Creation of Hope


September 2012 Update

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

 

Personal Donations

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

Dawn Nazareth and Sydney Fernandez

Joanne Gordon

Mary Kacur

Laura Mead

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

Connie Masich

Rebecca Watts

Stacie Lee Gray

And her donation funded the program for two days.

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

Teresa and Matt Monkman

And how their support was used!

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

 

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

 

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

Pretty classy looking!

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

 

Schools

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

 

Eric,

Here’s what the class has decided:

        1 X goat                $40

        9 X unifiorm              117

        3 X blanket               25

                                          $172

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

Tanis

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

 

Prince Anne French Immersion P.S. $516.08

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

 

Pictures of Support and thanks from the Kids of Kikima

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

More Daily Support 

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

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

 

 

Light the Night

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

Distribution Day

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

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

Thank you pictures

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

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

                                                       

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

 

Sponsorship

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

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

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


Summer Update 2012

June 16 to September 1, 2012

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

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

Previously Raised Funds and how they were spent

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Fund Raising – Funds Spent!

William Dunbar – $724.50

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

Susan Wright

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Personal Donations

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

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

 Letter to Canadian Tire:

Attention: Mrs. Hilda Line

Dear Mrs. Line

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

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

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

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

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

Warm Regards,

Stephanie A. McManus LL. B.

On behalf of  Creation of Hope

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Walking Home

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Trip

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Water Projects

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Sponsors

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

Sarah ‘meeting’ Lou Ann and her new family

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

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

 

Barb and Muthina

Connor and  Mwau

Teresa and Ken meeting Theresia

Sydney, Gavin and Stephanie meeting Mwithi

Also meeting their child John

Matthew meeting Mutisya

Nicole and Trevor with Mwendwa

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

Lucy meeting Mary

Gisela meeting Naomi

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

And with the children sponsored by herself and her family

Kate and Minoo

With Mutanu

With Nicholas

With Wayua

Julia spending time with Baraka – meeting him again!

My wife Anita meeting Mary for the first time!

Building Grand Opening

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

Birthday Party

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

This year’s party was for 140 children!

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

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

Singing Happy Birthday to Me!

They loved the hats!

Distribution Day

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

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

This month close to 300 people were in attendance.

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

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

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

For Mwongela from Bilaal

Lorna receiving her present from Sue

Hand-made for Kanini-Beth from Marian

For Charles & Boniface from Jan & Richard

Other presents provided for the children

Rugby shirts given by the TDSB

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

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

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


June 1-19, 2012

I am off to Kenya on June 19 so the remainder of June/July and August will be combined in one update to be posted in early September.  The first part of my trip will involve a 200 Km walk starting in an Internal Displacement Camp, through Nairobi, and then up to the mountains ending at our children’s home in Kikima – the Rolling Hills Residence.  This walking trip, to explore the orphan situation in Kenya, will be co-led by Mr. Henry Kyatha and will include my daughter Julia as well as Connor, Kate, Matt and three of our orphans – Baraka, Keli and Mulwa.  You are welcome to follow along with us as we blog and tweet, write and film our experiences.

 

Fund Raising

Rolling Hills Public School

Our residence, both the original building and the soon to be completed second building, is named after Rolling Hills – our strongest supporters.  Once again they held a “Hoops for Hope” basketball tournament and raised $8022.36!  This money is already at work on the ground in Kenya being used to complete the building that is named in their honour.

Rolling Hills Residence – view coming down the driveway

The view from Ruth and Henry’s front door – the Children’s Residence is on a piece of property  donated by Henry’s father.

While all the students of Rolling Hills P.S. are to be commended for their efforts there are a few children who need to be personally recognized as the top fund raisers:

Becky – Room 125 – $120

Jenna – Room 215 – $434.11

Jasmine – Room 126 – $213.50

Alissa – Room 127 – $100.00

Christine – Room 128 – $125.00

Emma – Room 211 – $131.75

Alexis – Room 214 – $270.00

Mandy – Room 210 – $375.00

Ryan – Room 207 – $764.00

 

Top Fundraisers in the School

Ryan – $764.

Jenna – $434.11

Mandy – $375.00

Mikayla – $354.30

Alexis – $270.00

This hugely successful event was all done with the assistance, support and guidance of teachers throughout the school and was under the leadership of Abbie Wright.  Everything starts with one person – Abbie was that person – and the orphans of Kikima are in her debt for the ongoing legacy she has started on their behalf.  The new residence – now home to 44 orphans – is also the centre of all support services to the community offered by The Creation of Hope.  This is the site where our offices are located, where community meetings take place, and where the monthly distribution of food, beds, chickens, goats, clothing, and uniforms for the close to 400 orphans in the community takes place.

Our group of Canadians including a number of sponsors will be there for the ‘official’ opening and pictures will be posted in the summer update.

 

Jack Hulland P.S.

