It is with great, great sadness that we announce that we had a death in our program. This little girl, Mwongeli, died on September 28th. Below is the obituary written by Kay about her life, and her passing. Please remember Mwongeli, her grandparents, and the children of Hope in your thoughts and in your prayers.
In August we once again travelled to Kenya to visit our program. We also brought with us guests and visitors who were able to become part of the experience. Kathy Kay has been a sponsor for 6 years. Kate Richardson and Danielle Bird have been donors to the Kids Alive program. And Anita Davidson is a donor, professional photographer and longtime friend of Anita Walters. As always, all visitors, including myself and my wife, paid for all expenses including a payment of $20.00 per day per person to pay for all expenses while living on the grounds of the residence.
It was wonderful to be back – after an almost 2 year absence – and see the changes and growth in the children, the facilities and in the program.
One of the constants has been the incredible success our children have been having in their school. We now have 11 children in post-secondary (college and university), another 40 in high school, and 21 potential new high school students in the coming school year – which begins in January. For this last group of children we will not know their high school placements until January. In November they will write the National Examinations which will determine their ‘level’ of placement. With higher marks they qualify for a higher level of secondary placement. We expect great results, great placements – and of course – higher costs. We will be actively seeking out educational sponsors to partner with our regular sponsors to pay for the cost of their education. Already we have 6 sponsors who have stepped forward.
If you are interested or know who of someone who has a big heart and would be interested in becoming an educational sponsor please contact Anita at firstname.lastname@example.org (Please note that double ‘a’ in the middle – or your email to a will go to a very nice woman in the United States)
Apology and Explanation
We are very pleased with the transition to a new partner Kids Alive. It is a wonderful organization and their goals and our goals are completely in alignment. However, with any change there are often some ‘bugs’ in the machine. Some of our donations were made directly to Kids Alive and while the money was placed in our accounts there was no immediate notification to us that these donations were made. As such we could not respond with our usual promptness to thank and acknowledge where the money was used. Upon us becoming aware we have worked to make sure that these acknowledgements have been made. Our apologies and we will work with our partner to make sure this isn’t an issue. However, if you are aware of any snags in our operation please let us know!
We all make mistakes. We all need to work to fix any that are made!
We were so fortunate to be in Kikima for this year’s birthday party. One hundred and fifty children were given ‘loot’ bags of many items that also included gifts of T shirts and socks from our sponsor Melanie Noordhuis. Birthday cakes, a meal and other treats were all part of the celebration. As well another 200 relatives of the orphans – elders and siblings and cousins – were part of the celebration and meal.
This party was supported by my family with an advance royalty paid on a book – Today is The Day – which comes out in October and a generous ongoing donation from Penguin/Random House. Each year from now on this celebration is funded.
Soon videos and dozens of pictures from this party will be posted on Eric’s website (ericwalters.net) for people to see and experience. Being there is such a great joy!
This is Mutanu (which means happy) holding the book in which she is the main character.
We have 13 sponsored children who have taken up residence in our main building. They were brought into residential care for a variety of reasons including grandparents who were becoming too old and infirm to care for them, academic or health reasons, or a change in life circumstances. They will, as with all our residents, remain in constant contact and have home visits with their family members who remain guardians. All future decisions about these children will be made in conjunction with the family members.
Chris Hadfield Public School made an incredible donation of $2657.72. This money is going to be used to provide 10 days of support, to help fund the October food distribution and to help provide for educational costs of our children entering high school in January. Great thanks!
Leanne Gladysz – a day of support
Carol Whelan $50.00
Kelly Van Tol donated money which went toward food distribution for the children in the community.
Grace and Brian Hoover made a donation that went toward school supplies.
Camelia donated funds to purchase two blankets.
Thank You Signs
This incredibly generous donation from this school in Canmore helped to pay for students to attend high school and college, a food distribution day and supported the Rolling Hills Residence for three days.
Melanie, who is a sponsor, visited the program last year and was there for the birthday. This year she donated a shirt and socks to all 150 children as part of their loot bags! What a kind and generous person!
Food Distribution Day
Each month we give out food and supplies to the orphans and impoverished children in the community. While some of this is funded by our sponsors there is always a deficit each month. These kind donors provided the funds to cover this deficit.
Days of Support
These kind schools and individuals have provided funds to support our residence on the days that are listed on the thank you signs. Great thanks to those wonderful donors!
Our program is supported by sponsors from Canada, the United States, England, Germany and Kenya. We connect the children with their sponsor through emails, letters, parcels, and, this year, we also had the opportunity in August to have 23 children speak to their sponsor on the telephone. This was a highlight not just for the children and their sponsors but was such an incredible opportunity to be there to ‘listen’ in as they spoke. In addition, some children who felt able had an opportunity to record a short video message for their sponsors which has been forwarded to them! We hope to be able to do more such communication in the future!
Sponsors will soon be receiving pictures and letters from their sponsored child that were taken or written during our latest trip.
Presents for Emmanuel from his sponsors Henry and Ingrid.
Lorna from Sue and Brian
Mwende from Lynne and Orleans
Chairs purchased by Kathy for her child’s grandmother
The students of LaSalle P.S. support Faith(on the left with her friend Koki) and Eric in their post-secondary careers.