On a rainy Spring Saturday just on the outskirts of Aylmer, Ontario, friends and family showed up for the latest day of Wacky Wendell’s hospitality. The wood fired griddle in the sugar shack was cranking out stacks of pancakes and sausages while guests poured copious amounts of sweet home made maple syrup over the fluffy fare.
This Spring local trees provided the sap that was boiled down into the new line of maple syrup and guests readily devoured the food and deposited donations for Project HOPE: Liberia in return. The pancake event follows last year’s beehive of activity as honey was on tap for the last get together on Rogers Road.
Through the very kind efforts of Wendell and Cindy Graves, the annual pancake day raised $1,250 for the project that continues to see the construction of the Maple Leaf Academic Centre and the support of orphans from the ebola crisis. Under the leadership of Fred Varnie, the project continues to flourish. Part of the proceeds also helped a crisis for Fred’s family as a much needed injection was secured to bring the medical care required.
Pictured, in his signature overalls is Wendell Graves, head of maple syrup production. Manning the hot griddle most of the day, Wendell kept the pancakes and sausages flying off the fire and onto many waiting plates satisfying everyone who attended. Stay tuned for more exciting updates from Rogers Road and a rumour that artisan bread and pizzas will soon be added to the maple syrup and honey offerings!
If you missed out on the pancakes, this year’s store of maple syrup is also gone already too. You can participate though by making a contribution to Project HOPE: Liberia via our website and bring hope to a vulnerable child.
It is incredible that we have arrived in May! Later this month the next tour of our projects will begin with stops in Nyangombe, Lusaka and Chipata. The trip will afford visits with our project partners Charles Kafweta, Gordon and Sybil MacKillop as well as Geoff and Martha Muvumbo. We are also looking forward to spending some time at the Quarry School with Violet Simalonda.
This month’s calendar image is two sisters, orphans, who live in a village near the Nyangombe settlement. Supported by donations to Project HOPE, the girls are able to attend school and have basic resources provided. Their beautiful smiles mask the reality of their circumstances, no family, little comfort and day to day challenges to survive. But, the care and compassion of the community care teams at Nyangombe and the financial support of Project HOPE, means they have a future filled with hope.
Please think creatively about how you can help us care for more vulnerable orphans in this part of the world. Your financial gift can make all the difference in the life of a child!
Families of elephant are readily seen in the South Luangwa National Park. With many predators also constantly lurking, looking for their next meal, the protection of infant elephants keeps the adults busy. This month’s image features one carefree baby elephant enjoying a playful afternoon. What the photograph does not show is the ring of mature elephants keeping a close eye on this little one. An opportunistic lion or pack of hyena would have their hands full if they tried to take the baby.
Such images are beautiful and amazing. Seeing these majestic creatures in their natural habitat while struggling to forage for food and protect themselves is a reminder of the daily struggle of our vulnerable widows and orphans. The delicate balance between life and death is a reality each day.
Providing safe milk for infants and orphans starts with good herd management at the Nyangombe Dairy Farm. With technological investment by Canadian dairy companies, Nyangombe has been able to continue testing milk on the spot. The testing, which involves drawing a sample of fresh milk from the milking can into a special slide, the slide is then put into a magnification instrument that is attached to an IPOD. An app then does a diagnostic of the milk and within thirty seconds, gives an accurate assessment of the quality of the milk.
That amazing process ensures orphans are not drinking tainted milk. With limited resources or access to regular veterinary services, this simple yet complex process is a huge positive for Nyangombe. Each slide completes one test so keeping the farm supplied with enough slides on an ongoing basis is the challenge for Project HOPE.
The herd at Nyangombe is in excess of 200 and the dairy program is critical for the support of vulnerable infants and orphans. The whole program is a terrific example of creative partnerships that accomplish a significant result. We need more partners that will use their modern technology to solve village issues!
The warthog featured in this month’s calendar photograph was taken in the South Luangwa National Park. This particular animal, a mature adult, was foraging at midday. Seemingly relaxed and unperturbed by its surroundings and our presence, the warthog leisurely grazed as we looked on.
Warthogs are day animals and spend most of their time looking for food. They are normally found in family groups. Warthogs have the peculiar habit of kneeling on the front knees while feeding and foraging in a localised area. They shelter in burrows at night, which they enter tail first. Socially, three main groups are encountered, namely solitary boars, bachelor groups and matriarchal groups. Matriarchal groups consist of adult sows with their young and yearlings. Boars play no part in rearing piglets and seldom associate with sows outside the mating process. Warthogs can frequently be found at waterholes where they dig in the marsh and wallow in the mud with obvious enthusiasm.
Providing funding for school fees for orphans is a significant part of the mission of Project HOPE. These fees, required by virtually every school in Zambia, are designed by local committees that are meant to cover uniforms, security and additional costs related to each institution. For an orphan, no money means no school.
These fees can range from $50 per year to $50 each term, depending upon the school. There are some schools, like the Saikalo School in Kasama, Zambia, where orphans do not pay any fees but that scenario is rare. This month’s photograph captures just one of over 600 orphans who benefit from the services of the Saikalo School. Project HOPE’s primary concern is to assist with feeding these orphans every day. For $250 each month all students receive a meal every day at the school. We need your help to cover this cost.
Our partnerships are critical to moving forward with our mission to bring hope to vulnerable women and children. This partnership, between Project HOPE and our donors here at home is also extended to our working relationship with our project managers on the front line. Without their critical updates and communication, we are unable to move forward. Without your help, we can not fund this important mission. Please consider making a gift today to ensure these orphans get a meal each day.
Zambia’s National bird is the African Fish Eagle (Haliaeetus vocifer). They can be spotted perched high up on branches above rivers, lakes and swamps. They have a very large range and can be found across Africa. The Fish Eagle is featured on the Zambian Coat of Arms and you can often hear the evocative call being used on the local radio and television.
The eagle featured was photographed in the South Luangwa National Park just at sunset, perked high in a tree surveying its surroundings. A majestic and beautiful creature!