Creation of Hope


January Update

January Update

We have wonderful support from Whitehorse in the Yukon.  Along with three sponsors we have two schools that have been doing amazing things to raise funds.  I’m going to write about this in great detail in February, but initially I wanted to note that we received a cheque for $1504.15 from one of the two schools, Jack Hulland E.S, under the leadership of Sara Tillet.  Just a little hint about what is to come next month – the funds raised by Jack Hulland and Christ the King in the Yukon will be directed to a very specific project . . . but you’ll have to wait until next month’s update to find out more how they raised their funds and what we are planning on using them for.

Brookside Secondary School donated $200.00 which they wish to be used to purchase 5 goats.

Megan and Jaslyn Gribbons raised $40.00 which they wish to be used for the purchase of a goat.

Sharon Freeman also made a $25.00 donation to purchase saplings to be planted in honour of the 85th birthday of Janja Markota.

Brandon and Scott, of Rolling Hills, raised $64.11 in their ‘Mad Project’.

One of our sponsors, Judy McDermid, along with a co-worker Debbie Robinson, work for Public Libraries on Manitoulin Island.  For years they raised money to promote literacy by operating a Reading Festival.  They no longer run the festival but have decided to continue to promote literacy – this time in Kenya!  They donated the funds that remained with the program – $2172.15 – to help fund and operate our library in Kikima!  We will use these funds to not only provide more books and equipment but pay the salary of our librarian for an entire year!  What a contribution to literacy.  In light of the fact that money from Alexander Graham Bell is also being designated to the library, we are certain that this Library will continue to meet the needs of this entire community for a long time to come.

As we noted in a previous update we have established a scholarship – in honour of Andrew Curling – whose life ended unexpectedly early, to provide high school education for children in the Mbooni district.  His sister held a fundraiser. Below is a letter from her.


My name is Ani, I am Andrew’s sister.  I know that my parents have had the pleasure of meeting you and I look forward to meeting you both as well.

Our fundraiser this past Saturday was very successful.  I am pleased to say that we raised just over $1800.00 (I will do a final count and give you the exact amount by the weekend).

We are so honoured to be a part of this wonderful charity.

 

Thank you so much for taking on this role and helping us to honour Andrew’s memory through the ongoing education of children in Mbooni.

Three families, the Paquettes, Levesques and Nolins donated $240.00 instead of presents so that the orphans of Kikima can benefit.

We received this note;

Dear Creation of Hope,

Our families have decided that rather than buy gifts for each other and our 6 boys this Christmas, we would like to donate to a worthwhile cause.  After hearing Mr. Walters speak so passionately about The Creation of Hope on visits to our schools (2 of us teach at Anderdon Public school and he has visited our kids schools as well) we all knew where we wanted the money to go.  We know we can ask for the money to be used in specific ways, but have decided to ask you to just use the money in the most productive way possible, as you see fit.

Thank you for providing this opportunity.  Happy New Year to everyone!

While presenting at Sacret Heart CHS, a young man, Chris, gave all that he had – $5.91.  Thanks so much Chris, because of you a child will have a blanket.

Along the same caring manner, a number of students at Oakridge gave personal donations.  Cole, $10.00; Amanda, $15.00; Ross, $10.00; Adam, $10.00; William, $8.00; Joshua, $2.00. The donations of these students will result in eleven children receiving blankets.

A teacher at Oakridge, Amanda LaPointe, also made a tremendous personal donation – pulling out her cheque book and donating $200.00.  Her funds will be going toward the continued construction of our addition.

Andy Dilla is an accomplished young man who has just graduated from University and starts medical school in the fall.  I got to know Andy as part of the Impossible2Possible project where we crossed the Tunisian desert together in April 2010.  He is spending two months in Kikima, living on the ground of the children’s residence and teaching at the school where the majority of our orphans attend.  He has started a blog; www.andyinkenya.wordpress.com and you can follow his adventures!

Andy, and Ruth, are pictured here giving out sports equipment donated by Fred Dawber in honour of his daughter Kate.  Andy has spent a great deal of time at ‘Kate Stadium’ doing ‘P.E.’ with his students.

Money Spent:

The $275.00 provided by Lisgar has been used to purchase cement for the addition.

All of the funds provided by Sophia Attema, in honor of her daughter Chanel,  $125.00, have been directed to the garden which is planted, harvested and eaten by the children of Rolling Hills.  Unlike in Canada, there is a continuous period of planting in Kenya.  For an interesting account of the children helping to work the fields read up on Andy’s blog.

The money provided by Woodlands Secondary School in Nanaimo, $100.00, was used to purchase timbers for the new addition.

Ongoing activities

The start of the school year in Kenya is in January.  In late November and early December those students wishing to enter high school must write a series of examinations.  Their marks determine not only their ability to attend but what type of school they will attend.  This also has strong financial implications.  A student who attends a local school and lives at home can go to school for a year for as little as $150.00.  However if they have qualified as being able to attend a Provincial School – one in which they will reside- the costs can be as high as $500.00 per year which covers tuition, residency, books, uniforms and examinations.  We already have two children, Faith entering grade 11 and Sarah entering grade 10, but also have 9 other students who qualified for secondary education.  In previous updates we’ve listed children who were funded through the efforts of Julia and Megan (The Cans for Kenya campaign at U of Guelph), donations by Sharon Freeman, and contributions raised through the Andrew scholarship.  These are the children who will be attending school and the cost of their tuition.

