Sunday, 15 April 2012

Blog recovery in process!

Trying to reconstruct all the missing entries!
Thank you for your patience!

Interim Update
We will be starting our 5th visit to Tanzania & Rwanda July 3rd 2012 and will be initiating our Teach the Teachers Program in Kahama.

Our 3rd shipping container will be leaving B.C. in November and will arrive in time for the medical volunteers on the Spring 2013 trip.

Check out the entries so far.

Kahama Container Contents

Dar es Salaam Port, Tanzania. Our containers are never hard to find!
Customs inspection

We are always happy to see the containers arrive safely! The Kahama crate carried over 17,000 books for children, schools, teachers and medical staff as well as classroom supplies and teacher resources: Education is key to an individual’s and a region’s development. And eventually an educated nation will lead to a progressive nation that is able to sustain economic growth.
We have supplied 94 more boxes of soccer uniforms and equipment to the schools in the Kahama region: Sports are important for personal health and fitness and are an ideal way to develop and strengthen a child’s self-image. The child learns that she has specific skills and is an integral part of a team.
As well as the medical textbooks the Kahama Hospital received bedding, linens, canes, crutches, walkers, wheelchairs, mattresses, an examination table, stretchers, 2 TV's, 2 DVD players, kitchen utensils, a microscope, toys and computers: As in the West it is essential for a large hospital and the satellite clinics to have a networking infrastructure to provide internet availability and to support the development of a hospital information system.
The Summerland Montessori School sent letters, pictures and 9 large boxes of supplies to the Faraja Orphanage. And we sent 41 large plastic family-to-family bins filled with items and gifts.
There were also 32 sewing machines, a large number of woodworking tools and a further 250 boxes of general supplies to help villagers to combat the effects of poverty and become self-sustaining.
Go to our website to make a financial donation, to find out what items are needed to fill the next containers or to join our team!

2011 Shipping Container

Our second 40' shipping container was filled with donated items for our primary sponsor-community -  Kahama in Tanzania. 

Katimavik Volunteers
These fabulous young people washed and painted a base-coat on our second shipping container.
Derek Jones
Local artist Derek Jones donated his time and talent to create this eye-catching artwork!

Saturday, 14 April 2012

B.C. Donation a Major Event!

This was the largest donation of items ever received in the Muhanga region so the TV, radio and newspapers came out to record the event.

Ministry Officials and the Media

Thanks to families, businesses and organizations across BC we were able to collect and ship hundreds of thousands of dollars’ worth of items to the Muhanga region of Rwanda (2010)

Rwanda, known as the land of 1,000 hills, is a landlocked country in Africa’s Great Lakes region. It is the most densely populated country in Africa, with a population of more than 8 million people in an area of 26,338 square km. The country has received a lot of support following the 1994 Genocide but is still striving to rebuild its economy. Nearly two thirds of the population live below the poverty line.

The Muhanga Hospital and a clinic received 7 hospital beds, an operating table, an operating chair, microscopes, blood pressure machines and cuffs, wheel chairs, operating room equipment, general supplies and bedding hospital bedding and towels. The medical staff were particularly excited about the operating chair as there are only 2 or 3 of them in the whole of Rwanda, and they cost thousands of dollars, but every bandage, every piece of bedding contributes to the wellness of families in Muhanga.

We sent 16,000 books and 160 boxes of educational supplies, which were distributed to schools, the hospital and clinic and to children in the women’s prison. The schools also received 2197 soccer jerseys, 160 soccer balls, shorts, socks, boots and other sports equipment. We ensure that half of the uniforms go to the girl’s netball teams.

We were delighted to hear that a sewing school has been built and set up using sewing machines donated by people in the Okanagan (BC).

The Summerland Montessori School sent 9 large boxes of items for an orphanage and Okanagan families filled 67 large plastic bins with items for vulnerable families.

Find out what we need to fill our next containers. Or make a donation towards the shipping.

The 2010 Container arrives in Rwanda

Anitha and Yves thank the BC community
Our container was received by Go Rwanda on behalf of the people of Muhanga

On the first few trips to East Africa we took bulging suitcases filled with items from our communities, which made a significant difference to families, clinics and schools. And then in 2009 we purchased the 40' container and placed it in the Penticton (BC) Wal-Mart parking lot and held open days for donations of books, medical equipment, sports equipment and sewing machines - and the 2010 team still took numerous bulging suitcases!

In addition 67 vulnerable families received bins filled with appropriate household items - such as containers for carrying water, wind-up flashlights, pots and pans suitable for using on an open fire and small toys and school supplies.

We are no longer sending 'family' bins but wanted to give people in B.C. the opportunity to make a positive difference in the lives of the most vulnerable families in Muhanga.

Find out what we need to fill our next containers. Or make a donation towards the shipping.

The Muhanga Shipping Container (2010) 

In a fortunate case of synchronicity we were talking about shipping resources to our sponsor community when a young entrepreneur, Rylan Hernberg contacted us to see if we would be interested in helping him to fulfill his goal of sending a library to Africa. 

The original plan of shipping the container to Kahama, Tanzania changed when the the container was still at sea as the paperwork wasn't completed at the other end; we had to reroute to our second community in Rwanda. Unfortunately the container was then held at customs for weeks and we were at risk of loosing the whole shipment. Fortunately we were able to arrange the sale of the empty forty-foot crate to help cover the extra costs. This meant that we were not able to use the container as a library in itself but books were distributed to schools in Muhanga and surrounding villages. Multiple libraries instead of one!

Rylan brought in $12,000 of donations and supported us as we raised the remainder. He took part in our 2010 volunteer trip and met the container in Rwanda, though the delay in customs meant that the team were not present for the unloading and distribution. 

Lana Corbett and Student Works Painting, created this beautiful mural. We held open days for the public to come and drop off books, sports and educational supplies, medical resources and sewing machines. 

Our idea is for one community to help another - at all levels, and the Muhanga container was a perfect opportunity to see this ideal in action.

Teachers and students supported education by donating items or raising funds; the medical profession, pharmacists and local service groups supported the medical aspects, and sports associations such as SOYSA gave time and donations to supporting sports for children. And many, many families and individuals came along to donate items, time and funds. The One Person committee members and an awesome team of volunteers spent numerous hours sorting and packing the donated items, which included 16,000 books - we probably received around 30,000 but many weren’t suitable. We have learned to be more discerning in our requests! By raising just $20,000 to purchase and ship a container we can sends hundreds and thousands of dollars of self-sustaining aid. Isn't that amazing?

Maureen B. and family worked tirelessly filling their own tubs of donated gifts and resources
and encouraging friends and family to do the same.
Maureen hauled six totes to the shipping container!

Find out what we need to fill our next containers. Or make a donation towards the shipping.

Thank you!