Creation of Hope


September-October 2017

General

When you give water, you give life.

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This is our newest water project.  Over 600 people have been provided with fresh drinking water because of the generosity of the children of Al-Hijra Academy.

We continue to work on additional projects.

100 Women Who Care Stouffville is a group of women who gather every 3 months to hear presentations from 3 different charitable organizations as nominated and presented by members of this group.  These nominated organizations range from local community outreach opportunities within the Stouffville area to far reaching organizations that serve communities around the world. At the end of the night, these 100 women vote to select the one organization they wish to direct their funds to. Each woman donates $100 with the aim of contributing $10,000 to support the needs of the chosen organization.

On October 18, Creation of Hope was nominated as one of these worthy causes, and was selected to receive the donation for the evening, directed specifically toward supporting the education of the children.  The response toward this great program was overwhelming, with many wanting to know more about the amazing work that takes place at Creation of Hope!

School Donations
Lasalle has been one of our most dedicated supporters.  They made another wonderful donation of $1000.00 to support the education of their children.

Elrose School made a donation of $250.00.  This was used for two days of support – October 21 and 22 – and for to help pay for the October food distribution.

Dinsmore Composite School made a donation that provided for six days of support – October 12 – 17 and helped to pay for the October food distribution.

Individual Donations
We received a very special donation from Ben and Melissa to celebrate their 10th anniversary.  Ben’s mother is Diana, the person to whom the wing of our residence is dedicated.  This money will provide 4 days of support (November 15 – 18) and help provide for the November food distribution.

Steve and Rosie made a donation that will provide support for our residence for November 5 – 14.

Erin made a wonderful donation to support the residence on November 4.

Melissa made a donation for a goat.

Lisa made a donation for a goat.

We also had donations from teacher librarians in Halton which will go toward the November food distribution.

Mary also made a donation to be put toward the November food distribution.
A young girl, Julia, decided to use her birthday party as a way to raise funds – how wonderful.  She raised enough money to purchase the following – and thank you signs will be sent as the items are given out.

1 Goat, 3 Chickens, 3 School Uniforms, 2 Blankets and 24 Saplings

Catherine made a donation to support the program on November 3

Karen and Jaime made a donation to purchase two goats and to support the program for nine days, October 23 – 31

Crystal made a donation which helped to fund the November food distribution.

Another donor made a donation which is being applied to the November food distribution.

Melanie made a donation which is also being applied to pay for the November food distribution.

Reta donated money that paid for the residence on October 20

Debra gave a donated that helped with the October food distribution.

Food Distribution

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Days of Support

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Sponsors

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One of our newest sponsored child thanking her sponsor.

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Summer Update

The summer is usually a slower time for donations and activity so there is a much longer time frame covered in this update.

General

Granny craft program

There are many grandmothers of our orphans who are attempting to raise their grandchildren on extremely limited incomes.  For many they survive on much less than $30.00 a month – for them and their families – and this income most often comes from day labor or selling produce from their very limited plots of land.

Ruth and her team have worked to create income opportunities in the community.  We received a grant and have established a craft program for grandmothers.  They are provided with training and supplies to create craft items.  These are purchased from them and sold into the Kenyan tourism marketplace.  While this program is still in its beginning stages it allows the grandmothers to have an income while also producing a profit for the program which is re-invested in caring for the orphans in our care.

Tent program

A second program – also funded by the grant – involves the creation of a number of ‘companies’ of local people that formed an independent committee to rent chairs and tents in the community.  These are used for local events – weddings, family gatherings, political events, church meetings.  Each company was provided with chairs and tents with the understanding that they would operate as an independent, repaying the cost of the equipment as they make profit.  We are happy to report that this these companies have had great success throughout the region, are in demand, providing a service to the community, providing employment and have already made major steps towards repaying the original expenses.  Recouped money will then be reinvested in new enterprises to be decided by the community.

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With both programs by creating employment we are enabling people to care for their families which include impoverished children, orphans living with extended family members and other extended family members.  Money invested in projects like this creates and circulates money in the community that has ripple effects in creating other jobs.

Birthday Party

Each year we hold a big birthday party for our orphans.  This was originally created as a not just a celebration but a way of creating ‘birthdays’ for those orphans entering our program who were abandoned so early that they didn’t know their birthdays.  Without a birth date, a birth certificate cannot be obtained and without that the child cannot receive benefits accorded a citizen of Kenya.