Ruth and Kay have been negotiating, equipping and then transporting and settling these students into their new schools.  In one case, with Mirriam, they had to transport her all the way to the base of Mountain Kenya to her new school.  Rather than a high school this is a specialized training program to give her the skills necessary to be employed and self-sufficient.

In the coming update we will be specific around the schools and costs involved with these students either starting or continuing their high school educations.  Below is a listing of some of the results of the exams.

No. Name Score Selected for support Comments
1 Mary Makau 295/500 YES She will proceed to high school though this was not her best performance
2 Mercy Katumo 314/500 YES She will proceed to high school
3 Mutuku Wambua 252/500 YES This is not a good performance but he can still go to high school though not as good a one as we had wished for him
4 Nduku Kalewa 318/500 YES This is the sister to Faith Mwikali (The Coopers’ child). Though not originally not on the list, she has done so well that we cannot leave her out. Their grandmother is sickly and old.
5 Willie Mutindi 289/500 YES He will go to a high school with these marks
6 Kitoo Kariuki 265/500 YES He will go to the local high school
7 Ndanu Mbithi 202/500 NO She needs to repeat standard 8 for these marks are too low
8 Mutie Luka 207/500 NO He has agreed to repeat standard 8 this year because of the low marks
9 Ngila Mule 304/500 YES He lives at Exodus and his performance was good, meriting him to be on the list if you agree
10 Mirriam Ndanu 185/500 Yes She is to receive training at a special Poly-tech school

Sponsors have been given individual pictures of their sponsored children receiving support, as well as wish lists being granted.  Here is a picture of one of the children receiving a wish list.

Ian’s wish list.

Here is a group shot of the children in the residence, all in their new ‘Christmas’ clothing.  I love this picture!

This has been an extremely busy time between Christmas, wish lists, ongoing construction and the beginning of the school year.  There are some requests that have not been granted yet – but in the interests of total transparency (and so you know we didn’t forget!) I’ve listed them all below.

Funds Raised – Still Outstanding Monies to be Spent

Here are the requests by individuals remaining to be completed, not including the individual donations made this month.

  • Deborah Kerbel’s goat on behalf of her 2 kids ($41.50)
  • Rob Hildebrandt’s class ($169) – 1 blanket, 1 solar cooker, 1 set farm tools, 2 chickens, 2 school uniforms, 1 male goat, 1 female got
  • Karen’s goat ($40) for the Bridge Biddies
  • One goat for a needy family from Laurette and Murray
  • Two goats from Barb’s parents
  • Two goats ($80) from Sally Gribbon’s daughters
  • $100 gift from Geri Moroney (goats, chickens, etc…)
  • Laurie Finlayson’s birthday gift to Mulwa –
  • Gail Duncan’s birthday gift to Mwende Mulimi –
  • Barb Miller sent $100 for Mutinda Mativo ; birthday money outstanding
  • Sue Tyndall donation for a birthday gift
  • Jacqui Vanbetlehem sent $30 for a birthday gift for Mutunga Ndile.

Finally here is a list of funds raised by schools (not including those received this month) that we have not, as yet, spent.  In the coming two months this will all go to where it is needed.

Prince Phillip – $604.00

Alexander Graham Bell – $979.00 (to be used for the library and associated projects)

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December Update

(The delay in posting this update comes with apologies from the webmaster! Sorry!)

Christmas Donations

With the coming of Christmas there was a great deal of activity for the children in the Mbooni district.  We made an overture to our sponsors asking them if they’d be willing to make an additional donation to provide for Christmas presents for their sponsored child.  In keeping with both the needs of the children and the community standards we stated clearly that we would not be spending any more than $30.00 on each child and, as such, wished that the amount of the donation be limited.  Sponsors even contacted us to say they had never been asked to limit their giving before and found it a refreshing approach.

The outpouring of support from our sponsors was truly inspiring.  So many of our sponsors sent in $30.00 for their child and then added an additional amount – sometimes hundreds of dollars more – so that other children would not be forgotten.   This meant that not only did all the children of Rolling Hills Residence and all of the sponsored children in the community receive presents, but every child at Exodus Children’s Home and the siblings and cousins of our community children also received presents.  In total there were over 200 children who received a gift or gifts at Christmas.  While the majority of these presents were functional – clothing, school books, shoes, a school uniform, or a blanket – we also distributed dolls, balls and games.

In addition many people provided money to buy Christmas goats.  Many have already received a picture of the child receiving the goat.  Due to time limitations and costs (the price of a goat rises just before Christmas) some goats will not be purchased or distributed until January and pictures subsequently sent to the donor.

