residence for 16 days and the rest toward helping to finish construction on the building.

Fairview P.S., under the guidance of Lorraine and Lorin, has again raised a generous sum; this time, $1662.32!  This money has already been directed toward putting in windows on the third and fourth floors, to help finish construction and for the children receiving new clothing as part of our Canada Day Celebrations.

summerupdate2013 (2)

Mrs. Anderson’s Grade 7 class at St. Bridget C.S. in Brooklin raised $165.00.

summerupdate2013 (3)

St. Christopher C.S. in Oshawa donated $471.00.  This money was used to subsidize the food distribution in August, support three specific days for the entire residence.

Cindy Kirkpatrick and her students at Johnson Street. P.S. have made an additional donation of $89.07.  Their previous donations are acknowledged in the thank you signs listed below.  This money was used to purchase two solar lights for the residence.

Hillcrest Middle School under the direction of Rose Ngo raised $375.45.  This is being used to support the program for 4 days and the remaining money was directed for construction costs to help finish the building.

summerupdate2013 (4)

summerupdate2013 (5)

Riverview Middle School in New Brunswick, under the guidance of Jim Burkett, donated $365.00.  This will support the program for 4 days and the remaining cost will be used for construction costs.

summerupdate2013 (6)

SFX Catholic High School in Gloucester raised $141.50 which will be directed to support three days of the program.

summerupdate2013 (7)

Stuart Scott Public School in Newmarket donated $75.00.  This money was used to purchase two solar lamps for children in the community.

Glendale, in Brampton, under the direction of Melanie Noordhuis raised $543.00.  This money has been used to help complete the construction of the building.  Melanie is an incredible supporter of the program and personally sponsors two children.

The students and community of LaSalle PS combined literacy, recycling and a love of “paying it forward” on Thursday June 6. From 8:30 am to 7:30 PM, students, friends and family shopped at the school’s Giant Used Book Sale to raise tuition money for Faith, Eric, and as many other Creation of Hope students as possible. At the end of the day, over $2100 was raised!

The funds from LaSalle are being placed in our high school tuition fund for the coming school year.  Special thanks to Martha Martin for being the driving force and caring heart behind this donation.

We will have an amazing 43 children in high school or post-secondary starting in January!

St. Monica C.E.S. in Markham raised $437.85.  This money was directed toward ongoing support of the program and funded 8 days.  The remaining $37.85 was used for the final stages of construction of the building.

Windsor Park School in Edmonton raised $602.56.  This money is being used to pay for 6 days of the program and the remaining money to help finish construction of the building

Alexander Middle School in Medicine Hat raised $225.12.

summerupdate2013 (8)

This donation is being used to support the program for 4 days and the additional $25.00 for paint for the final touches on the new building.

Earl Beatty P.S. – the Library Helpers – under the direction of Ms. Ling raised $416.36.

summerupdate2013 (9)

summerupdate2013 (10)

St Agnes C.E.S. raised funds to purchase two goats.

Individual Donations

Emily Tadgell made a generous donation that will support the program for two days.

Riley and Hayden held a garage sale and supported the program for two days!

Steve Pitt has made another generous donation to the program.

Owen, from Kelowna B.C. had his 8th birthday party.  Instead of presents he asked that donations be made to The Creation of Hope.  He raised $520.00!  This is being used to support the program for 7 days and for ongoing costs to finish constructing the building.

Kate made a donation to buy some sports equipment for ‘her’ school.

Thank you Signs

Daily Support – Over the past year schools and individuals have been able to support the ongoing needs of Rolling Hills Residence for $50.00 per day.  This provided the food for all of the children – (ranging from 44 children) – their routine medical care, basic school supplies, the salaries of the night watchman, matron and tutor, and the electricity, sanitation and water for the entire building.

Monthly Food Distribution

Every month we provide approximately 2.2 tons of food and supplies to the orphans in the community who reside with extended family members.  There is always a short-fall between money donated by sponsors and the money that this distribution costs – often in the neighborhood of $400 – $500.  These schools have made donations that have helped to offset this shortfall.

