Creation of Hope

March – June 10 2018

School donations

Kioko Mutinda, the patron of our program, visited Ontario for two weeks at the end of April.  He travelled and presented at schools, met with staff at Hope Story and also met with sponsors in the Guelph area.  It was a whirlwind and very successful visit.

Kioko came with me to visit North Bay when I presented at West Ferris.  Under the direction of their teacher, Trisha Bradford, class 7A collected funds – along with Trisha’s family members.  They are asking that the $251.70 be directed in the following ways: A day of support – June 27 – two goats, 4 chickens, and to support the June food distribution.  The thank you signs are being sent.

West Ferris Secondary School had also made a donation previously that provided for two days of support – April 21 and 22 – and also contributed to the April food distribution.

We had wonderful donations from two students, Tariq and Johnny which were used to support our May food distribution. At the same school a teacher, Mike, made a donation that was also put toward the May food distribution.

St. Luke made a donation for 2 goats

Glendale P.S. made a donation of $673.60 which went for 6 days of support (April 25 – 30) and the April food distribution.

W.J. Fricker School made a donation that provides for support of the residence for April 23 and 24.

West Oaks School, under the direction of Rebecca made a donation that provided support for the residence on April 16 and for the April food distribution day.

St. Nicholas C.S. under the direction of Liz made a donation of $485.50.  This was used for days of support – April 17 to 20 – and for the April food distribution day.

Liz also made a donation for 2 goats.

Holy Family made a donation that supported the residence from May 11 to May 16 and for the May food distribution.

Ms. Wagner-Chazalon’s class raised funds for two goats.

Orchard Park P.S. raised money that went to support the residence on March 19 – 21 and also for the March food distribution.

Personal donations

Margot and Peter and their company, M.E. Industrial Sheet Metal, previously made a donation that provided for 2 days of support each month for the residence for a one-year period.  This year these wonderful people have doubled that donation.  Each month for a year, four days of support will be provided by their latest donation.  We so appreciate their care and generosity  Here are the first days of support:
Thank you Margot and Peter for supporting us June 7 and 8

Thank you M E Industrial Sheet Metal for supporting us June 9 and 10

Thank you Margot and Peter for supporting us July 1 and 2

Thank you M E Industrial Sheet Metal for supporting us July 3 and 4

Alessandra donated $50.00 to be used for the May food distribution

Sal made a wonderful donation of $25.00 to our orphans.  This money was used for the May food distribution.

JoAnne made a donation for a goat as a birthday present.

We had a wonderful donation from a young man in B.C. named Daniel who raised money through the Candy Art Group.   The $12.00 be was put toward our food distribution in April.

Corporate Donation

We just had a wonderful donation from Penguin/Random House for Walking Home for $2299.45.  This money was put toward days of support – May 17 to May 30 and June 1 to June 6 as well as the May food distribution day.

Thank you Signs

We had donations made that were designated for a very specific purpose.  Here are some of those thank you signs – all signs are sent directly to the person who made the donation.


Food Distribution

Every month we give out up to 2.2 tons of food and supplies to the orphans and impoverished children in the community.  This is payed for by ongoing sponsorship of children as well as specific donations.


Days of Support

The entire residence is supported for $100.00 per day.  This provides food for all 59 children, the salaries of the driver, night watchman, driver, cook, matron and caretaker and the utilities for the building.



We have sponsors who have a connection to, and provide funding for, a specific orphan.  These sponsors are in Canada, the U.S., the U.K., Germany, and Kenya.  As our original children are moving through high school, university, college and graduating we have begun taking on a younger generation of orphans.  Hope Story is taking direct responsibility for these new children.



January 1 – February 28


This is both a long update – and an abbreviated one.

For the past decade I have been providing a detailed, picture by picture, update on an almost monthly basis.  These updates remain on file.  While thank you pictures and accountability will continue to be provided to donors, these pictures will not all be listed in this report.  Below are some of the pictures that were sent to those who made donations.  To include all the pictures for this two-month period would involve a report that would be incredibly long.

I also believe that the most important thing is to get those pictures – and accountability back to the donors.  That will continue without the need to list them all in the monthly reports.

Visitors to the program


Koko – who is a longtime sponsor in the program – along with her sister Kara and mother Brigitte spent a week in the program this February and were actively involved in the daily life of the orphanage.  Along with their brother, they have decided to sponsor 5 new children!

Koko is also leading our campaign to fund a bore hole at the residence.  The drought, coupled with an increased need for water at our residence, have caused the two wells to be unable to provide sufficient water for the program.  We are in the process of developing a bore hole.  The construction involves drilling down with heavy equipment to a depth of 500 feet or more.  As a comparison, our two wells go down less than 100 feet and were hand dug.  We believe this will provide us with water forever.

In addition, we might find ourselves in the position of being ‘seller’s rather than ‘buyers’ of water.  Water sells for about 20 Ksh (about $.25 ) for 20 liters.   We are often forced to purchase water.  If the bore hole is successful we might be able to actually sell water and create another ‘stream’ of income – please pardon the pun.