As those of you who read our updates know, the dining hall in our residence is called The Whitehorse Room because two schools – Jack Hulland and Christ the King (both in Whitehorse, Yukon) – helped to fund the construction and furnishing of our dining hall.

Jack Hulland has continued with further fundraising efforts.  Below is a letter explaining the latest donation from Jack Hulland, followed by how their donation was spent!

 

 

Ray Lewis Public School

Hello Anita and Eric,

 I just wanted to give you a quick update on the Ray Lewis fundraising efforts.  First bit of good news – as part of Staff Appreciation week, our Parent Council is donating $100 to the Creation of Hope.  They assure me they’ll be sending out that cheque soon.  Second bit of good news – I’ve finally finished counting and rolling the coins from our coin drive and bake sale.  When everything was counted, we had reached a total of $1,137.60.  

 We received the thank you plaque and card yesterday.  Right now I’m displaying them in my classroom but we will be putting them in a more prominent location later.  The photos of the children are absolutely beautiful.

 Warm regards,

Sandi

 Sandi Inglis OCT

Grade 3 teacher

Ray Lewis School

 

$60.00  was received from Alexander Graham Bell P.S. from their involvement with the Terracycle program.

Glendale P.S. under the leadership of teacher and sponsor Melanie Noordhuis  raised $789.82.  She shares about the school’s efforts:

Dear Eric,

The Global Citizens for Change Team at Glendale Public School in Brampton was excited to be a part of supporting Creation of Hope this school year.  We had  a “Spook-o-gram” sale at Hallowe’en, sold Candy Cane grams at Christmas and had a very successful penny drive in May.  We were able to raise a total of $789.82  which we would be happy to see used to support the Rolling Hills Residence.  The children were impressed and quite moved by Anita’s presentation in October and they were thrilled to meet you when you came in to personally collect the cheque in June.

We look forward to working with you, creating hope for orphans in Kikima, again next school year. It is a pleasure to be working with a small organization that is making such a big difference!

Sincerely,

Melanie Noordhuis

Grade 5 teacher

Glendale P.S.

I presented at Whitney P.S. and asked that half of my fee be donated to The Terry Fox Foundation and the other half support the Rolling Hills Residence.

Here is the thank you sign acknowledging the donation.

I received a wonderful donation from St. Paul Catholic Elementary School in Norwood.  Special thanks to Shirley Coughlan.

A wonderful donation letter from St. Joan of Arc!

Individual Donations

I was presenting at Julie Payette P.S.  At the end of the presentation a student, Khori Watson, gave me $7.00.  This money was used to provide blankets for these two children – Mwendi and Syombua.   Warm thanks to the generosity of a young man who gave all that he had.   These are the moments that inspire me!

I have to admit that I always find myself inspired by the efforts and donations of young people.  Below,  Neha Shah’s efforts are outlined in a letter from her mother.  Neha donated $390.00!

Although not quite as young – Paula, Alan, Erin and Paige made a personal donation to support the program for 1 entire week (plus a little more for something else). The week they sponsored is October 17 – 23 – picture to be forwarded to them – and the something else is pictured below.

Eleven orphans have new blackest to keep them warm at night!

And while young at heart – Jayne is retiring – and in her honor this donation was made:

At the same school where Jayne is retiring, another  teacher, Mr. Welsh, gave a donation to purchase a goat for an orphan.  He will receive his photograph – and it will be posted – in a future  update.

On June 8th Christine and Graham got married. (Christine’s daughter is part of the Canadian team visiting this summer) Instead of presents they asked that donations be made to one of two charities – with Creation of Hope being one of them.  At last count – with money still flowing in – this has raised over $3500.00!

New Uniforms for Children

Six uniforms from Lorin and her Fairview students

Mbithi Mutheu in his new uniform from Geri

Kyalo Kavengwa uniform funded  by Glen, Alec, and Evan

Ezekiel Mwongela and Mulaukuo Mwanza in new uniforms sponsored by Heather

Sponsors

A card and presents for Ndaisi sent by her sponsors Barb and Eric

There is a wonderful story behind this goat.  Over the past two years goats were given to Benjamin and his cousins – orphans provided for in the home of their grandmother, Grace.  These goats have provided ongoing milk for the family.  Now this goat – this present for Michelle is the ‘baby’ of one of these goats.  We purchased it from Grace – providing an incredible boost of income to this family.  These are gifts that keep on giving.

Birthday presents from Lucy Falcone for her sponsored child Mary Kamene

Nduku Mbula holding up the picture of her sponsors, Cheryl and her family.

We look forward to sharing our about our Kenyan adventure!  We wish all our supporters a safe and happy holiday.


May 2012 Updated

I seem to recently start these updates with new pictures of the rising building.  It is already home to our boys and will house all 47 residents when it is completed.  The official opening will happen in July when we have a dozen of our sponsors visiting from Canada, members of the Kenyan government, and hundreds of Kikima residents who have partnered to build and support our project.