Special Presents – Light the Night

One of requests we get from our children is the means for them to work at night on their school work.  Being on the equator Kenya receives almost constantly 11 ½ hours of dark, 11 ½ hours of light and another hour of refracted light at dusk and dawn.  Children leaving early for school, coming back late and then doing chores often find that darkness comes before they are able to start on their school work.  We have previously been providing lanterns and kerosene.  This solution has some issues.  We must constantly supply more kerosene, the fumes are rather toxic and unpleasant and the light somewhat ‘unnatural’.  We have been experimenting with different types of solar lights and models have been selected for use.  Aside from being able to provide light there is also a capacity for cell phones to be charged.  At present people go to the local town and pay for cell phone recharging.  Charging neighbours’ cell phones is a way for our grandparents to possibly earn some funds.

summerupdate2013 (36) summerupdate2013 (37) summerupdate2013 (40) 

Hope Springs – New Water Project

The people at the bottom of the valley – literally within sight of our residence – were drawing water from a small trickle coming out of the mud.  It was the only water source for irrigation of crops, water for livestock, washing and drinking.  This water was contaminated and a constant source of water-borne diseases.  We partnered with the community.  They provided sand, gravel and labor while we provided cement, iron rods, and funding for local expertise to design and coordinate construction.

summerupdate2013 (41)Drawing Water

summerupdate2013 (42)Dedication Ceremony

summerupdate2013 (43)Dedication Plaques

This was our third water project – plus the well at the residence.  A committee of local people was  formed to oversee all aspects of the planning, construction and maintenance of the project. This is our third water project – along with the well at the residence.  If you give water you give life.


$40.00 provides a goat for an orphan.

Tool Sets – teach a man to fish you feed him for a day, teach him to fish you feed him for a lifetime

summerupdate2013 (50) summerupdate2013 (51) summerupdate2013 (52)

Also from Johnson Street and Mrs. K – school uniforms and shoes

summerupdate2013 (53) summerupdate2013 (54)

Ruth arranged for our delegation to meet with Governor Kivutha Kibwana of Makuena County,  (6th from the left).  He is an impressive gentleman who has a history of fighting for democracy and honesty in government.

summerupdate2013 (56)

He promised to visit the Children’s Residence and see how his government can help provide for the program and its children.

Corporate Sponsorship

The donations from Chris Turner and Orca Books are being put toward our new vehicle.  We have been ‘borrowing’ Henry and Ruth’s very, very old car and truck to use on business for the program, including delivering and picking up supplies and livestock, and transporting our children.  We have been saving up for a newer vehicle – a gently used 14 seat van.  During the summer we made a final request and funds have been donated.  In the September update we will list all of the generous donors as well – we hope – unveil the new vehicle!  It’s not too late for anybody who wishes to make a donation.  Surplus funds raised will go toward a few extras for the building and start our campaign to purchase a piece of land adjacent to the residence that we will be turning into a play area.

summerupdate2013 (61)

One of our cows had a calf – this means more milk for the orphans and this calf will grow to eventually be sold and generate funds for the program

As part of fire safety – an emergency ladder purchased with funds donated by Dean Dempsey.

We’re working with the children on issues on fire safety, evacuation, establishing a meeting spot outside the burning, and having government officials coming in to help with the training.  Dean has also offered to pay for fire extinguishers and these are being purchased in Kenya.


Marc Stevens made another generous donation to be used for his sponsored child Mwendwa David and his family.  There are pictures of Mwendwa with the the purchases in the September update.

summerupdate2013 (63)

From Mollie for Mutuku – a new mattress and other funds donated to help him through the school year.

A shared birthday party for Emmanuel (pictured), Baraka and Ndaisi paid for by the sponsors.

summerupdate2013 (66)

As always, Melanie generously supports her ‘girls’.

summerupdate2013 (67) summerupdate2013 (72) summerupdate2013 (71) summerupdate2013 (70) summerupdate2013 (68) summerupdate2013 (74)

This was our first solar lantern given to Mary – a present from her sponsor Lucy

Presents for Ruth from her sponsor Beth, given by Anita at Ruth’s school – a prestigious National School!

Faith and Doreen receiving presents.  They also attend a National Level School

Sarah receiving presents from Lou-Anne her sponsor, posing with Anita.  Sarah is our fourth student at the National Level school!

summerupdate2013 (79)

Mercy receiving a parcel from Ray and Christina

summerupdate2013 (81)

Cement from Connor – sometimes the best presents are more ‘concrete’ or can light up the night.

summerupdate2013 (82)

Wambua receiving the picture of his sponsor Diane

summerupdate2013 (83)

Faith receiving a picture of her sponsor Mavis

Cliff, Sandi and Keaton meeting their sponsored child Jackson.  The Hall family traveled throughout Kenya and spent extensive time visiting and volunteering in Kikima, living on the grounds of the Children’s Residence.