This is a true celebration attended by hundreds of people in the community – not just our orphans but their guardians and other impoverished children in the family compounds.  There is a meal for all, birthday cake, ‘loot’ bags and also involves our monthly food distribution in which up to 2 tons of food and supplies are given out.

This year we found we had a deficit in our funding for the program.  I reached out and made specific requests of people to make donations to help support our party.  The response was immediate and generous.  Not only did we have sufficient funds for this year’s party but we are now completely funded for next year’s party!

Each donor – many of whom are either writers or editors – was provided with a thank you sign.  A sampling of those signs is below.  I want to again offer my thanks to all of our donors.  You made possible a very special day for our children.

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Water Projects

I had the great fortune to be at the opening of a water project years ago and was approached by an elder who took my hand and said, ‘you did not give us water, you gave us life.’  It was one of the most profound moments of my life.

Our water projects are true partnerships.  We provide funds for cement, steel rods, hardware, and pipes, and expertise and we ask the community to provide sand, gravel, labor and a plan to share, care and repair the project.  Each project is individually evaluated to make sure that it will be a viable project, not just to be created but maintained.  Below is an example of the manner one of our latest projects was evaluated.

WATER PROJECT

Priority:                       High

Project size:     Low

 

Community name Mbyani
Project name Mbyani water project
Community size 600 in the immediate area
Church Xx
Primary School Xx
Secondary school Xx
Current Issue or Concern Individuals currently use this water, but there is a significant risk of waterborne diseases – donkeys, dogs and snakes use it and defecate nearby it. Big problem during rainy season as feces wash into the open water source.
  High number of water born diseases, approximately 80%+ of community has suffered from
  Typhoid, Diphtheria, Diarrhea, various amoeba and other stomach diseases resulting in death, significant hospital time.
  Recovery time of 3+ weeks, loss of income and mounting debt to pay medical bills
Solution Cover access point
  Create reservoir with and over flow
  Create Sanitary Drawing Point
Surrounding community benefits 600 additional people would benefit from this water project as people travel from as far as 5km away to this water source.
  Typhoid, Diphtheria, Diarrhea, various amoeba and other stomach diseases resulting in death, significant hospital time.
  Recovery time of 3+ weeks, loss of income and mounting debt to pay medical bills
Materials supplied by community Sand, gravel and labour
Additional materials needed Cement, skilled labour
Cost 800.00 Canadian
Government approved Yes
Government plans provided Yes
Ongoing cost Chlorine every for water purification

Training 1 woman and 1 man for upkeep of the well

Additional Consideration Consideration and planning is needed to ensure the continuation of excess water flow to irrigation project.  Twenty-minute walk from the road.  Locals assure that this will not be a problem, shown by proactive villagers who had already brought rocks and sand for the cement.  Community is very EAGER to start project.  If there is additional funding, they have thoughts on a secondary project which would provide water to a nearby hospital via an extensive piping system (more expensive).

 

 

 

Comments:

The current water source is a natural spring which has been used by Mbyani village and the neighbouring community since the early 70’s.

Many people (Ruth estimates 50% of the people in each household) have suffered and some have died from Waterborne diseases.  During preliminary survey (by intern), when villagers were asked how many people have died over the years from waterborne diseases there was too many to count.

Village hopes that this will:

  • Save money (500 shillings a year/person)
  • Save time (>12 hours of waiting in clinic to get a doctor’s appointment)
  • Improve income due to reduction of sick time – recovery can take a minimum of 3 weeks
  • Improve academic results – kids will be in school not recovering from illnesses

The problem isn’t the lack of spring fed water. Rather its the lack of finances + materials that causes this problem.

This project was tried before but it ultimately failed due to lack of resources

99.99% of community is happy with this project.  Elder said that if this project went through they would be very (x5) happy.

Well is on public land – catchment area is given for free by a committee member.

We have three ongoing projects with the first already dedicated.

Two of these projects are funded through Welo, a Canadian company that makes a donation from each bottle of probiotic water that they sell.  Here is the dedication plaque which has been placed on the project.

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The third was funded by a generous donation from the Al-Hijra Islamic Academy in Windsor.  We ae so grateful to both sources.  I am particularly touched by the children of an Islamic school reaching across the world to provide water in an area that is overwhelmingly Christian.  This is a true statement of love and caring.  Great thanks to those children.  They will, upon the completion of the water project, receive a picture of the dedication plaque.