Front View

The outer walls being plastered

Plastering completed

Windows being installed

As the outside is being finished the inside is being furnished.

 

Hello Tina and Andrew,

It has taken a very long time to get these bunk beds made and finally delivered to the property.  Here are 7 beds, complete with mattresses, bed sheets and blankets, we were able to make with the generous donation you brought along.

I want to recognize the following people, including you and Andrew, who donated their money to make  this possible.  Please pass along our deepest appreciation for this great offer.

 

1. Circle of friends of the mission – St. Gabriel’s church in Burlington, Ontario

2. Teachers at Maria Konopnicka, Oakville, Ontario

3. Ula and Nicole Wiszomorski, Burlington, Ontario

4. Kristina Renzella and Lorne Allan from the Bank of Montreal.

 

I also mention those who donated books – Placidi Family, Burlington, Ontario.

Thank everyone personally for this great service.


Ruth Kyatha
Program Manager

 

The dining hall – the Whitehorse Room – is finished and is now being filled for use.


Barb and Sakina funded these tables for the dining hall.

 
 

 

Water Project

This is a little ‘trickle’ coming out of the rocks that provides water for hundreds and hundreds of people in the valley below our orphanage.  It takes a long time to fill each container as the water is scooped out of the mud and there is always a long line.

Hope Development staff met with the community members and a partnership has been struck to rehabilitate this project.

We will provide iron rods, cement, piping, and the expertise of a stone mason and water manager and the community members will provide sand, gravel and labor.  The hope is that this project will be completed in July in time for the dedication to take place.

This project is being supported by Ryan Rumsby’s school and private donations.  It will cause such a transformation in the lives of this community.

Summer Trips

There are four separate groups of Canadians heading to Kikima this summer – in total 26 people.  They will be staying on the grounds of the orphanage, volunteering at the local school, meeting sponsored children, visiting homesteads, attending the official opening of the Rolling Hills Residence and becoming more aware of the work of the project and the issues of the community.  As with all our visits – including my yearly trips – all parts of travel and accommodation are funded by the individual.  No money donated to the project EVER goes to anything except service to the community. Our Canadian visitors will come home with an understanding of the project and its impact that they could only gain from such a personal experience.

Fund Raising

Many schools have provided daily support for Rolling Hills Residence.  $50.00 provides food for 47 residents, their medical care, clothing, school supplies, the salaries of the matron, night watchman and tutor, and the electricity, water and sanitation for the entire building for one day of operation.

 

My children, at my two schools in Hamilton, had Gently Used Books Sales to raise money for your special orphanage in Africa.  St. Patrick’s School raised $142.64 and St. Marguerite d’Youville raised $100.81. Keep making a phenomenal difference in the lives of so many children! 

 Sincerely, Lucy Favero

 

Forest of Reading

One of my books, Flyboy, was up for the Red Maple Award.  At the Peel celebration they presented me with an ‘appearance’ fee and, in the honor of the organizers I turned this fee over to The Creation of Hope.  This provided support for the entire Rolling Hills Residence for six days

 

St Francis Xavier in Ottawa, under the leadership of Debbie Campbell donated $325.00 which was used to support the 47 residents of Rolling Hills.

 

Hello Mr. Walters,

You recently visited Our Lady of Peace School in Etobicoke.  We were very inspired by your presentation and the connection you made to our faith.  It is always wonderful to see someone using his/her life to make a substantial difference in the world. 

As a result of this inspiration, we sold jewellery for Mother’s Day and raised over $2000 for your charity, “The Creation of Hope”.  We would like to know to whom we write the cheque and could you please give us a mailing address.

Thank you, again, for doing such meaningful work.

Gratefully,

Natasha Culmone
Teacher Librarian
Our Lady of Peace Catholic School

The funds from Our Lady of Peace provided support for the entire Rolling Hills Residence for June 19 – 30 ($600) and the remaining funds were used to purchase building material – windows, cement, wood, plaster and paint to help complete the girls’ residence.  The girls will take up residence in the new building by the end of June!

The students of Larkspur raised $350.00 which supported the entire program for 7 days!

 

Dear Creation of Hope,

The students of Conrad Grebel University College, a part of the University of Waterloo, have raised $64.00 as part of our Clean Plate Club, wherein students sign up to waste less food or donate a dollar for every meal they leave unfinished.  We would like this money to go wherever it is needed.

Thanks,

Jane Honek

Christ the King in Whitehorse raised an incredible $2434.56.  These funds were used to support the Rolling Hills Residence for the entire month of July ($1500).  The remaining $934.56 has been used to finish the Whitehorse Room including plaster, paint, windows and tables and chairs!  Below is a note explaining in part how they raised the money.

 

Dear Eric,

 Just a quick note to let you know how we raised the money to support Rolling Hills.  During our Science Fair in the fall, we asked for donations upon entrance to the evening public viewing, we ran a canteen for Polar Games ( a territory wide event for grade 5 & 6 students), and sold candygrams at school for Valentines day.

