A Gift of Clothing
A local Kenyan clothing manufacturing company – which has asked to remain anonymous – has recently made a donation of 2000 items of clothing! These items will be distributed throughout the region to needy children and families under the direction of Ruth, her staff and the committee.
Once again this a wonderful example of two things – the caring of Kenyans for each other and the way our program is recognized in the community as being honest brokers for the needs of the people.
Food, water, shelter and clothing are the most basic needs of people. In a region as poor as ours these can often go unmet or inadequately met. The most destitute of our residents will benefit from this donation.
We offer great, great thanks to these generous, caring, and humble supporters for their donation.
Visitors to Creation of Hope
Kikma and Hope Development were blessed with three Aprils this year!
The first was the month between March and May and the next two were sponsors in our program – April Crabb and April Hoyt. We always welcome the opportunity for our sponsors to visit with their sponsored child and their extended families. We estimate that we have had more than forty sponsors visit the program.
Below is the write-up of the trip that April Crabb took over the Christmas break and an account of an evening event that April Hoyt held upon her return to Canada after her visit for the month of November.
Over the Christmas holiday I was so fortunate to be able to travel to Kenya to spend Christmas with my beautiful sponsor child, Mbula, and her extended family in their village. It was a very special time filled with much laughter, sharing, stories and adventure. Some of the more memorable moments included making a traditional Canadian Christmas breakfast of pancakes with maple syrup on the family’s tiny coal burner they used for making chapatti one pancake at a time, by candle light, while all 19 of them waited patiently! We had several laughs over my cooking adventures. Another highlight was taking Mbula, her little cousins, grandparents and her youngest aunt and uncles to the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust to meet the baby orphaned elephant I recently adopted for Mbula. Grandma and grandpa smiled just as much as the children when the baby elephants came up close enough to us for a nice pet and of course pictures.
As different as this Christmas was for me, basking in the heat of the bright Kenyan sun, there were moments that if I closed my eyes I could have sworn I was at home with my family. I had to laugh several times while taking family pictures for them at the little boy that wouldn’t smile, the adults trying to get the babies to stop crying and look at the camera and everyone giving directions as to where to stand and look at the camera and don’t make faces! They couldn’t have been more like my family when I try to take our family Christmas picture. Going to church and watching the children from Sunday school re-enact the birth of Christ scene was certainly the same story, but presented in the most uniquely funny and charismatic way. I must say I have never laughed so much and so openly in church in my life and I wasn’t alone, the whole congregation joined in the merriment. The most important familiar moment was the feeling of being stuffed from eating too much at the Christmas feast that was held after church to celebrate Christmas and welcome me to the village. The difference in this celebration was that my poor little belly was stuffed with chapatti instead of turkey and instead of the turkey tryptophan drowsiness I had a pretty good chapatti belly sleepy haze going after the great celebration.
The best gift given though over the holiday was the gift of time I was given with Mbula and her extended family and getting to know each of them so much better than I had known before. The openness and love they showed me made me feel truly welcome and part of their family. I may not have been in Canada for Christmas with my parents and brothers and sister, but I was most definitely with family and had a truly lovely Christmas holiday, one that I will treasure forever.
April Hoyt is a midwife. She spent the month of November not only visiting but working as a midwife at the local clinic/hospital. April not only practiced her trade but was actively involved in the exchange of ideas and techniques with the local medical staff. Along the way she saved the lives of three babies – including one who was subsequently called April – and shaped techniques for child birth in the community. Quite the impact!
April has a plan to extend the impact of midwives throughout the area. She has spoken to other midwives, and while things are only in the initial planning stage, there is hope to develop an ongoing series of midwives staying at Hope Development and practicing/teaching in the local clinic/hospital.
On January 22 April organized an evening event where she could talk about her Kenyan visit and experiences and where I would give background information about The Creation of Hope. In addition she wanted to build in a fund raising component. The evening was attended by more than 50 people and it raised $2200.00! The money will go toward possibly upgrading our kitchen oven to electric and also for medical supplies at the clinic. The staff will make the final determination in the coming weeks.
What an amazing and emotional evening! Great thanks to April and to the supporters that evening.
Millwood J.P.S. made a donation of $200.00. This is going toward days of support as well as other items.
In the emails I got ‘lost’ and sent a request to Ruth that didn’t reflect the requests of the school. To compensate for that slip up, the school’s money was magnified with a donation from me and they received three days of support as well as the specific items. Sometimes great things happen because of mistakes! You’ll see below in the signs the 2 days of support and the items and the thank you pictures that go with them!
St. Jean de Brebeuf in Scarborough donated $202.10 from their “Don’t Count the Days Make the Days Count” campaign to be used for two days of support
St. Patrick’s C.S. in Caledonia donated $303.00 (plus a little yellow car which will go over this summer). This was used for days of support for February 24, 25 and 26.
St. Michael’s C.S. in Dunnville donated $213.00 which supported the residence on February 27 and 28
Both schools donations were organized by Mary Kent. The additional $16.00 from both school was put toward a food distribution.
W.J. Baird donated $322.10 which was used for 3 days of support and 4 blankets
Prospect Lake E.S. donated $299.05 which was used for a day of support and the remaining money ($199.05) to use for a goat, chickens, blankets, tools, and whatever was deemed most necessary.
