Friday, 30 August 2013

Young People Making a Difference
Canadian and international statistics show that youth volunteerism continues to rise. We at The One Person Project have certainly witnessed young people becoming actively involved in changing lives!

Future Leaders
Matthew, Becca, Jackson and Nathan have been volunteering since 2006! Ethan is a dedicated newcomer!
Katimavik volunteer service program.
Painting one of our shipping containers
This brother and sister asked family and friends to donate to
One Person rather than buy birthday presents
110 Clean Birth kits for the Kahama District Hospital
One Person received a donation for cleaning up at
the Iron Man Expo

'Crate Day' Support

This is just a small selection of the amazing children and youth who 
have given their time and energy towards building a better future for children in our sponsor communities. 

Sunday, 4 August 2013

A brief overview of One Person 

It’s hard to believe that it is 7 years since Brenda Lowe headed over to East Africa on a World Vision trip and on her return set up The One Person Project with friends and family. We are based in Summerland in the Okanagan region of British Columbia, Canada.

We have two sponsor-communities. The primary community being the isolated Kahama District of Tanzania, with a population of around a million people – and only one hospital! The City of Summerland has created a formal Friendship Agreement with Kahama, and the Okanagan community and others around Canada have made major steps towards helping the citizens of Kahama reach their goals of self-sustainability and social transformation.

We are about to ship our third forty-foot container to Kahama. It is filled with medical, educational, children/family and entrepreneurial resources, including one or more portable brick making machines that use locally sourced materials (earth and a 6% cement mixture) and run on man-power rather than electricity. On our One Person trips we have assisted in making identical bricks by hand – a laborious process!

We also support the Terimbere Rwanda Organization. TRO works in the Muhunga region of Rwanda to implement a genocide reconciliation project, which supports genocide survivors through community reconciliation and rehabilitation programs.
TRO received our first shipping container in 2010.  So – four shipping containers in total – you can imagine how much work it is to solicit and collect the thousands of items for each container, which, with the help of volunteers, we sort pack and record. And then the fundraising to buy and ship the containers – up to $20,000 each time!

We have a core group of around a dozen on our hard-working committee plus our amazing volunteers – including children, teenagers and seniors.  

We have visited both sponsor communities 6 times (not including Brenda’s initial trip). We make these self-funded trips to deliver the donations, monitor progress, ascertain needs and to maintain a connection with the villagers, officials and organizations that we work with - and to bring back photographs, family stories and evidence of progress to the people of B.C.  

We recruit professional and non-professional volunteers to take part in the trips to ensure that we are on track, to identify needs, distribute items and provide training in our sponsor communities.

Medical volunteers have taken part in four of the trips and a fifth is planned for late 2014. Our first education-focussed trip took place in 2012 with Train-The-Teacher-Workshops, and more sessions are planned for July 2015.

Click the links to see photos and stories in this blog.

One of our major programs is the Amani Clinic at the Kahama Distict hospital and the associated Food Program and Poultry co-operative.

 We support the Faraja Orphange and have recently added our support to the Muvuma Orphan Group - including supporting children with albinism.  

And of course we continue to support our friends at TRO in Rwanda.

Is it worth it you ask? Does aid work? Can we really make a difference? If you clicked that last link – and the others before it – you will know the answer is – hell yeah!