 The grade 7’s have worked hard, and are thrilled to see their hard work pay off.  Thanks to Ruth for the picutres.

 I have another cheque coming your way soon from “rental fees” in my class (when students need to borrow a calculator or such from me), and from a student donation.  Alyssa Bunce recently celebrated her birthday and asked for donations in lieu of gifts.  So I am sending along her $100 donation as well!!  She has said that “you know best” and can spend it where/how you see fit – “as long as it is helping the kids!”  She really is an amazing young lady.

 Tanis

 

Special Celebrations

A Party for Mueni funded by her sponsors Deanna and  Eric Saul

Muthama receiving a present from Wendy

A birthday celebration for Kanini Beth funded by her sponsors Marian and David Hughes

One of our sponsors, Ken Toten, had a birthday party organized by his wife Teresa and daughters.  In lieu of presents Ken requested that donations be made to an orphanage in India and The Creation of Hope.  His guests were very generous in their donations and then Ken was even more generous – he doubled the amount and split it between the two organizations!

Below is a picture of the birthday boy and his family:

At the end of June Ken and Teresa will be visiting Kenya for a wedding, climbing Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania, and coming up to Rolling Hills Residence to meet their sponsored child, Theresia.

I look forward to meeting them there, introducing them to their sponsored child, and having the children of the program extend their thanks for the incredible support they offered to the orphans of Kikima.


April 2012 update

This has been another active month both here in Canada and in Kenya.  The construction on the new building continues to move forward and it will officially opened in July when our group from Canada will be there.  Here are two new pictures.

Front view

Side view

Already the two lower floors – the younger boys and older boys’ residences – are being used.  The kitchen has now been completed with the addition of a stove and oven, funded by Roberta Bondar P.S. in Brampton and Alexander Graham Bell P.S. in Whitby.

Once again we had a tremendous donation from Christ the King in Whitehorse under the leadership of teacher, Tanis Giczi – they raised $2434.56!

Christ the King is the very first school to support Rolling Hills Residence for an entire month!  For the month of July their donation provides the food, medical care, school supplies, and clothing for all of the children in the residence, the salaries of the matron, tutor and night watchman, and the electricity, water and sanitation for the entire building.

This picture was taken in the almost completed Whitehorse Room – named in honor of the previous fund raising efforts of both Christ the King and Jack Hulland School in the Yukon.  Tanis has also agreed that the remaining funds that they donated will be used to finish the dining hall – purchasing tables and paint.

Another picture in the Whitehorse Room – it just makes me smile!

Brigadoon P.S. – Kitchener

At Brigadoon P.S we have a group called Global Leaders. Global leaders are a group of grade 6 students. We try to make a better future for people around the world who aren’t as fortunate as us. We hold many different fundraisers to raise money for charities. One of the recent fundraisers that we had was Cupcake Day, in which we asked families to donate cupcakes that we sold for a dollar each. We raised $550 that we gave to the Creation of Hope charity.

 And here’s what we did with the donation from Brigadoon

A donation from our Friends and Sponsors in Nova Scotia

 

Dear Anita and Eric,

We held our 3 day Vacation Bible School during the March Break – March 13, 14, 15 – we had to postpone the last day because of a fluke snowstorm so on the 16th our numbers were down of course.  We had 21 children for the first 2 days.  I made up posters with photos taken from Creation of Hope’smonthly updates and told the kids about their friends in Kikima.  They were excited and attentive.  We sent home this letter I made up so parents could visit the site if they wanted.  We thought things went quite well.  I’ll send along some photos as soon as my friend gets them to me.  Use the money as you see fit.

Hope all is well.

Barb,

 St. Xavier H.S. in Ottawa

Dear Mr. Walters,

We are the faith Mentors of St. Francis Xavier High School in Ottawa, Ont.  You visited our school in the beginning of the year, and introduced us to the idea of supporting and raising money for the Creation of Hope Orphanage.  We are proud to announce that we have raised enough money to keep the orphanage going for the week (with $325.00).  We raised the money by selling popcorn at lunch, and doing chores at our homes.

We can’t thank you enough for inspiring us and we hope all is well at the Creation of Hope Orphanage.

Sincerely,

The Faith Mentors 7/8

We will be using this donation to support the Rolling Hills Residence for 1 week in August!

Fairview P.S. in Mississauga

Dear Mr. and Mrs. Walters,

We are a group of girls in Ms. Trevisan’s grade three class at Fairview Public School. With the help of the rest of our class we decided to make bracelets and sell them to the rest of our school to help raise some money for Kikima. During the months of February and March we did this and made $135 to help buy things for people in Kikima and to help give them hope.

We love helping people and we hope this money we raised will help.  As a class, we decided we would like to buy some uniforms so some students could attend school and to provide for a day of support at the orphanage.