Below are a series of pictures showing the work that is going into these projects.

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Families and children already using the first completed water project

Donations

School donations

Dinsmore Composite School raised $619.15.  These funds are being used for 6 days of support in October and for the October food distribution.

Denlow Public School – Kimberly Chin’s grade 2/3 class made a donation of $385.00 which was used for three days of support October 7, 8, 9, and October food distribution

Lt. Col Barker V.C. School – Under the leadership of Katrina Mitchell made a donation of $250.00 which was used for two days of support October 5, 6 and the October food distribution.

Mrs. Hoover’s grade 7 class made a donation to purchase a goat.

Individual Donations

Rueben made a donation that was used for 5 days of support for the entire program!  Great thanks!

Julian, a student from Marchmont P.S. made a $20.00 to be used for October food distribution

Braydon from Lucky Lake School made a $20.00 to be used for the October food distribution.

Alissa from Lucky Lake School made a $25.00 to be used for the October food distribution.

Thank You Signs

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Food Distribution

Each month we give out up to 2.2 tons of food and supplies to the orphans and impoverished children in our community.  The majority of these supplies are provided by our ongoing sponsors.  We make up for any shortfalls and then add additional supplies if additional donations are received.

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Days of Support

A donation of $100.00 provides for one day of support for our residence.  This is food for all the children, the salaries of the driver, watchman, matron, caretaker, cook, and tutor, and the utilities for the building.

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Sponsors

We have ongoing sponsors from Canada, The United States, Germany, England, and Kenya.  They provide a monthly donation for a specific child and their education.  Our sponsors remain the backbone of our program.  We encourage regular contact and our sponsors often send money or parcels for presents.  Here are some of the thank you signs that were sent to our sponsors.

 

 

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This is our wonderful Baraka who is in Grade 10 now.

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Heading off to university with a computer!  It’s important to provide our children with the tools they need to succeed.


May-June 2017

May-June 2017 Update

General

Penguin/Random House donates $1.30 for each copy of Walking Home that is sold and makes an additional donation from copies sold of Today is the Day.  They have just made an additional donation of $2292.44.  This money was applied to days of support and placed in our general education fund.  Education remains our largest ‘line’ item in our budget and donations are always needed for this category to help our over 70 students in high school, college and university.

Employment Project

At times there is no choice but for some people – especially those most disadvantaged – to receive ongoing support.  The ideal is that ultimately people are given the means – through training or education, providing tools and seeds, or by building water projects – by which they are able to provide for themselves on an ongoing basis.

Through Hope Story we were given the funds to create employment opportunities in the region. With this funding and mandate, Ruth has initiated two very specific projects.

One project involves a workshop for ‘grannies’ in the community to be paid to produce crafts which are then sold into the Kenyan tourist markets.

The second project has just been started and involves creation of a number of small scale businesses that provide services for public and private events around the district.

Each group of individuals is set up as a company.  They are provided chairs and tents which they in turn rent out, and set up, for public and private events around the district.  The income from these rentals is then used to pay for the employees and to pay back the initial costs of the tents and chairs.

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School Donations

We received incredible donations from schools across the country to support our orphans and the impoverished children of the Mbooni District.  Many of the thank you signs have already been sent and the pictures are shown in this update.

Credit View P.S. made a donation of $100.00.  This money was used to provide a day of support for August 3.

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Holland Landing Public School made a donation of $300.00 which is being directed to two days of support – September 3 and 4 – and for the July food distribution.
Our Lady of the Snows in Alberta made a donation of $2705.55!  This money is directed to support the residence from September 18 – October 2 and for food distributions in July, August and September.  So many orphans and impoverished children in the region will benefit from the generosity of the children of this school.

Macgregor School in Manitoba made a donation of $150.00.  This donation was used for a day of support – July 25 – and for the July food distribution.

Glendale Public School – under the ongoing support of teacher and sponsor Melanie Noordhuis – made a donation that will provide days of support for the period of June 22 – 28 as well as to help pay for the July food distribution.

Nicholson Catholic College in Belleville made a donation of $350.00 which will be used for three days of support – September 15, 16, 17 – and for the July food distribution.

Helen Wilson Public School made a donation that provides for three days of support for July 22, 23 and 24.

