I want to start by saying how hard our whole team in Kenya is working. The death of Henry – our founding patron – has left a gigantic hole in the lives of all those who knew and loved him. It has also left Ruth and the other staff with a huge increase in work. Ruth remains the hardest working person I have ever known. Despite the loss of her husband she has managed to channel her remarkable energy and expertise to make sure that all facets of the program continue to move forward. She has told me she does this not only because of the children and families who rely on the program but also to honor the memory of her husband.
Ruth has dedicated her life to helping those less fortunate in her community and is fuelled in her efforts by her strong faith. She is now also given power and energy by her desire to continue the legacy she and Henry began. I know Henry is looking down on her, a smile on his face, occasionally shaking his head ever so slightly in amazement as we all continue in our work – his work.
Ruth has delegated more work to other staff members, brought on some additional staff, and has also increased her hours of work. In the end though, no matter who is doing the work, Ruth is overseeing, supervising, directing and is ultimately in charge. We are in good hands.
In some instances we are a little ‘slower’ in responding, but we continue with the same promises we have made – you will see where your money goes; it goes to where the needs are the greatest; and finally, the orphans are being provided for. Thanks to all of you for being part of this.
I also have to admit that sometime during this month I failed to ‘save my work’ and I had to redo some parts of this update. Aside from the obvious frustration factor it means that I hope I haven’t missed anything as I recreated my work. This is a terrible omission on the part of a writer and I’ll try not to repeat this mistake again!
Each Christmas our children receive new clothing. Here are a couple of pictures just to make you smile.
In March we lost our family dog, Lola. She was a wonderful dog and we will miss her. At the end , there was an act of great kindness shown to us by her vets – Dr. Paul Walker and Dr. Matt Walker. In their honor we are making a donation to AIM which will be used to provide daily support for our orphans. In the coming month a thank you sign will be sent to show them how this donation was used.
East Oxford Central Public School raised $430.50. This donation was made to me at the end of a presentation and will be directed toward daily support. The school will receive signs designating their days in the coming weeks.
Julie Payette P.S. held a basketball game and raised $90.45. Perhaps this is the perfect combination of my love of basketball and commitment to the program. I wish I could have been there to watch . . . maybe throw in a couple of shots. They will know in the coming month how their money was used.
Sir Isaac Brock Brampton, under the direction of Nicole Brodie, raised $738.43. Nicole and her husband Trevor are sponsors in our program and have spent time in Kenya meeting their sponsored child and seeing the program in operation.
Solar lamps are one of the most requested and appreciated items that a child or family can receive. None of the orphans being raised in community settings have electricity. They rely on kerosene lamps and these produce noxious fumes and have an ongoing cost. Forty dollars provides a solar lamp that will give ongoing, cost free light to allow homework to be completed, chores to be done and brings light where there was only darkness – a wonderful way to look at our the involvement of this school. Eighteen lights will be bought with this donation and here are pictures of the first children receiving a lamp.
Lasalle P.S. under the direction of Martha Martin raised money to support Faith and Eric by paying for their high school tuitions.
Selling baked goods
Eric is still in high school while Faith has graduated with sufficiently high marks that she has qualified for university. We are investigating university placements and determining where she will attend. We are understandably proud of Faith – and the students of Lasalle for funding her dreams and hard work
There is also a donation coming from Pope John Paul II. They had raised money and were going to give me a check when I was there this month but made a decision to keep fundraising instead! I look forward to receiving the update in the coming weeks!
Nathalie and her family made a donation which will be used to provide one day of support for the Rolling Hills Residence and to help with monthly food distribution
Our good friends Nancy and also Maureen and Brian made donations in honor of my wife Anita’s birthday. These gifts will be used to support the monthly food distribution
Ann Wadge honored her mother’s 99th birthday with a donation. Happy birthday Helen!
$75.00 provides for food for the 53 children of Rolling Hills Residence, routine medical care, school supplies, the salaries of our matron, tutor, cook, night watchman and caretaker, the electricity, sanitation and water for the building. Below are the ‘parents’ of our children for those days.
Monthly food distribution formerly happened with all the recepients coming to our residence. We made an adjustment – which saved money and time – by going out in a rented matatu (a bus) and giving out the distribution at a number of satellite locations. Now with our new van we no longer need to hire the matatu and further savings have been made. Georgetown Rotary club has donated money to put the fuel in the tank to allow this to happen this month …(and the next and maybe the next after that, will come from this donation)
Each month we have a ‘deficit’ in the funds necessary to provide for the monthly distribution – this is the difference between the money donated by sponsors and the actual money we spend. The following people/schools/organizations helped us take care of this month’s costs:
Thank You Signs
This is the first of many, many goats that are going to be distributed thanks to an incredibly generous donation by Marilyn. Over the next months you will see more and more thank you signs.
Here are some pictures of text books and school books purchased with the donation from Vaughan Willard P.S. For children living in rural Kenya, there is almost nothing they appreciate more than school books and supplies. Education is so ingrained in their culture and they realize that the road from poverty to prosperity goes directly through the school – a place barred to those who cannot afford it.
Our sponsors regularly send parcels, letters and money for birthday or Christmas celebrations. We try to always show them their child holding the objects they have sent/funded. Here are a sampling of pictures that were sent this month:
Mbula from April
Koki from Koko
Eric is so grateful for his soccer shoes. Kids need to play and Eric is a wonderful soccer player – as well as basically the brightest student in his grade.