Central Park Public School in Markham

Hi Eric,
We communicated in March about a small fundraiser at our school. Following a presentation from Marina Cohen, the kids decided to put their earnings toward your charity.

This class is a terrific group and it has been a total pleasure to teach them this year. I have said recently that when they hit the big world, we will be in good hands!

The following is the letter the students have written for you:
Best wishes,
Elizabeth Gilbert
Gr 8, Science, Art
Intermediate Lead
CPPS

Hello. Our names are Emily and Faustina. We are two grade eight girls from Central Park Public School in Markham, Ontario. The idea of the bake sale started in late September when we were participating in the Terry Fox Run/Walk. We were inspired to raise funds for charity to save lives like Terry Fox did.

We are both competent at baking, so we decided to have a bake sale. With help from other students the ideas became actions. We were able to gather some generous student volunteers to help with the baking.

When the day of the bake sale arrived, we were ready with platters of cupcakes, cookies, brownies and even cake balls (which were delicious). It was a success as many hungry teachers were lured in.

Afterwards we donated every cent to the Creation of Hope to make sure that at least one person’s life is affected positively by our efforts.

We enjoyed baking and preparing for the sale but we are even more thrilled to know that we made a change in someone’s life.

Lorne Park Baptist Church

I presented at an evening event at Lorne Park Baptist Church.  They made a $250.00 donation which supported the Rolling Hills Residence for 5 days.

Andrew Menezes – purchased a book from me and then donated the $5.00 change – this will buy a blanket for a young person in Kenya!

A donation of $100 by Geri and Don Moroney in memory of Joshua Rewa

A teacher, Kennie, purchased a book and donated the change, $7.00 to the program.  That will be dedicated to purchasing a chicken for a needy orphan

Debby Carson – $250.00 after a presentation in her school in Brantford

Glendale Public school  continues to support their sponsored child on a monthly basis with student donations.

Kate Dawber $200.00 for sports equipment

Fred Dawber $100.00 for sports equipment

Their donations for sports equipment will be given to the local school in July – when Kate is there!

Twelve more goats funded by Fairview!

Literacy Date in Durham

On April 4th we held a Literacy Day in Oshawa for students of The Durham Board of Education.  This was held at the newly renovated theatre at Eastdale C.I. It was organized by John MacDonald and Isabelle Hobbs and was attended by 600 students, from 21 schools which each made a donation to attend the event.  Students got to hear presentations from young adult authors Kathy Kacer, Ted Staunton, Teresa Toten, Shane Peacock and myself.

Special thanks to the authors for donating their time and for John and Isabelle for all the organization.

Thanks to Henry and Ingrid for paying for these students  in the following picture to have new school uniforms.

Wish Lists

One of our wonderful Kenyan sponsors, Koki, has also made a commitment to provide additional food donations to specific children who have compromised health concerns.

Sponsorship of Orphans

We have ‘capped’ our sponsorship program at 115.  This is as a result of simply reaching the capacity of what one family in Canada and one family in Kenya can operate in a way that reflects the personal nature of the program.  We have three people who are on our ‘wait’ list who will be considered when other sponsorship opportunities become available.

This month we have two new sponsors taking over existing sponsorship situations.  Our daughter Christina and her husband Marc are the new sponsors of Mulwa and Cheryl Leggat Hamilton and her family are now the sponsor of Nduku Mbula.

We continue to gratefully accept support and ongoing donations for the program.

Here is a picture of Lynda being received by Willie.

We look forward to our upcoming trip to Kkima in June and July.  One of our activities will be to participate in a birthday celebration for all 115 sponsored orphans. We are in the process of collecting small and light weight items that would be suitable to fill in loot bags for this event.  If anybody reading this update has something suitable to contribute, please let us know.  The excitement for the trip mounts!


March 2012 Update

This has been a very busy month, not just for raising funds but for spending them!  The work on the new Rolling Hills Residence continues to move forward.  This new building has become even more ambitious (and expensive) than we had forseen.  This is a result of a number of factors including government regulations, a gigantic inflation rate in Kenya, the decline of the Canadian dollar relative to this, and a decision to include certain factors that make long term sense (such as the bio-gas plant) but have a major investment in the beginning.

This view shows the dining hall/study area/kitchen (in white), the girls’ residence and office above that, and a new ‘5th’ story going up to house the library and additional offices

The new building is also going to be named after Rolling Hills – the school that continues to be our strongest supporter.

The 4th floor, the girls’ residence is named in Honor of Diana

The ‘heart’ of the whole building is the kitchen.  This stove – which can be fueled by either wood or methane from our bio-gas plant was funded by money raised by Alexander Graham Bell School and Roberta Bondar P.S.

This is Mr. Kiio – our project co-ordinator – wearing a shirt given to me by Alexander Graham Bell P.S. – it was big enough for me so he was the only one who could wear it!

