Early Bird Registration for the race closes tomorrow – so head over to the Test of Humanity website and get yourself signed up for this amazing annual mountain bike race. And then start getting pledges for your race!
The source for this article (unless otherwise indicated) is the World Health Organization (WHO) (2014), Ethiopia: health profile.
Ethiopia has a population of around 91 million people and is the second most populated country in Africa; approximately 17% of the population lives in an urban area. The country is heavily dependent upon agriculture. Agriculture accounts for 46 percent of their GDP and 85 percent of total employment (The Heritage Foundation, 2014). The economic situation in Ethiopia has been increasing in recent years, however the country is still one of the poorest in the world. Looking at a GDP per capita comparison between Canada and Ethiopia demonstrates this point; Canada’s GDP per capita is $42, 734 while Ethiopia’s is $1,191 (The Heritage Foundation, 2014).
I have not provided the comparison statistics above and below to indicate that Canada is better or that we have it all figured out, I have included them because I find statistics to be better understood if someone has a reference point. We tend to have a decent understanding of life in our own countries and so this is there simply to provide a reference for understanding the situation in Ethiopia.
|Life expectancy M/F||62/65||80/84|
|Under 5 Mortality Rate /100 live births||6.8||0.5|
|Adult Mortality Rate (probability of dying between 15-60 /100 population)||25/21.2||8.3/5.2|
There is one other statistic that I would like to share in this article and that is regarding health care providers. Ethiopia is experiencing a severe shortage of trained health care providers. There are approximately 3 physicians for every 100,000 people in the country and there are 25 nurses or midwives for every 100,000 people. The health care system in Ethiopia is understaffed and overworked. I believe some of the above statistics could be changed by improved access to adequate healthcare. This is a problem that will take years to improve. This is one of the reasons we take medical expeditions over twice a year. This way we are able to provide regular medical check ups on the children and their families. If you are interested in traveling with us for a medical expedition we are always looking for physicians and nurses. This October/November will be our next medical expedition, and we need trained healthcare professionals to volunteer with us. Please contact our expedition coordinator if you are interested in making a difference.
The Heritage Foundation. (2014). 2014 Index of Economic Freedom. Retrieved from http://www.heritage.org/index/country/ethiopia
World Health Organization. (May 2014). Ethiopia: health profile. Retrieved from http://www.who.int/gho/countries/eth.pdf?ua=1
Early Bird Registration ends July 15, 2014!!!!
Regular registration is open until September 18th. Register online.
The TOH bike race features pristine conditions! Its well-manicured rolling hills, berms, and whoops provide for some magnificent riding. But also the varied terrain is suitable for riders of all ages and skill levels making TOH a memorable family event. From bike savvy 3 year olds, uber-fit enduro junkies, to the safety conscious 60+ downhillers, the course promises nothing but fun and fitness.
Heart wrenching to see the level of poverty and homelessness that I could never have imagined before.
Heart wrenching to understand that children and families in Ethiopia are suffering for problems that don’t even exist in North America.
Heart wrenching to see so few resources available for this level of hardship: no food banks, no homeless shelters, no soup kitchens etc.
I feel a lot of love and admiration for the Canadian Humanitarian staff in Ethiopia who work tirelessly every day for the benefit of children and families. They are passionate, resourceful and never give up, even when the children’s situations are complex and challenging. The staff at the Education Centers become extended family for the children and provide an enormous protective factor during the child’s developmental years.
I feel overwhelming love and admiration for the children and their families, who are suffering, yet present as grateful, loving, caring, hopeful, and giving. They will light up a room and our hearts with their beautiful smiles if we let them.
My biggest challenge after arriving home is what to do with the knowledge I have gained from my expedition experience. Luckily, through Canadian Humanitarian, I can continue to work at home to empower and support the children and families of Ethiopia. Kudos to the founders and staff at Canadian Humanitarian who have demonstrated that a long-term investment in the lives of vulnerable children reaps huge rewards.
When people ask me if I’ll go back, my reply is “How can I not?”
May Expedition Volunteer, Spent 6 weeks in Ethiopia
And thank you, thank you, THANK YOU! to everyone who donated for our hygiene kits! We have received donations from many of our volunteers in several different cities, and we appreciate how hard you work to organize everything.
Senayet joined our program in Kirkos at the age of 10, and did very well in her classes. She was accepted to a 3 year nursing program after graduating from high school in Addis Ababa.
Through our Scholarship Program, Senayet was supported as she attended her university classes. Wanting to do more, she also got a part time job, and started saving any extra money that she earned. Over the 3 years, Senayet was able to save enough money to send herself to one extra year of university so that she could get a 4 year degree and have an even better education.
Congratulations on entering your final year of university Senayet! We are proud of all the hard work you have put into your education.
I have traveled many places and I can now strongly say that I have met the happiest and kindest people on this planet, they will give even when they have nothing to give! I was in awe with the time and passion they put into everything they do. We were honored with Coffee ceremonies almost everywhere we went and the time and effort put into them is humbling, and for us …I felt like royalty!