Ecole Secondaire Catholique Saint-Frere-Andre made a donation of $520.00 This money was used for days of support – May 5 to 9 – and for the May food distribution.

Claremont Public School donated $173.35 which was used for the June food distribution.

Chris Hadfield Public School in Mississauga, under the direction of Lorin, made an incredible donation of $4611.59!  This amazing amount – the largest we received this year – is being used in the following ways:

Days of support July 3 – 21

Days of support September 5 – 14

20 mattresses being purchased or repaired for our residents.

Allocation of $500.00 toward ongoing educational costs.

The remaining $300.00 will be specifically directed – and thank you signs sent to show exactly where – for other items such as goats and chickens.

St. Faustina Catholic School in Mississauga made a donation of $449.80 which provides the following days of support – May 20, 21, 22 and 23 – and for the the June food distribution.

Ms. Rich and Ms. Stano’s grade 8 graduates from St. Peter Catholic School made a donation that provided a day of support for May 19 and for the May food distribution.

St. Cecilia Catholic School donated $700.00.  These funds were used in the following way:

Thank you St Cecilia parents Maria and Louie for supporting us May 14

Thank you St Cecilia room L03 for supporting us May 15, 16 and 17

Thank you St Cecilia room L03 for buying us 6 mattresses

A class, Ms. Rizzi’s Grade 7 class at Beckett Farm Public School made a donation to provide a day of support on May 18.

Dr. Emily Stowe Public School donated $464.03.  These funds were used to provide days of support May 10 – 13 and for the May food distribution.  This is the second year they have made a donation.

Vancouver College in British Columbia made a donation of $349.45.  This money was used to purchase 7 new mattresses for our children of the Rolling Hills Residence.

Goodfellow Public School made a donation of $85.05 which will go toward the July food distribution.

St. Mary Catholic School made a donation of $154.65 which is used to support June 30 and for the July food distribution.

Charles R. Beaudoin Public School made a donation of $200.00 which will be used for supporting our residence on October 3 and 4

Individual Donations

One of our successful young people, Teddy, is continuing in his college education.  He required a computer to fulfill his education.  His sponsor Mary Ann Watson paid for this computer.

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Mrs. Hoover purchased a goat for her students in response to their outstanding positive behaviour.  Way to go class!

Janice O’Neil donated $50.00 to purchase a goat in honor of her nephew Owen.

Ms. Cooper made a donation that was applied to our June food distribution.

Lynne Wilson made a donation for a goat for Louise.

Ricky and Frankie sold angels and raised $126.00!

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This money was applied to provide support for May 25 and for the June food distribution day.

After a presentation at St. Jerome Catholic School the following students came forward and made donations.  This money was used for food distribution and signs were sent to the students through their teachers.

Michael $5.00

Leonardo $5.00

Sophia $10.00

Sam and Irene $9.25

Stjepan $2.00

Cameron $30.00

Thank you signs

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Food distribution

Days of Support

Sponsors

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University student Ruth, with items purchased with money donated by her educational sponsor, Dr. Lisa Bentley.  In July Ruth will be graduating from university!  Dr. Bentley has indicated that she will then provide ongoing support for another orphan in need of educational support.  Ruth has also experienced ongoing support and has received gifts from her sponsor of many years Beth McLaughlin.  Thank you to both of Ruth’s sponsors!

While we have had 4 graduates from college – all of whom are now employed full time in their trades – Ruth is our first university graduate.  We will continue to assist and support her as she works in our residence until we help her in securing a full-time job in her profession.  We are very proud of this young lady!

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One of most diligent students Faith recently graduated from teacher’s college and spent four months being employed working at our orphanage.  Faith had requested the opportunity to continue her education and was just accepted into the prestigious Kenyatta University.  She is being funded by the Kettle family for her ongoing educational needs.  Great thanks to Barb and her extended family for their ongoing support.

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Purity has also been admitted to university and will be starting in the September semester. Our thanks to the Cochrane family and Christina Whelan Chabot for their support of Purity.

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A present for Alex from his sponsors Michelle and Mya

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Randy Oduor Syombua is our newest sponsored child.  His future is now secure.

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Mueni Kalekye is one of our longstanding sponsored child.  Her extended family is now in a position to provide ongoing care and she has returned to her grandmother’s home – where she is still supported on an ongoing basis.  Here she is with her new backpack.