Sydney Castle made a donation to deepen the well at the Rolling Hills Residence. We are attempting to go down another 12 feet to capture more water.
At the end of a presentation Jasmine donated $40.00 which will be used for blankets and mattresses.
At the end of a presentation Ranjodh gave $7.00 to be used for a blanket.
Eugenie and Henry Fernandes donated $100.00 which is being used to pay for mattresses.
A day of support was funded by Bennett and Madelyn.
At the end of a presentation Jestin donated $11.00 to be used to purchase blankets.
Johanna Blyth donated money for two days of support.
At the end of a presentation Orly donated $15.00 which will go toward blankets.
At the end of a presentation four students, Maxine, Ellie, Marcus and Benjamin donated $23.45 which will be used to purchase a mattress.
Lynne Wilson made a donation in honour of her daughter Leanne’s birthday.
Sherry Simon made a donation which is being used for two days of support – March 11 and 12.
Thank You Signs
Each month we give out food and supplies to the orphans and impoverished children and families in our community. The amount can be up to 2.2 metric tons and varies according to the time of year, whether children are away at school and specific requests from sponsors or community groups.
While the majority of this is funded directly by our sponsors we always have a shortfall as we are distributing to others in the community who have needs but not a sponsor. These groups made donations that allowed us to make up this shortfall in funding.
Days of Support
A day of support is $100.00. This provides the food for all the children in the residence, their routine medical care, the salaries of the staff at the residence and the utilities for the building.
As I make the above statement I should also note that with the continued devaluation of the Canadian dollar we are ‘stretching’ to keep this commitment at this cost. There will be discussions with Ruth and the committee in the coming month about how we might have to remove some of the items from this list to keep it at the same cost.
We did this sign two ways as it was for Norah’s teachers at Queen Elizabeth
We have made a commitment to our children that each child will be provided with the highest quality and type of education that they qualify for. This means that we are prepared to support each child to a full and complete education, whether that is university, college or the completion of a trade or skill.
We have found that our children/students have excelled in their studies. As such they have continued to qualify for high level high school placements and post-secondary placements. As of this writing we have 66 children in either high school or post-secondary.
The cost of these quality placements often greatly exceeds the money donated on a monthly basis by their sponsor. We have some sponsors who have generously increased their donations to cover this cost. With others we have sought and received their permission to involve an educational sponsor who makes a donation that helps to pay for the educational costs.
The latest group of 18 students wrote their Kenyan National Exams in November and were given their marks. We are so proud to say that 5 of our students have qualified for the highest level – National – while another 8 qualified for admission to a high Regional Cost.
We wish to welcome our new sponsors – not only for these 18 new students but for our other students who are already in high school or post-secondary.
New Educational Sponsors
Lisa and Doug Podd
Andrew Wooldridge and Orca Books
Kimberly Kiel and Murray Reynolds
Michelle and Maya Greves
Debby Cunsolo and Jody Hendry
And not to forget our ongoing Educational Sponsors:
Lasalle Public School
Doug and Susan Roberts
Alan, Erin and Paige Cochrane
Jimmy and Hannah Kim
Alan and Liz Dilla
In addition one of our sponsors – whose child has left the program – has now become an educational sponsor – thanks to Matt Blais.
Standard Eight Students
We have made a commitment to get our children the highest quality education as possible. Last school year we had our Standard Eight students spend the last semester as residents in their school to enable them to score well and qualify for high levels of high school. As seen by the results, this was incredibly effective. This year we’re having our five candidates go to live at the school for the school year. The school is located just down the road from the residence and they will have time and occasion to visit at the Rolling Hills residence as well as being constantly monitored by our staff in addition to their teachers.
We wish Charles, Boniface, Raphael, Kanini and Kanini the best in the next part of their academy journey.
In the coming year we might just be looking for additional support as they make the leap to high school.
In Memory of Stephanie McManus
One of our long term and dear sponsors, Stephanie McManus, passed away on January 21st, 2016 after a valiant battle with multiple myeloma.
Stephanie was a sponsor of two orphan boys through Creation of Hope for the last six years. She was a bright, caring, generous, feisty and tender hearted woman who loved deeply. She visited Kenya with her own two children, Sydney and Gavin, in 2012 and they met their sponsored children, John and Mwithe at their homesteads and celebrated at the annual birthday party together.
Stephanie was a lawyer, owning a company advising small and medium sized investment firms about compliance to government regulations. She was a bright woman. She volunteered her legal skills to draft Creation of Hope legal documents. She also spear headed the fund raising campaign for Creation of Hope to buy our own vehicle for the program.
Stephanie made national news when her horse, Luna, was brought to the hospital in Hamilton for one last visit, the day before she passed away.
Stephanie was warm and willing and caring. She requested for donations to go in her memory to both Creation of Hope and to Zachary’s Paws at the Juravinski Centre in Hamilton. Our heartfelt support goes out to Sydney and Gavin, her family and especially to her life partner, and our dear friend and sponsor as well, Marc Stevens. Stephanie, your love light will shine bright through the many that you loved, cared for and supported. Rest in God’s peace.
Written by Anita Walters
Donations can be made to Creation of Hope through Kids Alive Canada in Stephanie’s memory. She will be missed by all who knew her.