A final picture – children receiving shoes provided by a generous donation.

I’m going to ask for ‘forgiveness’ on this one.  While we forwarded this picture to the person who made the donation I’ve somehow ‘lost’ the name in creating this update but still wanted to include the picture.

May and a bit of June, 2013

My wife Anita and I will be leaving for Kenya on June 23 so rather than doing a separate June update I’m expanding the May update to include a slice of June (so schools and individuals can see what we’re doing with their money).  The rest of June will be included in the Summer update to be posted in early September.

School Donations

Once again Lasalle Public School – under the leadership of Martha Martin – has made another generous donation of more than $2000.00!  This money is being used to pay for the tuition costs of our orphans.  While we have 24 orphans in high school this year we are projected to have closer to 40 students in the next school year!  This amount will help to pay for a number of these children – 4 or 5 depending on the level and cost of their tuition.


may13update (1)

Below are the pictures of thanks to McKinnon P.S. students.  Special thanks to Jaime Girard for leadership!

Ray Lewis Elementary School, under the leadership of Sandi Inglis, made another donation of $533.49.  These funds will be used for daily support of the program.

Rousseau E.S. made a very generous donation of $630.95!  They would like this money to be used to support the entire Rolling Hills Residence for 12 days with the additional $30.95 put toward the monthly food distribution to orphans in the community.

may13update (10)

may13update (12)

One day each month will be supported through the kind donation from students and staff of Father Michael Troy.  They will receive their thank you pictures throughout the year.  Special thanks to Erin Winch who not only arranged for me to visit this school, but was a leader in this fund raising effort.  They will support the 1st day of every month for a year.

Christ the King – under the leadership of Tanis

Subsequent to sending this picture we received the donation from Christ the King and it was more generous than we thought!  We will credit them with more support in the coming month.

may13update (15)

Sierra Simone provided the leadership at St. Faustina, and this money is going to be used to help pay for the food distribution for the month of June.  Over 2 tons of food, soap, cooking oil are given out to the orphans in the community who reside in extended family situations.

St. Joan of Arc Catholic High school in Maple donated $435.00

$155.00 from St. Joseph Catholic High School in Nepean – the major donors are St. Joseph Learning Commons and Chantel Allain.

A generous donation from Chute Late Elementary School provided for the children of Rolling Hills Residence for a major part of this coming summer!  Thank you for your generous support!

Students, teachers and administrators at Beaconsfield High School donated school supplies that will be included in our birthday party ‘loot bags’ to take place in July.  Every year we have a gigantic birthday party for the children that includes items of clothing, school supplies, toys, and some treats.  This year’s party will take place on July 13.

While presenting at W.J. Watson P.S. in Keswick I’d mentioned that we were still in need of ‘loot’ bags for the birthday party.  Two students, Kelsey and Adam, came back after lunch with more than 40 cloth and laminated bags.  Great thanks to these two students who didn’t just listen, but acted.

I was on tour at Barnhill Memorial School in St. John NB.  At the end of the presentation the school presented me with a donation of $742.84.

Individual Donations

At the end of a presentation at Barnhill Memorial School a young man, Jared, donated $20.00.  It is the moments like these that inspire me.  There are so many good, caring people in the world.  Thank you Jared.  Your donation will purchase 4 blankets for orphans.

One of our sponsors – Beth McLaughlin – orchestrated a generous extra donation this month through the company she works for – Fleet Business Comm Ltd.  We really appreciate the donation that will be put towards the purchase of a used vehicle for the Creation of Hope program and Rolling Hills Residence!  This fundraising effort towards the vehicle is ongoing!

Orca Book Publishing – one of my publishers – made a generous donation.  As well, the founder, President and co-owner, Bob Tyrell made a personal matching donation.  Great thanks to Orca, Bob and Andrew!

These two young ladies went on a personal fund raising quest.  Their generous donation supported the entire Rolling Hills Residence for 6 days and additional money was directed to our monthly food distribution!  Thank you Angelica and Abby!

A young girl, Maha, dug into her pocket at the end of a presentation and gave me all the money that she had.  This money will be used to plant 4 saplings.

Kimberley Morrison made a generous donation that is being used to support the entire Rolling Hills Residence for 1 week – plus an additional $25.00 which will go to supplement the monthly food distribution to the children in the community.