The building is being finished and occupied and utilized floor by floor.  The two lower levels – the younger boys and older boys residences are finished and in use.  The next floor, the dining hall/study area and kitchen are almost finished and already in use.  The dining hall is called The Whitehorse Room in honour of two schools in Whitehorse which raised funds that were put towards this project.

This is the Whitehorse Room already in use – the chairs funded by Liz Dilla

The work continues and it is scheduled that the girls will soon be in their residence on the fourth floor and that the official dedication and opening of all floors will take place in June or July.

Donations

I must admit that I am never as touched by a donation as when at the end of a presentation a student comes up and gives money from their pocket.  David, of St. Therese of the Child Jesus, donated $5.00 – all the money that he had – and a child will receive a blanket with that and will be warm.

Dear Mr. Walters,

The classes of 8A and 8C at Roberta Bondar Public School are proud to say that we have raised over $400 for your organization  Creation of Hope. After you had your presentation at our school library we were touched that you are helping the kids of Africa with schooling. The month after was December and our class thought about your foundation so instead of putting money towards things like Secret  Santa, a party, and teacher Christmas presents [which we still did], we decided  that we should give kids in Africa a Christmas present. We believe the money has been put into good hands and all of it will be used to benefit kids with uniforms, paper, pencils, or a better school – whatever you decide.

Sincerely,

Stephen Sanichara

Dear Creation of Hope,

This donation comes from our Clean Plate Club at Conrad Grebel University College at the University of Waterloo, where students commit to not wasting food or donate to a charity.  We collected $133.00 this term and would like to donate the entire amount to Creation of Hope where the money is needed most/would be most beneficial.

Thank you,

Jane Honek, Conrad Grebel University College Food Representative

Brigadoon P.S. in Kitchener, under the direction of Kim Austin donated $550.00 raised by their social justice club.  As you have seen above, this money has already been put to use to purchase the stove used to feed our children on a daily basis, provide meals for over 200 orphans each food distribution day, and also help to feed people gathered for conferences and meetings at the centre (and the fees donated back to run the program).

Dear all,

Our friends from Aviation and General Security came calling again yesterday – the first time of four visits planned for this year. They came to spend time with the children, visit the property and share a meal with us. Along with them they brought food worth Ksh. 26,000. I hope this can go on the website again. These are good friends indeed.  Look at the photos.

Ruth Kyatha
Program Manager

The contributions from Kenya – which are constant and increasing – are an example of not only how the program is being accepted and endorsed by Kenyans but their personal commitment to help their own people.  This remains the direction we want to  move with the  program, with decisions being made by people on the ground and ultimately the whole program being run in Kenya by Kenyans.

Amanda and Jon are getting married on August 4th, 2012.  Instead of giving wedding favors to their guests at the wedding reception, they have donated money to support the entire Rolling Hills Residence for 8 days.  What a kind and generous way to start their lives together as a married couple.  Congratulations Amanda and Jon!

Paul Nerino, who along with his family sponsors Benjamin, helped facilitate the following donations:

$50.00 from Suzanne Morrison,

$50.00 from Social Committee in memory of Maria Staring

$40.00 from Gord West

Heather the owner of Ella Minnow Books, and her family, donated for wishlists.  Kay thinks these can be filled within the next month.

Lyn Mark and Claire Floras and the Witty Knitters Club made a donation.

Our good friends at Kettle Lakes Public school raised another $400 from a ‘toonies for tunes’ program where students donated a toonie and dedicated a chosen song to be played on the P.A.  We have already spent this money on uniforms!

In addition, previous money from Kettle Lakes was also spent on uniforms.  The importance of uniforms cannot be over-estimated.  Without uniforms ,  the children are not allowed to attend school.

Notice the ‘stars’ on a number of foreheads – I’m not sure why they have them but they do seem awfully proud!

As well ,other funds from Kettle Lake were used to purchase 26 more chickens for orphans in the community.

And since we are talking about Kettle Lakes, the final part of their donations was used to provide for the funding of the entire Rolling Hills Residence for these days.

School fees for high school childen

We have 19 children in different grades, types and levels,  enrolled in secondary school across Kenya.  There is a wide range in the tuition costs based on the type of school.  As well, each child is equipped with school supplies, uniforms,  and books, as well as transportation costs to get them to school.  The first year is much more expensive than other years because of the addition costs to equip the students in this manner.

The total cost for these 19 students was $4693.55.  Here is how these children were sponsored.