We have a new educational sponsor.  Andy and his wife Hilary will be the new educational sponsor of Charles.  Charles is the twin brother of Boniface, and they are featured in my book Hope Springs.  Andy got to know Charles when he spent two months as a volunteer in Kikima.  It is always wonderful when our orphans know their sponsors and in this case they know each other well!


March-April 2017

March/April 2017 Update

School Donations

Ecole Secondaire Catholique Saint-Frere-Andre raised $520.00 which is being used to help fund the May food distribution and days of supporting for May 5 – 9.  Thank you Marc for organizing my time at your school

Claremont P.S. raised $173.50 which is being used to help fund the May food distribution and supporting the residence on May 3.

Tosorontio Central School raised $376.50 by hosting an Easter bake sale.  The funds are being used for a variety of things including chickens, goats, and school uniforms.  Great thanks to Jessica for her leadership.

The students at Robert Bateman High School raised $850.  They organized a Culture Fusion Festival and the proceeds will be donated to your organization.  This was used for 8 days of support – April 7 to 14 – and to help fund the April food distribution.

River Heights School donated $500.00 that was used for five days of support – April 15 to 19th.

Ms. Murphy-Smith’s class at Glenview P.S. raised money to purchase goats, support the March food distribution and to provide days of support on March 8 and 9.

Mrs. Cheema and Ingleborough Public School class 6E2 donated $45.00 that was put toward our April food distribution.

Individual Donations
Patrick made a donation to purchase a blanket.

Gurshaan made a donation of $4.00 which was put toward the April food distribution.

Carrie made a donation for one day of support – May 4th.

A student at St. Theresa of the Child Jesus, Bruno made a donation of $8.00 which was put toward the April food distribution.

Marot and Peter have made a donation that will support the residence for one day every month for a year!

In addition their company, M.E. Industrial Sheet Metal Ltd is also supporting the residence for one day a month for a year!

So every 1st and 2nd day of every month our orphans are cared for by these amazing people!

Charlie, a student at Coldstream Elementary school made a donation that was put toward the March food distribution.

Two students at BX Elementary School – Nathan and Kate – made donations that were placed toward the March food distribution.

We received an incredibly generous donation from Annette which provided for five days of support – March 15 to 19.

Bennett – a young man who was in a presentation of mine over a year ago – just made another donation for a day of support.  March 22 he is the ‘parent’ of our orphanage.

Three students, Charlotte, Indiana and Ronin made donations that were put toward the April food distribution.

Thank you Signs

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Food Distribution

Each month we give out up to 2.2 tons of food and supplies to the orphans and impoverished children of the region.  While most of this is funded through our regular sponsors we always have a short fall in funds because we also give out to others who are not sponsored.  If we receive more donations we give out more!

 

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Days of Support

A donation of $100.00 provides for our residence for 1 day.  This is food for all the children, the salaries of the driver, the night watchman, matron, caretaker, tutor and cook, as well as the electricity, sanitation and water for the entire building.

 

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Sponsors

Below are a series of thank you signs from our children for their sponsors and educational sponsors.  These are some of many that have all been sent off to the people who are changing their lives!

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From Christine and Emily

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From Rod

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January-February 2017

January/February 2017 Update

General

Christmas Gathering

Christmas is when all of the children – even those far away in school – come back home.  It is a joyous celebration.  They receive Christmas presents, write letters to sponsors, meet their friends who they might not have seen for months, and report on their successes in the school year that has just ended.  With over 70 students in high school/university/college/trade schools this is a major celebration.

Mary and Kitto returning from college and university.

In addition many of our new children were part of the celebration for the first time.  These are four of our pre-school children who are the ‘next generation’ of children being served by the program.  After having been at capacity for a number of years we have once again begun providing for new children in need of service.

The decisions about who will receive service and what service will be provided always remains with our staff and committee.

This committee is broad based from across the region and includes ministers, activists, and elders.  My wife and I are the only two external members of this committee and take part in meetings when we are in Kenya.

We believe that one of the prime factors that has led to the success of our program is the wide spread local financial support that is provided by the community.  This support is based upon the reality that this program is run by Kenyans for Kenyans.

School Donations
We had a wonderful donation from Al-Hijra Academy for $1362.00!  This money is to be used for water projects.

 

This thank you sign is an acknowledgement of the support from Al Hijra while a specific water project is being researched and arranged.

