Sunday, May 16, 2010


I wanted to share with you some news about our newest supporter, HoneyFig, a gorgeous little shop near Yonge and Sheppard that sells beauty and body care products.

Thanks to Michelle Samuels who works there HoneyFig is now selling our bookmarks for $10.

I went by the store to bring some spring-coloured bookmarks and saw they have a display set up on the main counter with the bookmarks and a photo of some of the boys from the orphanage. It looks incredible! And it's inspiring to see such a great shop get behind this cause.

A huge thank you to HoneyFig, Michelle and all of the women who work there, for your support in helping us to support the Nzirambi Orphan Talent Development Centre and ensure these children can go to school.

If you haven't been to HoneyFig, definitely stop in. They carry top-of-the-line and all-natural products: frangrance-free, nut-free, name it! And it's not only body and beauty products, they sell hair accessories, jewellery and beautiful soy-based candles (which I bought for my mom for Mother's Day - in lilac, her favourite flower!).

Check out their products online.
HoneyFig is also on Facebook

Monday, May 10, 2010

A special thanks for a “twitterific” gift

For those of you on Twitter, you probably know about Scott Stratten, aka @unmarketing. He's “kind of a big deal on Twitter” and he tweets a lot - in fact, he’s tweeted more than 40,000 times.

I’ve had the opportunity to work with Scott on a few occasions. It was his birthday a few weeks ago and I thought that as a proud father, Scott would appreciate the greeting cards that we have been selling to raise funds for the orphanage.
I knew I would see him at Digital Leap (hosted by Stephen Thomas Ltd, Ted Hart and The Royal Conservatory ), where he was a presenter, so I gave him the card then.

Later that evening, Scott told me (in 140 characters) that Digital Leap organizers are making a donation to the charity of his choice as a gift for his presentation. He decided to give his donation to the orphanage.

The donation came at a good time. Monica and I have begun filling out the forms to obtain charitable status and the night before Digital Leap, we were especially overwhelmed. When we got Scott’s message, it was a reminder that we’re doing the right thing. That good people want to help us help these children.

So we’ll keep pushing to raise funds for the orphans. Our goals are reasonable: we aim to raise $10,000 every year for the next three years. Our funding will go toward an education fund to pay for the children’s secondary and post-secondary education. Without higher levels of education, these children won’t break free of the cycle of poverty they are currently in.

And they deserve the chance. These kids are so strong – some of them have lived their entire lives in the orphanage. There are 77 children at the home, ranging in age from newborns to teens. The mere fact that these children have survived the poverty - that over the years has left many of them ill with malaria or malnourished for long periods - is a feat in itself.

By supporting the education fund, not only are we giving the children a chance at success, but we are alleviating the stress of the day-to-day grind on the orphanage. That means there will be more funding for medicines, nutritious foods and salaries for the heroic housemothers who care for the children 24 hours a day.

A special thank you to Scott and Digital Leap for helping these children reach their goals.

Monday, May 3, 2010

The Children's Hospital in Uganda

With Mother's Day in Canada coming, I thought to share these photos that I just received from the orphanage. Being a housemother in Uganda takes on an entirely different meaning to motherhood.

When a child is sick, not only are there hospital fees to pay, but either Dorothy (the founder) or one of the housemothers has to be in hospital with the child. Attached is a photo of the children's ward at Kagando Hospital for you to have some idea as to what it is like.

Three more housemothers have been employed since the beginning of the year to ease the strain when children are ill and to assist in looking after the ever increasing numbers of children.

Milly (orphanage co-founder) also feels that it is right that the housemothers who have babies sleeping on their beds at night - and two other little ones in their room - should also have a time to rest during the day. This seems quite reasonable to me!

This luxury is not really possible at the moment, but it is something that she is aiming for by continuing to increase the number of housemothers in the future.

By supporting our Education Fund, which will fund secondary and post-secondary levels of education, we are alleviating the burden and stress on the orphanage so that more funding can be directed where it's needed - medicines for the children, nutritious foods and even a pittance so the housemothers can take even just a few hours off to themselves.