If you wish to support this project and donate go to the Hope Story website at : Go to the bottom of the page and look for the bore hole donation ‘button’.

After a two and half year absence, my wife and I were privileged to spend most of the month of February at the project.  For part of that time we were also joined by Gina – who is an administrator with our partners at Hope Story – and her husband Ryan.


Ryan and Gina meeting their sponsored child in the residence.

It was, of course, a busy time.  We met with 165 of the over 173 orphans, sharing letters, giving gifts and greetings and meeting with the administrators of their schools as well.


We met with almost all our students in college, university and trade school:


College students in Machakos


University and college students in Nairobi


Trade School students outside of Wote


College students in Wote

We visited schools where almost every child attended, meeting with staff, and giving out sports balls and work books, and also pens to include every child in more than 25 schools.


We also visited more than thirty homesteads to distribute food and supplies:


As well we were part of a food distribution giving out supplies to orphans and impoverished children around the region, met repeatedly with elders and community leaders.  We attended a committee meeting, and a meeting at the Canadian High Commission and as well as a workshop for empowering girls which was held at the residence of the Canadian High Commissioner.

We also met with a number of our successful graduates.  These are orphans who have graduated from the program, completed their education and are now employed.

The very first young person in our program was Mutuku.  He has now graduated from college and is employed as a pastor in the community.  He has set up his own church.  Ever since I’ve known him – which is over ten years – he said he wanted to be able to help other people, in order to give back the opportunity he was given.  He is a remarkable young man.


Mutuku has gone from being a young, abandoned orphan, sleeping under a stall in the market and finding food in the garbage pile to having graduated from college and setting up his own church.  The Lahnsteiner family have been his faithful sponsors throughout this process. It’s been wonderful to be able to be part of his success.  He is a remarkable young man who will make an impact on his community.


Another one of our young people, Eric, has graduated from college and has set up his own hairdressing salon in Machakos.  He is so successful that he is already turning away clients!  His success is because of the wonderful students at Lasalle P.S. under the leadership of Martha Martin.


A highlight was meeting with Nicholas and Naomi and their newborn!  They are successful graduates of our program who married and now have their new-born son.  It is traditional to name the first-born son after the father’s father. They named him Hope in honor of our program.


Special Meetings:


This little girl is not sponsored by our program but lives with her mother and father.  Her life was saved by one of our volunteers.  April, who is a midwife in Canada, spent a month in the program working in the local clinic.  The parents, in gratitude, named their daughter April.  This is one of the most dynamic examples of lives being saved by the program.


I also want to share a couple of updates and do a little bit of ‘bragging’ about our young people.


This fine young man is Baraka.  Anybody who has read My Name is Blessing is familiar with his backstory.  He is now in Grade 10 and moving toward his goal of becoming an engineer.


Charles and Boniface, the ‘stars’ of Hope Springs, are in high school and doing remarkably well.  They remain best friends, brothers, and supporters of each other in moving through school.  They are such fine young men.


Alex received a Gold Medal – position 1 – at the national level Tae Kwon Do championship in Nairobi.


Kioko has emerged as a basketball star.  His high school team has won 3 of the 4 tournaments they have entered.  His best game involved more than 60 points and 30 rebounds.

Water Projects

We opened two new water projects.  When you give people water you give them life.


We also inspected another project that is in the implementation stage and discussed a project with elders to build a dam (and then did fundraising through Facebook and Twitter to fund it!)  This was successfully funded.  Great thanks to Paul, Marc and Ruth who made this happen.

Personal Donations

Terrilee gave money for a goat.

Shane Peacock and his family made a wonderful donation of $500.00 which was put toward food distribution, homestead visits and a day of support.

We received a wonderful donation from Blake – who donated birthday money ‘so kids could have a better life’.  Blake turned 10. His donation was used to support the program on March 3 and for the February food distribution.

Lorna made an incredibly generous donation of $1000.00 that we have put toward daily support, food distribution, and donations to homesteads.

Theresa Caristena made a generous donation of $315.00.

Lisa made a donation that supported the program for February 27.

Jacqueline made a donation that was used to support the program for February 28 and for the February  food distribution.

Mary made a donation of $50.00 for food distribution in honor of her granddaughter Treah.

Geri and Don donated $300.00 which was used for food distribution and school supplies.

A donation was used for the following:

Thank you for my goat Lovely Lovatt Family

For the chickens:

Happy Birthday Aidan

Happy Birthday Maizie

Happy Birthday Ellie

School Donations

J. James Public School made an incredible donation of $1745.32. This was used for food distribution, for school supplies, and for days of support.

Hello Mr. Walters,
My Grade 2/3 class raised $100 to donate 2 goats

Cambridge Christian school Lori Salverda made a donation of $223 to purchase 2 goats, 5 chickens, 1 solar light, 1 blanket, and 80 saplings.

Diane Rombough and her school Lynndale Heights sold water which was to be used to purchase 10 blankets and three chickens.

Jean Vanier C.S. donated money to be used for a day of support.

