New “BEES”ness a sweet funding source for Project HOPE: Liberia

Getting the ‘hives’ has been a profitable venture to date. Wacky Wendell’s Honey, a social enterprise start up just outside Aylmer, Ontario, produced 260 pounds of sweet honey in 2018 and in turn, sold their stock with 100% of the sales going to Project HOPE’s newest partnership in Liberia.

Project HOPE: Liberia manager, Fred Varnie, has been building momentum in his community caring for orphans. Fred’s passion for helping vulnerable children started as he spent hours as a porter assisting patients during Liberia’s Ebola outbreak in 2014. As he witnessed firsthand the devastation of the epidemic, Fred decided that when he had the opportunity, he would create community supports for children affected by the crisis. Fred’s path took him to Wilfred Laurier University with an African Leaders of Tomorrow Scholarship. As part of his academic program, Fred was partnered with a Canadian business advisor. Wendell Graves, City Manager of St. Thomas, quickly built a solid rapport with Fred as his mentor. During his studies in Waterloo, Fred also connected with Project HOPE and shared his desire to create a sustainable community for orphans in his home country. After successfully completing his program, Fred returned to Liberia and quickly put his ideas into action.

Back on the farm, Wendell Graves started his entrepreneurial engine. After an intensive course in beekeeping at Guelph University, the bees and hives arrived. Soon, the bees started producing. “Wacky Wendell’s” honey has quickly become a popular artisan product in Elgin County and southwestern Ontario. The bees, Fred and Wendell, have become a sweet success in a very short amount of time.

While keeping track of Fred’s progress in Liberia, it quickly became evident that this endeavour fit completely with Project HOPE’s mandate. Project HOPE: Liberia has joined the partnership of programs hosted by Project HOPE as another critical mission to vulnerable orphans and a path to create sustainable community.

As outlined by Project HOPE’s Executive Director Christopher Graves “Project HOPE: Liberia is an incredible example of extraordinary people with strong community connection who make a significant impact. This is a true partnership of enterprise, mission and outreach that serves those who are vulnerable to give them hope. We are proud to be a part of this new project.”

The first investment of honey financing has made Fred’s first dream become reality, the building of a community centre. The Maple Leaf Academic Centre is currently under construction. The centre will be a mentorship hub. Lectures, tutelage, guest presentations, educational sessions and other similar activities will be regularly held at the centre with invited guests facilitating programs for local orphans. The centre will have a staff person on site to meet the needs of vulnerable children who access this exciting community resource.

Additional donations would be beneficial to encourage this new project. Please consider making a gift today to support this incredible new mission in Liberia.

February 2019 Calendar of HOPE

Our February feature image is a beautiful photograph of one our orphans taken in a village outside of Nyangombe. On a sunny Sunday afternoon in May we visited villages and delivered supplies donated by Project HOPE. While the photograph captures the natural beauty of the area it does not depict the poverty and hardship of life for these vulnerable people.

It is warm during the day but nights at this time of year are cold and harsh. With no central heat and only huts to huddle in, the supplies and other basic resources Project HOPE delivers means orphans like this girl at least have a blanket to keep her warm at night.

Please consider making a gift to help us continue to serve those who are struggling in the villages surrounding Nyangombe.

This majestic lion was photographed in the South Luongwa National Park. While relaxing in the sunlight, this lion and the rest of the pride are full from a recent kill and gorging themselves on the catch.

While beautiful and seemingly almost tame, this lion shows the scars of battle on his face from life in the wild, hunting down prey and protecting the pride from hyenas and other threats.

2019 Calendar of HOPE!

Happy New Year! It is exciting and amazing to enter a new year. We are also thrilled to share our new Calendar of HOPE images and the story behind each photo. This year, we produced two different calendars. One, the people of Project HOPE and second, a special edition ‘animals of Zambia’. Each month the photographs will appear on our website with information about the images and a bit of background. So, here are our images from January 2019 and a bit about them… please enjoy and thank you for your support of Project HOPE.

Carpentry apprentices at Nyangombe.

An amazing new partnership emerged in 2018 with the Hamilton Carpenters Union Local 18 joining our community of support by donating funds to purchase sets of tools for our orphan apprentices in Nyangombe. Under the supervision of Gordon MacKillop, Project HOPE’s partner at the Nyangombe Christian Training Centre, young teens receive expert education in this program and upon graduation, get a set of hand tools to start their own businesses. Three of the current apprentices visited with Christopher Graves and Ken Murray during their May 2018 trip to the centre and received ten sets of tools for future graduates. An incredible donation that makes a long term impact in the lives of vulnerable people.

Leopard at drinking hole, South Luangwa, Zambia.

A leopard sighting is a rare but incredible opportunity in the South Luangwa National Park, especially in daylight. This photograph, taken in one of Zambia’s most beautiful national parks, captures a large leopard, completely uninterested in its spectators.

December 2018 Calendar of HOPE…

The arrival of December signals the final month of 2018 and our last image of this year’s Calendar of HOPE. Hopefully, you are making plans to donate to the HOPE-filled Christmas Campaign so that you can give or receive one of our 2019 limited edition calendars.

This year, we have produced two versions of the Calendar of HOPE. One features the people of Project HOPE, vulnerable women and children served through this mission. The second presents the amazing animals found in Zambia. By making a donation to our Christmas campaign you can arrange to give a calendar as a gift and we will send it with notice of your donation to the recipient or you can keep it for yourself and enjoy it throughout the year.

December’s photograph features one of our young female students. She is an orphan who is assisted by Project HOPE with basic resources, food and the opportunity to go to school. Without donations to Project HOPE, we can not assist vulnerable girls like her. Please consider making a donation this month and give hope to an orphan.