Posts

Q3 Update - Kids Strutting, Parades, a Grad and more!

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  Q3 has been crazy... in the best possible way! I'm back in Africa, getting settled. So much has happened in the last 3-4 months. Covid still hovers over several of the countries where we work, and in others (like where I'm living) you'd hardly know it exists. But either way, we continue to help the kids. Hope you find these updates helpful to see the mission from my raw perspective, learn what I'm up to and help you sense the joy of being part of it with me!  2021 Q3 Update (July - Sept/Oct)     Instead of sharing many different activities from Q3, I thought I'd focus on one big one that happened just after I arrived in Tanzania. It kind of encapsulates it all ... a Grade 7 Grad Ceremony! What's been Happening In this one event, I could see the vision and mission of VOHA and the same hopes and dreams we have for all the centres represented. The whole thing was over 6 hours long....  so I'll just share 3 parts: 1. The Fashion show 2. The Career Parade and 3

Back on African Soil!

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  Well I finally arrived. It feels like a long time since I came home to Canada lCOVID hit last spring, but after being back in Africa for just a week, it already feels like I never left!  In case you missed it, I'm going to be based in Mwanza, Tanzania. My role is still regional, supporting all 10 VOH centres in 5 countries (Malawi, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Burundi and here) but being based here means I can also help out a bit with the VOH Tanzania work while Julius, the director is on leave. He's taking a bit of a break with his 3 sons after the tragic loss of his wife last November. One of the local board members is assuming the role of interim director until he returns, so hopefully I can be some extra support as needed. Coming in Africa is an adjustment, but I'm settling in. I'm living in a studio apartment in the basement of the Julius's home. It's comfortable, cheery and cozy ... despite the bathroom pipe that burst a couple of nights ago and flooded my one room

Q2 Update (Apr-June 2021) plus some exciting news!

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I booked my ticket - leaving for Tanzania on Sept 8th! It's exciting and scary all at the same time! But it's time. I'm ready for what God has planned for me to do there. Please pray for me in the upcoming weeks for all the details and the peace of God as I enter this next stage of the journey, and most of all continue to pray for me when I'm there! Next time you hear from me, it'll be from Africa ... But for now... here's the Q2 update.... alot was going on (including a new preschool!) Q2 Update                                                                                                       July 2021                                 Projects! That's the theme of the last 3 months! Several of the VOH centres were busy working with experts to design and build new projects from chicken coops to classrooms to solar systems and more!  In the middle of this, COVID is in another huge surge, now at its height in Africa, but we continued to find ways to care for

I have my rights!

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"I have my Rights!" Over the last few months, I've been hearing that statement a lot lately as we begin to see things opening up, but still await life to return to "normal" and protests are increasing with people saying we have rights and what our freedoms!  Though it's tough, we know it's for a limited time, and are thankful that we live in a country with freedom and our rights are respected and valued.  Sadly, it's not that way in many parts of the world. And it's often not that way for everyone - especially children. Thirty years ago, world leaders made a historic commitment to the world’s children by adopting the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC), which is an  international human rights treaty that has become  the most  widely ratified human rights treaty in history. It  basically states children are entitled to 4 basic rights - survival, protection, development and participation.  Sounds pretty basic, doesn't i

The May 24 Weekend - Time to Garden!

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  I don't know about you, but I always plant on the May long weekend... well, I don't really plant, I put up 2 hang baskets and call it a day. I've tried over the years to plant vegetables, annuals and more but I just don't have a green thumb! It takes everything I have to keep my geraniums alive! Thankfully, the kids at VOH have a greener thumb than me. In Africa, the seasons are different and right now, many are almost ready for harvest. As you head into the long weekend, I thought you may enjoy a few pictures of VOH Centres and the children who plant and harvest vegetables, and youth who learn agricultural skills to make a living after they graduate, and VOH Staff members who lead it all.  The food is used for the children's home, and sometimes they are sold in the local markets to provide some income for the Centre and families. One example is in our newest Centre in Luongo, Zambia. It is a swampy area about an hour's drive from Kitwe. Most of the families i
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  2021 Q1 Update                                                                                                         April 2021                                             The first 3 months of this year sure haven't been boring. I thought I'd be back in Africa by now.  All I know is that every time I planned something, the plans changed - either by God, Covid, or both! But I'm grateful. The work of VOH Africa continues to impact the lives of children everyday and I'm thankful that you and I am part of it. Hope you enjoy this brief update. Jeanette  What's been Happening COVID hit Africa hard in the the first quarter of this year. After the Christmas vacation break, South Africa spread into neighboring countries. Many schools, including schools at our VOH centres, have had openings/closures just like in Canada, and work has sometimes been restricted with lock downs as well. There are no government safety nets there. When I spoke to the VOH Director of Kitwe last
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  Ok - for those who know me well, don't get too excited. I'm still single, and have no big plans for Valentine's Day, except to follow the stay at home order and perhaps have a tiny bit of chocolate, so this isn't a mass announcement of a new-found love in my life. I did, however, make up a nice Valentine care package for my 88 year old mom, does that count? But love is in the air... and I thought on Valentine's Day, you could use a short love story to brighten your day amidst the cold of winter and the continued uncertainty of COVID. It happened in Burundi.  Burundi isn't an easy place to live. It's a landlocked country in the African Great Lakes region of East Africa. (Did you know Africa had a Great Lakes region?!) I went to Burundi for the first time in 2010 with World Vision to conduct workshops on child monitoring. I remember going to a new village where we were just starting to work, and was overwhelmed by the poverty. Their main source of income was