Creation of Hope


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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

Sponsors

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

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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!

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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!

Sponsors

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

Donations

Schools

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.

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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.

 

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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.

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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.

Sponsors

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

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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.

Sincerely,

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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Projects

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

Daily Sponsorship

These three days were split between these two sources.

Goats

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

Blankets

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.

 

Sponsors

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.

Donations

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.

Kalin

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

Sponsors

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!

Donations

Schools

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,

CREATION OF HOPE – LEAF RAKING

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!

Wanza

Mwende

Eric

Faith

Mwinde

Keli

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.

Sponsors

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.

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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!

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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.