And my heart…well I don’t know how to explain it, but it felt like it was going to explode with love. I never expected the deep emotional connection to the children but the way they look at you, greet you, touch your hair, and just hold on to you for hours, so tender and with so much love, the pain behind their smiles as they struggle to carry on. They are so thankful to be a part of the Canadian Humanitarian Family and so am I. It feels like it’s what glues them to their future.
The credibility of this organization is real, I felt like I was part of a family from the very beginning, starting from Heather Woodward (Program Development Coordinator, and Expedition Team Leader) meeting us at the airport, to our wonderful drivers that treated us like sisters, to the passionate staff at the centres. Overall it was an amazing experience and I will share with all the great work Canadian Humanitarian is doing for these children and families.
Volunteer May 2014 Expedition
Children Parents Families
Teamwork Positive Engaging
Collaborative Responsiveness Inspiring
Engaging Sustainability Transparency
Collaboration Growth Visionaries
Loving Kindness Graceful
This blog was written by Linda Langevin, one of the volunteers with the May Expedition.
It was a busy few days! Volunteers did repairs to the building, cleared part of the yard, and did medicals on enrolled Students, Foresight Fathers, Provident Mothers, and their families.
Here are a few of our favourite photos from Lyndon’s visit to Kersa!
With Canadian Humanitarian expanding and opening new programs, we are excited to announce that our expeditions are changing!
Expedition volunteers can now travel to one, two or all three of the countries we work in: Ethiopia, Uganda, and Malawi. For more information, or to start an application, contact Deb.
Another exciting announcement is that this fall, a new education support center will be opening in Lira, Uganda.
Help us fill up the center! We need books, school supplies, tuition, uniforms, sponsorships, and food.
Donate today to stock the new education support center and give children the tools they need to reach their potential!
Highlights From This Quarter:
We are having an amazing year so far, with volunteers running in two races, an expedition to Ethiopia, and summertime on its way. Check out our favourite blog posts from the past couple months:
Birthday Party at Kality
Global Youth Citizen Award
22 Children in 22 Days
Making a Difference
Scholarship Update: Eyerusalem
New Rules regarding email newsletters and spam:
On July 1st, CRTC will put into force new laws that are designed to protect individuals from excess emails (spam).
Canadian Humanitarian is pleased to annouce that we are in compliance with the new laws. More information can be found at the CRTC’s webpage.
With the exciting news of a new education support center in Lira, Uganda; and a new program opening up in Malawi, we are excited to start traveling to these countries as part of our expeditions. The first expedition to include all three countries is going in October 2014. Applications for this, and for next years expeditions, are now open!
We are expressly seeking volunteers who have training in all fields of expertise for Medical Health Care, Social Work, Child Development, Construction and Education. Each expedition is open to anyone wishing to volunteer, but these areas are of a particularly high need.
If you feel you are someone who would be willing to volunteer, despite challenging work environments, Canadian Humanitarian needs your help. Contact Deb to find out how you can travel to Africa as a volunteer!
The weather was sunny and perfect, and everyone was excited to be there.
Thank you so much to all our volunteers for all their hard work in getting pledges and sponsors for their run!
Help us get their Support Center filled and ready for them by filling up a desk – with notebooks, pencils, geometry sets, paper, and any other school supplies they need. Each set of supplies only costs $60 – so share with your friends and help us fill all 50 desks with supplies for the students!
During a home visit a few months ago, our group (Lyndon, Nikki, and I) met a wonderful family in the Kirkos area of Addis. The mother is a market vendor. She has 3 children; an older teenage girl, a mid-teen boy ( in our program) and a younger boy. The family recently moved into their small mud and stick home, offered by local government authorities. This new home got them off Addis streets, and into a space of their own.
However, the home was in deteriorating condition and the front door did not lock. The family had managed to stave off intruders, but there were safety concerns for the daughter. During our February visit, we were concerned for the welfare of this family, and moved by their stories. Our volunteer group tried to get improvements in motion, but due to the home being government property, petitions for improvements had to pass through local government channels before repairs could be made to the home.
Once back in Canada, I thought of this family regularly. I believe that no one should have to live in fear in their own home. Everyone should be able to have a safe place to sleep. We know that this can be a challenge even in our country. The family’s safety, particularly the daughter, weighed on my mind.
With the May Expedition Group, I had the opportunity to meet with Kirkos Education Center staff. They assured me we would do home visits again, and they promised that I would be impressed with the changes for this particular family. On our last day with the children in this program, home visits were scheduled. I was anxious to see this family.
As we came around the street corner, I knew I was in a familiar area, but I never would have recognized the home on my own. The outside structure had been reinforced. There were no longer holes in the walls. A window had been added to the front of the home to allow for more light. A new door had been installed and the lock was functioning. The interior of the home was restructured, with new concrete floor. A proper bedroom had been added, and the roof replaced, so that it no longer leaked.