Andrew-Si-We-Yah Scholarship:

Faith Nthenge at Mbooni AIC Girls School – Grade 12

Wilson Musau Mutindi at Mbuani Secondary – Grade 10

Ruth Nduku Kalewa at Mbooni Girls School – Grade 10

Total $810.00

Jack Hulland School – Whitehorse – project led by Sara Tillet:

Mutie Luka at Tututha Secondary School – Grade 9

Eric Mulwa Muendo at Tuthutha Secondary School – Grade 9

Teddy Mutua at Tuthutha Secondary School – Grade 9

Total $959.00

Probus Club of Brampton:

Annastasia Mutindi at Mitabonie ABC Girls Secondary School – Grade 9

Total $326.00

Sharon Freeman:

John Mutuku Wambua at Muvuti Seconday – Grade 10

Mercy Mwende Katumo at St. Mary’s Girl High School – Grade 10

Kitoo Kariuki at Kyuu Secondary School – Grade 10

Sarah Makau at Mbooni Girls Secondary – Grade 11

Nicholas Mwanzia at Kamweleni Secondary – Grade 11

Total: funded by a donation made by Sharon and $100.00 from Marina Cohen for Kitoo

Sandy Inglis:

Justina Kalee Kimeu at Kikima Secondary School – Grade 9

Funded by Sandy

Eric and Anita Walters:

Mary Wanza Makau at Mbooni AIC Secondary – Grade 10

Funded by Eric and Anita

Cindi Sisti and Kettle Lakes P.S.:

Gloria Ndunge Ngovi at Mbooni AIC Secondary – Grade 9

$100 from Cindi and $255 from Kettle Lakes P.S. total $355.00

Kettle Lakes

Eric Ngila Mule at Mbooni boys Secondary School – Grade 10

Sharon Mutinda at Ndoo Secondary School – Grade 12

Total $461.00

Vanier Catholic School – Whitehorse – led by Emily Ross:

Doreen Chizi Joseph – Mbooni Girls School – Grade 9

Total $458.00

This tuition is so high because not only is entering the school with all of the associated costs, but this is a very high level school.  Doreen entered with the highest marks of any student we have ever been involved with.

We would like to thank all the individuals and schools who contributed to furthering the education of these deserving students.  Education will make an immense difference in their futures!

(click for a larger image)

Faith is our first high school student to have her tuition funded.  She is now in Grade 12 and will be graduating this coming December.  She is a bright, dedicated, and grateful student who has taken full advantage of the opportunity given to her by the program.  Faith’s  potential and her inability to reach that potential without support,  were first brought to our attention when Lisa was doing a three month placement in Faith’s school.

Special Presents from Sponsors:

Mulwa’s birthday party supported by his sponsor Laurie and Eric on Wednesday March 7.

A present from Birgitta for her sponsored child Juliet

A blanket hand-made with love by Sue for her child Lorna

Presents, including some wonderful art work made by Sydney for Mwithi Mbula the child sponsored by Stephanie and her children Sydney and Gavin

School books for Raphael from his sponsor Richard

School books for Christopher Mule from his sponsor Ruth

Naomi receiving a watch from Janice and Art and a sock monkey from Clarkson S.S.

Funds Used

A lunch for all the students of Kyangoma School provided by Liz Dilla!

$565.00 in funds donated by Lasalle P.S. were used to supplement  food distribution in January and February

These bunk beds were funded by a donation from Tina.  As always we strive to have things made locally – this is a shop in Kikima.  This purchase will allow the owner to buy locally and provide for the needs of his family.

30 orphans each received a goat thanks to the Fairview students!

A present from children’s illustrator Werner – who also provided funds for uniforms

New donations for the library – the only library in all of Mbooni District – named after my wonderful, amazing Grade 5 teacher, Miss Christena Gay

Wishlists

Safari Peter receiving his wish list from Kelly Mahoney

Kilonzo Mutuku receiving his wish list from the Krahn family

Daily Support of Rolling Hills Residence – $50.00 provides food for 44 children, their school supplies, clothing, medical treatment, the salaries of the matron, night watchman, tutor, and the electricity, water and sanitation for the entire building.

Children Receiving Pictures of their new Sponsors

Ezekeil with Constanza

Michael with Dale

Musau with Christina

Mutuku with Brigitte

Victoria with Craig

Once again we wish to close by acknowledging the generosity, energy and thoughtfulness of so many!  It is with such support that our organization has continued to experience the growth and success it has.  Thank you to all!


February Update

The New School Year

The Kenyan school year is more in line with the calendar year with children starting in a new grade or school in January.  We’re all aware of the transitions we see here in Canada when a child leaves elementary school behind and starts high school.  This transition is even more significant for young people in Kenya.  Throughout their grade eight year they studied for the entrance exams which took place in November and December.  These marks determined if they can go to high school and the ‘level’ they can attend.  Higher marks open up possibilities for better schools.

As well, these schools are most often residential schools.  The young person goes away to live – often very far away from home and family.

This is also a very busy time for Kay and Ruth.  Not only must they prepare the children (clothing, school supplies, school books, ‘kits’, basic supplies) but then bring the young person to their school.  Last year one of our students was admitted to a school that was basically on the far side of Kenya!

Anastasia with some of her supplies, proudly and happily, heading off to school.  The Probus Club of Brampton made a contribution that provided for her school year.

Ndunge’s school kit provided by Chris and her coworkers

This year we are proud to announce that we have 19 children in high school!