Josh Little made a personal donation to support The Rolling Hills Residence for one day!

Jake Sanchez made a personal donation to support the Rolling Hills Residence for one day!

Samuel getting a goat.

Kris works for the Medicine Hat Library System and after a presentation provided this donation.

I do love goats.  A goat means so much – changing the life of an orphan who receives it.

While presenting at Quinte S.S. three teachers made a donation to purchase a goat.  Thanks to Mr. Miller, Ms. Trulsen and Ms. Cooper.  You will receive pictures to show the orphan receiving ‘your’ goat!

Thank you Signs

Steve and Rosie Hilb are making a monthly donation to the program.

Colton’s donations purchased blankets for six children – here are pictures of two

These are signs of thank you for Mrs. K’s grade 1 class which did an incredibly job raising funds and being leaders at their school.


This donation was made in Sandi’s name to thank her for generous work she took undertook in the community.


Muthina receiving a parcel from her sponsor Barb

Naomi receiving a present from her sponsor Gisela.

Gifts from Melanie for her sponsored children

This cow was a present to Grace from my family

A parcel for Mwende from her sponsor Orleen

Jackson with his grandmother Grace – he is now sponsored by Cliff, Sandi and their son, Keaton.  This family will be visiting their sponsored child at the project in July.

Keaton also held a birthday party and instead of presents he asked for donations to The Creation of Hope and we provided signs of thanks to his guests.

From Anita Walters:

A number of donations that have been received recently came from individuals who had viewed my husband Eric online presenting a TEDx talk.  The talk starts about how Eric got into being a children’s writer but then continues on how this evolved into the Creation of Hope project.  Please have a look at Eric Walters presenting at TEDx (on youtube) and share the link with friends and family!  It is an inspirational address and helps to spread the word about the program.

Best wishes for a safe and happy summer to all our Creation of Hope supporters and friends!  We will be happy to share our news after the trip to Kikima!

April 2013 update


Expansion – continuing to build!

The construction of the new Rolling Hills Residence has been an ongoing project for the past three years.  We have been limited by funds, weather and a need to continually make changes to satisfy the requirements of the Kenyan government to provide for orphans.  With our program receiving government approval, licensing, and some funding, we have made sure satisfy all government standards.  While these changes have resulted in delays and additional costs it is reassuring to see the stringent conditions and supervision that is now in place to make sure that the orphans are given proper care.

Both pictures are taken from the front and the ground floor is our dining hall and kitchen area – which have been in use for almost eighteen months.  The second floor is the girl’s residence.  They have continued to be housed in our original building but will be in – hopefully – by May.  The top floor – with a separate set of stairs is the area which will house the offices for our program, the library and a conference room which will be rented out to the community to provide ongoing funding for the orphans.

Unseen from this angle are the two lower floors (the building is built on a slope) which already are home to the young boys’ residence and the older boys’ residence.

Ruth has indicated that the final construction costs are approximately $2000.00 and we sent the money over.  I look forward to seeing the completed building when I travel there this summer!

School Donations

april13update (2)

april13update (3)

This donation is being used to provide support for a ten day period.  I’ve ‘topped’ up the donation by putting in $7.13 so they can have a sapling for each child!

april13update (5)

This donation of $62.50 provided one day of support (all residents fed, routine medical care, school supplies, salaries of matron, tutor and night watchman, electricity, water and sanitation for the building) as well as saplings being planted.

Planting saplings is an important thing for the community.  Deforestation is a major problem throughout the world.  We plant trees that fall into two categories: those that eventually produce lumber and those that produce food.  In both cases they provide shade, anchor the soil and play a small part in climatic stabilization.

Johnson Street School in Barrie

Dear Eric,

I am a Sk/grade 1 teacher at a public school in Barrie ON.  We met in early December when you spoke to the students of Johnson Street School.  I was very inspired by your presentation and especially motivated to help with your Creation of Hope program.  The idea of “Pennies for Hope” was my attempt to show my students that they can do great things if they work hard!

We read your website, some of your books, and other information about Kenya.  We wrote announcements (and read some on the P.A. system), we wrote Journals, stories and letters.  The students had to sort, count, add and roll the coins.  We graphed the results of each classroom’s donations and the choices the children made about how they would like the money to be spent.  After week 1, we raised $100.  An amount much higher than most of my students can count!  As the second week progressed, it became very obvious that we were on a roll (pun intended!).  I tried to encourage the children by telling them if we raised $300, I would call the newspaper and get their picture in the paper!  Nothing like a few minutes of fame to motivate!