Immaculata High School in Ottawa donated $474.87 which is being put toward 4 days of support (February 24 – 27) and to support the February food distribution.

St. Jean de Brebeuf donated $150.00 – which is being used for a day of support and the February food distribution.

This donation from Maple Ridge School was used for three days of support and the January food distribution.  Great thanks to Ms. Andrews and students.

Thank you Ms. Rich’s Grade 8 class for supporting our January Food Distribution.

 

Individual Donations

My next door neighbor Selby who is 8 gave a donation of $20.00.  This is being put toward three new blankets for orphans.

Chris has made a wonderful donation to our program of $400.00.  This donation is in honour of her son who passed on seven years ago.  These funds, in honour of Dave, are supporting the program from February 28 to March 3.

Mackenzie and Paige donated $21.60 which is being used for the February food distribution.

Raphael, a student at a presentation at UMS gave $22.00.  This money was used for the February food distribution

Andrea, a parent who attended a presentation donated money for a day of support – March 7 – to be dedicated to A Mother’s Love.

Kate, a student donated $50.00 which is being put toward the March food distribution.

We received wonderful donations from Leah’s birthday party.  These donations totalled $325.00. These funds are supporting the residence for February 28 – March 2 as well as the February food distribution.

We had a wonderful donation from Santiago at Julianne’s school.  This donation of $9.60 was used for the February food distribution.

We had a donation of $200.00 to be put toward education from a sponsor who wished to remain anonymous.

We had a $30 donation to Creation of Hope in memory of Betty Clark

Students from Deer Park public school – Micah $5.00,

Victoria’s birthday party $49.00

Victoria and Ava $20.00

Students at Maple Ridge Prince $5.00, Jacob $8.00, Eric $5.00

Nicole and her mother Lynne passed on a donation from Nicole’s grandparents for 4 days of support

Allan and Jennifer made a donation that totalled 20 days of support!

Scott and Filipa donated $20.00

 

 

Food Distribution

 

Days of Support

 

Sponsors

When presents are sent we try to provide a personal thank you sign.  Here’s Eric holding up a sign for Kelly and her family.

 

Our sponsors and their children exchange letters on a regular basis.  I want to share a couple of passages from letters that just came back.

 

In a second the young lady wrote ‘when I am praying I don’t forget to whisper your name in my prayer’.

New Sponsors – New generation of support!

 

 

 

Second generation sponsorship

Kate has been a sponsor in our program almost from the beginning.  She has also been a volunteer in the program living on the grounds of the orphanage for two months and was part of the Walking Home project where we walked 200 km across Kenya.  Her originally sponsored child, Nicholas, has graduated from college and is qualified as an electrician.  He is presently working at a hardware store.  Kate is now the sponsor of young boy!  Great thanks to Kate for not only being there at the beginning but continuing to be there!


November 21 – December 31 2016 Update

General

We are nearing the end of another wonderful year. Highlights include:

  • We have increased the number of orphans we are providing for with younger children entering the program.
  • Some of our oldest children are now graduating from college and university
  • One of those young people – Faith – has graduated from teachers college and will be joining the staff of Creation of Hope. Ultimately we are hoping that our graduates will come back to help run or support the program.
  • We have increased the number of Kenyan sponsors, supporters, and donors including a new group of ten new children being sponsored.
  • We have received funding to create a workshop for our grandmothers. They will be trained to make crafts. They will be paid a living wage – well above what they were earning – and extra profits will be used to support the program.
  • We had a very successful banquet which raised funds for the program.
  • We received more donations than in any previous year and we now have a larger ‘cushion’ of funds available.
  • The documentary film has helped to generate attention and to raise additional funds.https://vimeo.com/190733564

We thank Kids Alive for their partnership in supporting the project and accomplishing these activities.

Christmas party

Every year we have a combination Christmas celebration and food distribution gathering. The children/young people receive Christmas presents either sent by or paid for by their sponsors. A large meal is served to all. Additional presents are given to other children within their homesteads. In addition the food distribution takes place and arrangements are made for the children to spend time over the holidays with their extended families (where those situations are possible). This gathering is for over 300 people and along with food distribution, livestock, tools, uniforms, and the Christmas presents which include clothing, school supplies, books and some small gift items, go home with the orphans. This gathering is one of the highlights of the year.

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We also take this opportunity to take greeting pictures to be sent to each sponsor. Below are two examples of the pictures which are being sent.