There was also another generous donation from Fred Dawber with a request that part of this money be used to purchase sports equipment for the school that is the site of Kate Stadium – named after his daughter.  Interestingly, unknown to each other, Kate also made a donation for the same thing.  This school has been blessed by both Kate’s presence as a teacher and now the ongoing support of Kate and her family.  I know Kate wants to go back to work again in the school and I know how much she is missed by the children and staff.

Ruth and Kay met with the headmaster and teachers and made the decision that rather than purchase balls, the greatest need was for uniforms for the school teams.  The school received uniforms for girls and boys teams in football (soccer) and netball.  Below you can see both the uniforms and the joy they brought.

Girls Netball teams

Boys Football (soccer) teams

Kate holding ‘her’ teams.

In addition to the money provided by Fred we also received individual donations;

Sharon Freeman – as Christmas presents for the following people;  Ila and Jim Appleby, Marianne and Dino Brunato, Karen Danderfer, Angela and

Nick Dasovic, Rae Figursky, Linda and Bob Ford, Rob Freeman, Janet Goodman,

Jennifer Griffin, Mark Harding, Pam and John Hossack, Patti Jukes, Vesna and

Slav Kanjer, Heather Mackay, Sheila MacTavish, Christine and Marjan

Markota, Monica and Tom Markota, Kath Mathisen, Jeff Peters, Giannina Rakic,

and me…

 

We have talked about this money  being used directly to pay for the high school tuition for a number of children in Mbooni who are deserving students but unable to pay.

Geri Moroney – as a Christmas present for her nieces and nephews in Edmonton

Kathryn Mathisen in B.C. – she had heard about our organization from our good and generous friend Sharon Freeman

Sophia Attema – provided money to help continue the garden started by her daughter Chanel.  If you go back through our monthly updates you can read all about how Chanel cut off her dreadlocks and used that money to create the original garden plot that is still cultivated by the residents of Rolling Hills.

Laurette and Murray – the parents of our daughter Christina’s fiancé Marc – provided money for a goat.

Guida Da Silva and Frederico Deira made a generous donation to the program.

School involvement

Lisgar School in Mississauga has been actively working on global issues.  In December my wife Anita went and spoke to specific classes as part of the process that will lead to a Skype session in January between the students of Lisgar and the children of Rolling Hills Residence in Kikima.  Lisgar provided a cheque for $250.00 for the program and a commitment to further fundraising in 2011.  In addition they gave two books which will be brought over to Kenya when we have travelers.

Woodlands Secondary School in Nanaimo B.C. made a donation of $100.00.  Thank you Laurie Shaw for your leadership!

Alexander Graham Bell, under the leadership of Barb Kettle has continued to be one of our strongest and most faithful supporters.  They have raised an additional $979.00 in the following ways; Ice Cream Sandwich Day (thanks to Chapman’s for their help!) snack bars at two seasonal concerts and one Intermediate Dance.

They wish to use this money for the Christena Gay Library – books and ongoing costs.

In addition Barb’s parents, Doug and Beth Kettle, have donated $80.00 so that two goats can be purchased in each other’s names.

A basket full of ice cream!

Five young ladies from Alexander Graham Bell – raising funds through their creativity!

A message from Mr. Rumsby and his students at Prince Philip in St. Catherines

Hope the weather isn’t too bad, up your way.  Things are good down here. I just wanted to give you an update on my class. We’ve had two bake sales this month and are planning on having two more in the new year. The first one raised just over $80, while the one yesterday raised an astounding $168! I couldn’t believe it. The class has been divided up into four groups and each group is completely in charge of EVERYTHING — announcements, advertising, bringing in the goods, and conducting the raffles. It’s quite fun to watch the friendly competition that is going on.

All told, including the monthly money for Naomi, the students have just gone over the $1000 mark for this year! We’re not even half way through the year. I told you, these kids are unbelievable. 🙂 In fact, I had one student bring in Naomi’s entire sponsorship for this month, anonymously. Eventually, with a little coaxing from a friend, the student finally admitted to donating the money. This student doesn’t want any recognition because she feels that the point of it is more important that the recognition. I think that’s pretty phenomenal for an eleven year old!

That’s pretty much it, on this end. Hope all is well with you, Anita and the kids.

Cheers!

Ryan

 

The New Building

Construction continues on the new building.  Below are the most up to date pictures.  We hope to start using the lower level as a boys’ residence while we continue to build the top two levels (girls’ residence and kitchen/dining hall/study area/offices).  Right now we are a few months and a few thousand dollars short of what we need to finish it off.  Generous donations from schools continue to be used to complete the new residence which will not just be an expanded home to our orphans but will also act as the central facility to serve the needs of all orphans throughout the entire region.

It is difficult for the pictures to capture the entire project because it is built down the side of the mountain.  Pictured are the top floor – the top of the mountain construction – that will ultimately hold the kitchen, dining hall, storage areas, study area and the offices of the entire Creation of Hope project.

Main floor – top floor

Kitchen area with stairs leading down to the girls residence

Side view showing the top floor, and to the far right, the middle floor ‘peeking’ out.