Ute donated money for a day of support on February 22

Westwood Junior School made a donation which supported the program on February 23

Shanty Bay Public School donated $272.00

Harris Mill donated $500.00

Thank you Signs

These are a small sampling of the thank you signs.  We have been sending them directly to people – there are just too many to put into this update!

Harris Mill – 625 workbooks – one for each child in the entire school and 625 pens


Food Distribution

Every month we give out up to 2 tons of food and supplies, including goats and chickens, to the extended families of orphans and impoverished children.  Here are a few signs from the distribution.



Days of Support

Our residence, which now has 53 children, can be supported for $100.00 per day of operation.  This provides food for all the children, the salaries of staff and the utilities for the building.


Even with the continued graduation of our successful early sponsored children we continue to take on new children and new sponsorship.  Here are messages for sponsors from those children.


Christmas Celebration Pictures


Update November – December 2017



Over the past two years Alex Katuu has been attending Tae Kwon Do classes between his studies.  He has been very committed to this pursuit and has done well at every stage and acquired all the belts.  He recently competed at a tournament and acquired both a blue belt and a gold medal – which he is proudly wearing.  His marital arts uniform was provided by a generous sponsor.  Scouts at the tournament saw such potential in Alex that he has been selected to compete at the next level in Kilifi.  We are very proud of him! As well, we need to note that he is doing very well in his studies and will begin Form 3 in January.

Ride for Refuge


Under the leadership of Michael Morgenroth the Region Power team raised $2100 for Creation of Hope through the Hope Story Ride for Refuge.   This money is being used for days of support – February 8 – 21 and the January food distribution.  Great thanks!

Farm Project

We are putting together all the logistics to launch a new program.  It will involve renting land, dividing it into plots for needy grandparents to farm, providing tools, seeds and a water source, and then asking them to make a small donation of produce to the orphanage.  We have two schools that have already said they are willing to raise and donate funds to provide for this project.  I’ll keep you updated as it moves forward.

Donation from Penguin/Random House

Penguin Random House makes a donation to our orphans for every copy of the novel Walking Home that is sold.  In this reporting period that was $2468.13.  This money is being used for 24 days of support – November 19 – 30 and December 18 – 29 and the additional $68.13 will go toward the December food distribution.  What an incredible ongoing support this donation is offering to our program.  For 24 days the entire cost of our residence is provided by Penguin/Random House.

Individual Donations

Bob and Linda made a personal donation and one in honour of their friend Sharon Freeman that together support the residence for January 16 and 17.

Jennifer made a donation of $200.00 in honour of her in-laws, Karyn and Axel which will support the program on

Nathan donated $50.00 for the purchase of a goat.  He will soon receive a thank you sign.

Naomi made a donation that supported the residence on February 5.

Mark Earle made a donation to purchase a goat.  He will soon receive a thank you sign showing the goat and the child who will receive it.

Victoria and Joseph – through his company – have made a donation which will provide for the residence for ten days – January 6 – 15.

Steve and Rosie made a donation that supported the residence from January 18 – 27

Sophie made a donation that supported the residence on January 28

Ruth and Bill Morrow made a donation which supported our residence for December 3

Brenda and David Barry, Niamh and Ian supported the residence December 4

Ross and Sandy Morrow, Max, Hilary and Nicole supported the residence on December 5

Melissa and Andrew Dunan, Glynis and Brad Westoby supported our residence us December 6

Joyce just made a wonderful donation of $100.00 for our program.

Jesse made a $55.00 donation which was used for the November food distribution.

Sharon Freeman made an incredible donation honouring friends and family, in lieu of Christmas presents, which was directed to days of support for December 10 – 17.

Jaime Girard made a $200.00 donation that was used for the December food distribution and thank you signs were sent.

Mrs. Kelton made a donation to support our December food distribution

A young girl – Alyssa – donated $10.00 which is being used for the December food distribution.

Matthew, a student, dug into his pockets after a presentation and gave all that he had – $1.80.  This money will be used for the December food distribution.

There is probably nothing that impresses and inspires me more than when young people like Alyssa and Matthew have their hearts touched and donate.

Jonathan, a teacher at a school where I was presenting, made a donation to support the residence on December 7.

Kaitlyn made a donation to support our December food distribution

Louise made a donation to support the residence on February 3

School Donations

St. Finnan’s Catholic School made a donation to purchase the following items for orphans.

– 4 Saplings

– 1 Goat

– 1 Set of tools

– 2 Chickens

– 2 Blankets

Our Lady of The Annunciation C.S. donated $221.00 to be used for two days of support, January 29 and 30 and 3 chickens.

Immaculata Catholic School donated $500.00 that is to be used for sports equipment.

Stouffville Christian School made a donation of $550.00.  This money is being used for 5 days of support and for the December food distribution. Support December 30, 31, January 1,2,3

Thank You Pictures

Food Distribution



Days of Support





September-October 2017


When you give water, you give life.


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


Days of Support




One of our newest sponsored child thanking her sponsor.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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).





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.


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.


Families and children already using the first completed water project


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


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.


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.



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.




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


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