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Here are Boniface, the principal character in the book Hope Springs, and Eric.

This gathering also marks the year end break for elementary and high school students in Kenya. Each student will be starting in a new grade in the coming year including our five new students entering high school. We will soon be assigning specific educational sponsors to these children where needed.

While college students may start their school at different times in the year, the university year is the same as our school year running from September – May.

Penguin/Random House

The kind people at Penguin/Random House and Tundra have been supporting our program in many ways. The donations from Walking Home – $1.30 per book – are mainly used for high school and post-secondary education. Here are some of the recipients of their generosity.

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Craft Sales

Our good friend – and sponsor – Barb Kettle continues to sell crafts made by our grannies. She raised an additional $350.

School donations

Hillside in Mississauga made a donation which supported our program on December 27, 28, 29, 30. Lisa Rumble is an educational sponsor in our program who organized this fundraising activity at her school.

Ardis Ann Middle School in Arkansas raised money to provide for both a contribution to our December food distribution but to support the program December 17, 18 and 19. Great thanks to Jill and the students.

St. Mark High School in Ottawa made a donation to support the program on December 9, 10, and 11th. Great thanks to Janice for organizing this.

Individual Donations

Mary made a donation to support the orphanage for 3 days – December 12, 13, and 14 – and this is dedicated to Sarah, Nick, Tom and Treah.

Josh made a donation that is being used to operate the orphanage for 1 day, and to purchase a chicken, a blanket, a solar light and tree saplings.

Rebekah made a donation of $206.00 which is being used for two days of support for January.

Jaime made a donation which is being used to support our Christmas efforts and is dedicated to her son Weston – you can see the thank you sign below. Jaime has also been a long term supporter through her efforts at McKinnon P.S.

Dr. Bentley is a generous ongoing educational supporter of our program. The staff of her office have come together to raise money for goats. You can see all of the goats – and grateful orphans – in the thank you section below.

Marilyn made a donation which supported our entire program for December 31 and January 1, 2, and 3 and for the January food distribution.

Wendy and Larry donated funds for a day of support – January 6

Thank you Signs

While all the thank you signs were sent to the donor I have not put all of them in this update. We were so blessed with so many donations that I simply couldn’t put them all in – this is a first! Great thanks to all.

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Food distribution

Every month we give out up to 2.2 tons of food and supplies to the orphans and impoverished children who live in the community. This is partly funded by our sponsors but additional donations allow us not only to provide for non-sponsored children in the family compounds as well but to help make up for the food distribution deficit we run every month.

 

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Days of Support

The entire Rolling Hills Residence can be supported with a donation of $100.00. This provides food for all the children, the salaries of the residence staff and the utilities for the building. Here are the ‘parents’ of our program.

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You’ll notice there are two pictures – for the same supporter – for December 16. We temporarily ‘lost’ the picture in transmitting it to our donor so took a second one . . . and then found the first one!

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Sponsors

Our generous sponsors often send birthday presents over to their sponsored child. We try to make sure we can send them a picture of the child holding the items.

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Thank you for reading our update – and for all of the generous people who make contributions that keep the program running and these children moving forward on their life journey. We wish you all a wonderful start to the new year!


October/November 2016 Update

October 1 – November 20 Update

General

New Additions!

We have ten new orphans who are being sponsored in Kenya by Kenyans.  This wonderful situation was initiated by the equally wonderful Wambua who lives in Nairobi. Wambua is a successful Kenyan IT Professional who is a nephew of Ruth.  He has brought together other kind, caring and like-minded Kenyans who are pooling their resources to provide for these children. This is another example of one of the great strengths of our program – Kenyans for Kenyans!

Banquet

On October 28th we hosted an evening event for Creation of Hope and Kids Alive.  There were over two hundred people in attendance.  They enjoyed a Kenyan meal (which Kay said was like a taste of Kenya for her), there was a silent auction, a Kenyan market and we screened a new documentary about our program.  The link to this documentary is below.

https://vimeo.com/190733564

The theme of the evening was ‘Sustain the Journey’ and we were trying to raise funds to help provide for those of our orphans moving through the school system.  We have made a commitment to them that we will support them at the highest level they qualify and to the completion of their education – regardless of age.  It is our hope that each will finish with a university or college degree or a trade.

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The night was an incredible success in raising immediate funds – over $20,000 – and it establishing new sponsors who will help to pay the tuition of those 5 students entering high school in January.