The children are very proud of themselves and I have seen amazing things in the past 2 weeks.  I know when we get an email back from Kenya they will be excited beyond belief!  I am looking forward to seeing their reactions. 

This has been a great project for all of us!  Here are a few notes from my students.


Dear Eric Walters

We have lots of pennies for hope and we have your books and we have $490.  You should be happy!  Please write back.  Tristan (age 7)

We have $490.  It is a lot of money and I really like the uniforms and I would like to run the orphanage.  Please write back!  Madison (age 7)

Please get Angry Birds for the kids in Kenya.  I like rolling pennies.  From Gavin (age 7)

We worked hard when rolling a lot of pennies.  We want to help the orphanage buy 35 uniforms.  Write back!  Love Maggie (age 6)

We have $490.  We read Eric Walters books.  We have 26, 400 pennies!  We have 560 nickles.  We have 700 dimes.  Please write back!  Love Jessica.  I am 6

You had a book.  I am six years old.  From Bradley (age 6)

I am Alex in Mrs. K’s class.  We raised $490 for your orphanage.  Please buy 81 blankets.

I like to run the orphanage for 1 day.  We made $490.  Please write.  Abbott (age 7)

We have made a lot of money.  We are at $490.  I hope you buy the kids a uniform.  For the kids, write back.  Cooper (age 7)


Again I thank you for the inspiration to make learning more meaning to students.  I wish you continued success with the Creation of Hope program.  We look forward to reading more of your books!

Cindy Kirkpatrick

Johnson Street School

Right now the children are being assisted by their teacher in determining how they want the money spent.  Once they know they will contact us and we will arrange for the funds to be used for those things and pictures sent back.  Thank you Cindy and students!

We received a $100.00 dollar donation from Ray Lewis E.S. under the leadership of Sandi Inglis.

I was presenting at St. Leo in Brantford.  At the end of the presentation the students decided to donate pennies that they had been collecting.  The $14.00 is going to be used to purchase two blankets.

Individual Donations

One of our sponsors, Melanie Noordhuis, provided a very generous addition donation to purchase a variety of extra things for her sponsored children.

Barb Kettle – who has retired from Alexander Graham Bell – has continued to be a generous supporter.  She took it upon herself to pay for the coming tuition feed of Irene Ndanu Mutiso and James Mutua Nduku

Two young ladies – Elizabeth Barilko and Megha Jose – came up to me after a presentation in Edmonton.  Below is the thank you sign from our children.

The money that they donated was used to provide support for the entire Rolling Hills Residence for a day.

Barbara Watson also donated for one day of support.

Kay Shillington donated money to purchase a blanket

Sharon Freeman has again made a donation in honor of her friend, Karen’s, birthday to support the Rolling Hills Residence for a day.

Thank You Signs

Below are some a small sampling of the signs sent directly to schools or people who have made donations.

Louise Carberry accompanied us to Kenya last summer and spent time at the orphanage.  She noticed that the children loved having their pictures taken and decided she wanted to create something that would capture these memories.  She provided funding for wonderful display cases to be purchased.

These wonderful memories – which will be continually changed and refreshed with new pictures.  A number of our sponsors have created ‘memory’ books for their children.

We are investigating the idea of doing this for more of the children.  They have a right to know their histories and pictures and memory books would allow this to happen.

Sophia Chong made a donation for son’s birthday.  Happy 10th Birthday Max!

Colton Minich – who is the son of Barb Minich – made a generous donation.  Barb and her family are sponsors and she travelled with us to Kenya last summer.

Lucy Haniak made a donation to support the program for two days.

When Sharon Jennings was in Kikima this past March she brought back a suitcase full of ‘granny’ bags.  These bags are made by the grandmothers of our orphans.  We buy them from them – at above market prices – then sell them here and the profit is put right back – 100% – to the program.  We have sold 11 bags and $220 has been made for the program.  We still have some left if there are any interested buyers!


Mwende from her sponsor Lynne – ANITA CAN YOU ADD THE OTHER SPONSOR’S NAME

A birthday party for Kanini Beth funded by her sponsors Marion and David

March 2013 Update



Fairview Public School in Mississauga continues as one of strongest supporters.  Leadership in this school has been supplied by Lorin Trevisan and Lorraine Toma-Jones.  The school donated $2143.27.  This amount was generated primarily by popcorn sales!

