Posts

Happy Thanksgiving - Thankful for you!

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  As I live here in Africa, I'm reminded how much I have to be thankful for. This past week, in the child focus groups, I had children tell me how thankful they are for VOH - because they now have an education, food, clothes and shoes, and without coming here, their family couldn't afford it. I honestly don't know what it's like to be thankful for any of these things, as in Canada, I've never had a day when they weren't easily available to me. The children are so thankful.  As I think of all the Goodness of God in my life this Thanksgiving weekend, I include you. I'm truly thankful that you are on this journey with me through your giving, thoughts and prayers. Thank you. When I finished one of the focus groups, I asked if anyone wanted to say something to the donors who support me in my work at VOH. Sharon, a girl in the teen group, wanted to sing a song of thanks she wrote. In it she says: I want to say thank you for the things you have done, I want yo say

Children have a Voice! Sept 15, 2022

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  I have 2 exciting things to talk about today - something that just happened last week, and something that is about to happen next week! First, what happened last week - the "Keeping Children Safe" Conference. This is an annual 3 day (online) conference with NGOs and professionals around the world who care about child safeguarding, ensuring children are safe and their rights are known and respected. This year, there was a session that featured some VOH children who talked about the Child Safeguarding policy and practice in their VOH centres. They shared what they learned about the VOH child safeguarding policy, how it impacts them, what can be done to improve it and more. It's really exciting for me (and I hope you too) to see children understand their rights as children, feel empowered to take action, and report they feel they safe when they come to VOH school everyday.  My favourite parts were when Blessing said she learned what her rights are, she realized VOH childr

A Visit from the Government and Goats!

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  It's one thing for me to say VOH does good work, but it's always nice when someone else sees it for themselves and makes comments on what they observe. This happened to us at VOH Mwanza last month. The Prime Minister of Tanzania likes to give vulnerable children something to celebrate on a special holiday once a year. The government selects different centers or children’s homes and prepare gifts for the children.  This year VOH Mwanza was one of the centers selected! The PM sent the District Commissioner to come on her behalf to give the gifts to the children. They brought 80 kilograms of rice, 20 liters of cooking oil, lots of potatoes and bananas, and 2 live goats. A few hours later .... they had a big barbeque and feast for the children (not so festive for the poor goats)! The children invited some of their schoolmates to join them. They ate to their heart's content and had so much fun. Plus, they had lots of food supplies left over for the next month or two. The event

Q2 Update - Check out what's been happening

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  Under the Mango Tree The best place to hangout  Q2 Update                                                                           July 2022 Hope you enjoyed the video clip under the Mango Tree! It's been great settling back into Mwanza and becoming more like home every day ... Best of all, I see the value of being among the children and supporting the VOH staff here in Mwanza.  In this update, check out a couple of the things I've been working on, and a few short stories of what's been happening in some of the VOH centers in the last few months. Thanks for your part in touching the lives of the children - we're in this together! What's been Happening I f you've been reading my updates, you know some of the things I've been working, like finally getting my Tanzanian work permit and developing a framework for helping more children with Albinism, but there's alot more I've been up to. Julius has finished his Sabbatical and is now back at the VOH Mwa

I couldn't believe it really happens ....

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Children are still ostracized, maimed and even killed, just because of the color of their skin. I'm talking about children with Albinism.  Albinsim is caused by a defect in one of the genes that give skin, eyes and hair their coloring. Today in Tanzania, about 1 out of 1,500 children are born with Albinsim. They are often shut out of society and sometimes in danger because some supersititions believe using their body parts in witchcraft rituals can bring riches, success and power. I debated how much information I share in this update. Some of it is horrifying. Last year, I saw an article of a 9 year old boy who had his finger cut off in Zambia. Google more if you want see some of the stark realities for yourself.  But today, I want to focus on the hope of what is being done. Last year, Villages of Hope Africa began a partnership with a charity focused on helping children with Albinism in Tanzania. We are overseeing their program on the ground, which includes ensuring the children a

It finally happened!

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I got my Tanzania Work Permit and Residence Permit! I know I've been asking for prayer for this for a long time, but it finally happened. I picked up my card today! THANK YOU FOR YOUR PRAYERS! The thing about this is - it's actually been over 50 years in the making! As a young girl, I felt called to missions. First, praying for my dad to stop drinking and get saved (he did when I was 10), then going to Bible College and spending a summer in Calcutta, India when I was 19, then working in an NGO for over 20 years focused on raising funds for the world's most vulnerable children, and finally my journey with Villages of Hope Africa that began 3 years ago this month. When I first signed up as a one year volunteer with VOHA, we applied for a visa in Tanzania. After 7 months of paperwork and applying, it was rejected. So I went to Zambia and Zim on short-term business visas, and then worked from Canada during COVID. When it was finally time to return to Africa, we felt Tanzania wa

Happy Easter!

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What an amazing Palm Sunday at Petra City Church! The kids came in waving Palm branches and together we sang Hosanna! Yet, I always feel torn by Palm Sunday, because it's so wonderful but I know what happened next - how people who worshipped him one week, turned on Him so quickly the next. May we be people who never turn our backs on Him, but live day by day consumed by His love and faithfulness in our lives. As you head into Easter, I just wanted to send a quick note to let you now I'm praying for you this week: that the reality of God's love will pour into your heart and soul, and that you will sense His deep love for you in a fresh and wonderful way. Happy Easter!  Jeanette "I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people,  to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge — that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.