Penguin Random House Donation

We receive a donation to the orphanage of $1.30 from Penguin Random House for each copy of Walking Home sold and an additional donation from each copy of Today is the Day.  Over the six month period from January to June of this year that resulted in a donation of $7,809.89!

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Great thanks to all the wonderful people at Penguin Random House.  These funds are going to be used for days of support, computers for our students going off to university in the coming year and tuition fees for high school and post-secondary students – we will soon have over 70 students in these settings.  Educational costs (tuition, books, transportation, school supplies) make up the largest item in our whole yearly budget.

School Donations

Michael Cranny E.S. made an incredible donation of $500.00.  This is being used to support the Rolling Hills Residence from December 4 – 8.  Great thanks!

I was just in a wonderful school in Arkansas called Midland High School.  At the end of the presentation a whole bunch of students – many of them on the football team – came up and donated money! This was $125.00 U.S. which is $169.00 Canadian.  This money was used for a day of support and the remaining $69.00 to supplement the November food distribution.

Below in the Days of support section you’ll see all of those students’ names in the thank you signs.

Arkansas students were certainly generous.  The students of Old High Middle School held a hat day and raised funds that provided for 2 days of support – December 2 and 3 – and a contribution to the December food distribution.  Thank you Carie for arranging all of this.

One of the longest donating, most generous schools in the history of our program is Fairview Public School in Mississauga.  They have again made a generous donation of $529.51.  Thank you signs to designate how we have spent the money will soon be sent.

Centennial Hylands in Shelburne made a donation of $300 to be used for goats.  The thank you signs for these six goats will be in the next update (I’ve already seen some of the pictures of the children and goats!)
Tall Pines School made a donation of $1000.00!  This was used for days of support from November 13 – 22.  Great thanks!

 

Individual Donations

Natalie has made a wonderful donation of $50.00 to be used for a goat.

Marya has made a donation of $200.00 which will be used in the following ways with the following thanks.

1 Goat – from Parker, Sydney, and Jordan

1 Goat – from Tilly, Hunter, and Elle

1 Chicken – from Oliver

1 Farm Tool Set – from Cole and Brock

1 Farm Tool Set – from Marya & Adam

4 Chickens – from Marya and Adam

Marya wrote – “Thank you again for your help. I’m hoping this goes over well this year. I would love to start it as a tradition each year.”

 

Julia and Carie donated funds that were used for both a day of support and for the November food distribution

At the end of a presentation a young girl at the Midland Public Library gave the librarian a donation of $2.00 for the orphanage.  Unfortunately she didn’t give a name and so there will be a sign denoting her contribution and this money was put toward the November food distribution.

Bonnie – who received that $2.00 donation also made a donation for a day of support which was assigned as November 29.

Nadejda made a donation which can be used for the November food distribution.

Ingrid made a donation for a day of support

A donation was made to purchase a goat for in the names of Alekasandar & Sarah
Paula has made a wonderful donation of $100.00 to fund a day of support for our orphanage!
Lisa made a wonderful donation of $50.00 for a goat.

Elizabeth made another donation from money she earned working for her grandmother!  This was used to purchase another blanket.

Thank you Signs

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Food distribution

Every month we give out food, goats, chickens and other items to the orphans and impoverished children in the community.  While a large part of this expense is covered by the donations of our ongoing sponsors there is always a shortfall.  As well additional donations result in us being able to give out extra supplies.

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Days of Support

A donation of $100.00 provides for one day of support – this is food for all the children of the residence, the salaries of the driver, night watchman, cook, tutor, matron and caretaker and the electricity, water and sanitation for the building.  Great thanks to the following supporters.

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Students from Midland High School in Arkansas made individual donations to fund this day plus money to be used for the next food distribution.

Sponsors

We have sponsors in Canada, The United States, Germany, England and Kenya.  We have many sponsors who send presents – and we make every effort to get them a picture of their child holding the present – as well as those who send funds.

 

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Presents for Alex from Michelle and Mya

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With Christmas approaching our sponsors have made very generous donations for Christmas presents.  These presents usually take the form of clothes, shoes, school supplies, books and some toys.  We also use addition funds to help provide presents for other children in the family components where many of them reside.  Pictures of these presents will be put into the January update.

 

Great thanks to all who are in involved in making the program so successful in helping the orphans of Kikima.