Thirteen of these children have sponsors with Creation of Hope

  1. Mary Wanza Makau
  2. Kitoo Kariuki
  3. John Mutuku Wambua
  4. Sarah Nzilani Makau
  5. Nicholas Mwanzia Mbatha
  6. Mercy Mwende Katumo
  7. Justina Kalee Kimeu
  8. Eric Mulwa Muendo
  9. Gloria Ndunge Ngovi
  10. Teddy Mutua
  11. Samuel Mutie Luka
  12. Annastacia Munyiva Mutindi
  13. Doureen Chizi Kakuvi

Six are not sponsored but are supported through the fund raising of The Creation of Hope.  They are either related to a sponsored child or were simply identified by the community or schools as having great potential but no financial ability.

  1. Erricson Mulinge Mbevi
  2. Faith Nthenge Muthini
  3. Eric Ngila Mule
  4. Ruth Nduku Kalewa
  5. Wilson Musau Mutindi
  6. Sharon Mutinda

Of these children the first, Faith Nthenge Muthini, is now in her last year of high school.  While we have had one young lady graduate from trade school, Faith will be our first high school graduate in December.

(A Late) Christmas in Kikima

Many of our sponsors provide funds for something extra for their child at Christmas.  Others send over letters or parcels.  Mail from Canada to Kenya is, well, somewhat adventurous, and often takes a long time.  Many of these gifts were mailed in October and November just arrived and were presented to the children.

Mutunga receiving a letter from Wendy and Barb

Muthina receiving a parcel from Barb Munich – Barb is one of a group of sponsors who will be joining us in Kenya this summer.  One of my personal highlights will be introducing sponsors to their children!

Fatema – one of our youngest supporters – has made another $50.00 donation this month.  Please thank Fatema again from all of us.

Steve, who lives in Canada, but is originally Nigerian visited the program.  He left not only  a positive impression on the children but a gift for them all.

53 children with 53 new pairs of shoes!  Thanks Steve!

Birthday supplies for Mutinda provided by his sponsor Barb Miller

Eric and Barb and their Sunday school group at Emmanuel Baptist Church in Nova Scotia raised money to support all of Rolling Hills Residence for 4 days.

Fairview Public School

Dear Ruth and Kay,

Here is our partial contribution for $2107.80 for your village.  Please use a portion of this towards the purchase of goats for the families.  If you recall that was Samantha Crawford’s goal.  The rest please use to take care of our foster child Mbithi Mutheu and the greatest needs of your community.

Thanks,

Fairview P.S.

Vanier Catholic Secondary School

Emily Ross is a sponsor, a talented musician and a member of the Vanier Social Justice Club at Vanier Catholic Secondary School in Whitehorse Yukon.  They raised and donated $500.00 for the program.

 

New sponsors:

  1. Birgitta Barlet has now sponsored Juliet Mbithe Keli
  2. The Krahn family has now sponsored Emanuel Muuo Mumo

  1. Jason and Nirmala have now sponsored three kids: Mutuku Ngumbi, Chris Mumo and Kyalo Mulili

  1. Nicole Kidman has now sponsored Kyalo Kavengwa

  1. Dave Reyenga has now sponsored Mualuko Mwanza
  2. Christina Ashmore has now sponsored Musau Mueni
  3. Contanza Leon has now sponsored Ezekiel Mwongela.

Here’s a shot from last month’s sponsorship.

These pictures mean a lot to the children – to see the real person who has changed their life.

With these sponsors added we are on the verge of closing off our sponsorship program to new children.  This is a combination of factors – the neediest have been sponsored – and the simple limitations of our program.  The Canadian component of our program is literally run off our dining room table by my wife, Anita, and I, while in Kenya it is Ruth and Kay.

We are cautious to not grow so big that we’ll lose the ability to be personal and responsive.  We also do not want to dilute the effectiveness of our service by stretching our limited man power and resources. The remaining children to be sponsored are on our webpage.  Over time as new children are in need of sponsorship  – or the emergence of children needing to be re-sponsored – we will have other opportunities.

We still need and welcome support for specific projects, for ongoing needs such as school uniforms and for supporting the entire Rolling Hills Residence ($50.00 per day).

Granted wishlists:

  1. Safari Peter’s wishlist has been granted by Kelly Mahony
  2. Kilonzo Mutuku’s wishlist has been granted by the Krahn family

A Family Loss

We wish to extend our sincere condolences to our Program Director in Kikima, Ruth Kyatha and her entire family, on the death of Ruth’s mother Serah Mbuve Kiundi on January 23 2012 who lived into her 95th year.  The Walters family had the opportunity to meet and visit with Serah in 2008.  She was a very strong woman of faith who believed in education for her daughters as well as her sons when she was a poor widow caring for 9 children decades ago. Such a commitment to education of females at that time was very unusual.  Her character and strength is reflected as her legacy is carried on through her large and accomplished extended family including our incredible staff – Ruth Kyatha and Kay Mutinda.