This money will be used to provide another year of support for their sponsored child Mbithi, and to provide school supplies, text books and uniforms for orphans in the community who are in need.  The money will be spent in the following ways;

1. Sponsorship    –       $780

2. School books –        $141 – these were given out today

3. Tuition – Kyangoma – $154

4. Tuition – other schools – $684

5. Mattresses & shoes – 384.27

And here are the first pictures of the items being distributed!

Mr. Obermeyer’s class at Rousseau School in Ancaster donated $211.65.  As written in the letter below we wish to offer special thanks to Mark Bondy, Danica Joyner and Spencer Graham.

March13update (5)

This money is going to be used to support the entire Rolling Hills Residence for 4 days and to purchase a uniform for a needy orphan.

The students of Northside Christian School in Vanderhoof have shown their faith through their actions.


March13update (11)

This money will be used to provide 8 days of support for the entire Rolling Hills Residence and for a blanket.

Associated Hebrew Schools – Danilack Middle School – sent a donation of $14.81.  This was part of their initiative to learn about charities and offer support.  Our thanks.

Kelowna Secondary School donated $50.00 –which will be used to support the Rolling Hills Residence for a day.

During my recent tour through Kelowna, I was hosted in a wonder event organized and financed by the Central Okanagan Teacher Librarian Association.  They made a donation to support the Rolling Hills Residence for 2 days.

Special thanks to Jim and Pat.

Individual Donations

Emily Mednis made a donation which will be put toward school supplies.

Her mother, Christine, also made a donation which will be applied to the used vehicle to be purchased in the coming months for our program.

Ingrid and Keith Evans made a donation to support the Rolling Hills Residence for 1 day.

Vesna made a donation to purchase a goat with thanks going to her helpers, the Capitol Hill Library Monitors.

After a presentation, a young man named Dmitry came up and gave me $20.00 to be used for the program.  He will receive pictures from Ruth to confirm how we used this money in the coming month or so.

At another presentation a young girl, Kaleigh, pulled out the change in her pocket – the only money she had – and donated it to the program.

And here’s a letter from another young donor.

March13update (16)

The actions of young people like Dmitry, Kaleigh and Grace are what keeps me inspired.

Pat and Don Kirkey made a donation to provide for support for the program as well as goats in honor of their grandchildren.  The days of support and the pictures of the goats are below.

Heather Spinks-Turner donated money to purchase a goat.  In the coming month (or so) she will receive a picture of the child receiving that goat.

Kate made another donation to support Kyangoma School – where she did a two month placement in 2011.

We just received a letter – and donation – from Jennifer Desouza and Richard Wilson-Singer to purchase a goat in honor of her niece, Tegan, who is having her first birthday today!  Happy birthday Tegan!  A picture will be sent to Tegan’s parents when the goat is given out.

While in B.C. this tour my wife and I stayed at the home of our good friend Sharon.  She is a wonderful host, but almost impossible to thank.  As a token of our appreciation we donated funds to support the program, in her honor.

School supplies purchased by a donation from Emily Dawber that  in honour of her professors at Queen’s University.

School Tuitions

Donations made at the retirement gathering for Barb Kettle were directed to help pay for the high school fees of two of our children.

Birthday thanks

Some of our orphans will be sleeping under new, warm blankets tonight!

Thank you signs for Fairview for school supplies – here are a few of the pictures.

Chickens, chickens and more chickens!

An assortment of the many chickens purchased by Cliff Hall and his students

Here are an assortment of the 42 chickens purchased by donations from Ecole Heather Park and distributed to orphans throughout Mbooni district.


When sponsors send over a parcel we try to show them a picture of their child holding the items that were sent.  Here’s Ezekiel with the items sent by his sponsor Constanza and her family!

Parcels sent to the sponsored children of Stephanie, John and Mwithi.

Kioko receiving the parcel from his sponsors Sandi and Brett

Christina, Ray, and their daughter Lucie, being held by their ‘oldest’ child Mercy.

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.

feb13update (2)

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.

feb13update (5)


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.

Jan13update (2)

Thanks for thinking of us Susan!

Jan13update (4)

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.

Jan13update (5)

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.

Jan13update (6) Jan13update (7)

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.