Creation of Hope


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.


October 2012 Update

School donations

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Individual donations and some thanks you signs!

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

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

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

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

5 days support from Princess Anne for the Rolling Hills Residence

Chloe supported the entire orphanage for December 10th!

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

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

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

Three children with new school uniforms.

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

 

Presents

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

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

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

Christmas Presents

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

Progress on The New Water Project

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

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

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

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

A cement retaining wall will hold a reservoir of fresh water

Another view of the stone mason at work

 

Rolling Hills Residence II – Diane’s Wing

Bit by bit the whole residence is being completed.

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

Front view

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

Sponsorship

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

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


September 2012 Update

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

 

Personal Donations

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

Dawn Nazareth and Sydney Fernandez

Joanne Gordon

Mary Kacur

Laura Mead

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

Connie Masich

Rebecca Watts

Stacie Lee Gray

And her donation funded the program for two days.

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

Teresa and Matt Monkman

And how their support was used!

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

 

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

 

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

Pretty classy looking!

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

 

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.