The family was so grateful for what had been down with their home. As we visited, I asked the daughter how she was feeling. She told me that she felt safe, that she could sleep soundly at night again. Her brother in our program was also able to significantly increase his school performance. I cried many tears of happiness that day. I was grateful to our project managers and partners, who recognized the family’s need and pushed for approval from the government to renovate the house. I was impressed that they acted quickly, engaging both the family and their neighbours to volunteer their time to get the house renovated. What a difference this is making to our student, and the family!
We are excited to start a new opportunity this year – our first annual award from MNP for the Global Youth Citizen Award. This award is open to high school students, who can apply to our office to be eligible. The winner receives a trip with Canadian Humanitarian during our summer Global Youth Expedition in July.
The Global Youth Expedition is a special opportunity for young adults aged 16-25 to travel together and work with the students in our Education Support Centers in Africa.
One purpose of the 2014 Global Youth Expedition is an exchange between Canadian Culture and Ethiopian Culture. The students in our Education Support Centers will be excited to learn about Canada, and our Canadian Student Volunteers will each be giving small presentations about their lives in Canada, their family, heritage, and the city they are from.
Other special activities we have planned this year are community service projects organized by the students and program managers in Ethiopia, a Soccer Tournament Day, Scavenger Hunt, Field trips, and a small Theatre or Skit day.
Congratulations to Cherilyn for winning the Global Youth Citizen Award this year – we look forward to having her with us in July with a great group of youth who are making a difference!
If you have any questions about expeditions, or about the award, please contact our office.
The team consisted of Carol Pierson and her two boys, Quinton and Braedon. We did have 4 other team members who were not able to make it due to injuries.
Suzanne couldn’t run, but she still went and took pictures, and she holds the title for the top fundraiser from the team. Quinton and Braedon ran the 5K marathon along with their mom, Carol who completed the race via a combination of running/walking. The marathon was a first time experience for the Pierson’s and they were amazed at the number of people there. There wasn’t a hope of finding Suzanne in the crowd due to all the people there and all the different races starting at different times.
Our Canadian Humanitarian t-shirts stood out among the many grey marathon shirts and we were proud to represent a great cause. If you would like to donate to our efforts, you still can!
To donate, go to the Calgary Marathon website and across the top, select charity challenge. When you scroll down, you will see instructions on how to donate. Of course, you can always phone the office to make a donation as well…. 403 527-2741. We appreciate your support!
There are still children who are in need of sponsors in Ethiopia, and we are opening a new program in Uganda this fall – so keep sharing! With your help, we could have 100% of our students sponsored.
Again, thank you!
We were able to accomplish a number of educational and interesting sessions on this trip. We worked with the staff, with the children in the education centres, and with the students at the vocational training centre. For me this trip allowed me to build better relationships with our staff and with our students. I was able to build good friendships with our volunteers, all of whom I look forward to working with again in the future.
This trip I was able to interact with the children at each of the centres in Addis very closely. We spent a few days with each centre and this gave me the opportunity to get to know a number of the children, their names and their situations. These children are why we do what we do. They are the reason that we work hard at fundraising. They are the reason that we talk about our jobs and our work to everyone we know. When you get the opportunity to spend time with these children and to meet their families, you realize the effect that these programs have on the lives of these children and their families. The children in the photos below are just a few of the ones that are expanding my capacity to love and to work hard at what I do, in the hopes that they will have an advantage in life in spite of anything else that may happen in their lives.
A new Education Support Center and Program will be opening in Lira, Uganda this fall. We couldn’t be more excited! 50 children in Lira will be enrolled in the center, and will have the opportunity to stay in school, receive educational support that they need, as well as medical support, a hot meal every day, and extra tutorial help with their school work.
We want to fill up the Education Center with everything it needs: books, backpacks, hygiene kits, school uniforms, tables, desks, pay their tuition fees, and provide food for the hot meal program. You can donate one item for one child, or as many of each as you would like! You can also make a general donation towards the new center at any amount.
Help us Fill it Up in Uganda, and get our Lira Education Support Center off to a full start!
Thank you to all our new sponsors and to everyone who has shared our goal with your friends. Keep sharing! We are almost there!
At the Love and Hope Center in Kality, Ethiopia the education support center staff has introduced a whole new kind of party to the children – a group birthday party.
There are 70 children in the Kality education support program – and that’s a lot of birthdays! So every 3 months, the center gets together and celebrates all the birthdays that have happened since the last party. The children who have had those birthdays get to sit up at the head table, and everyone gets cake.
Happy Birthday Everyone!
Demetrios joined our program in 2007 when he was 12 years old and in grade 6. He is now studying Computer Science at University and is doing excellent in school.
During the February Expedition one of our volunteers presented him with his very own laptop during the Manji-Burghardt Scholarship Night. This laptop will be a great help throughout the rest of his education, and once he begins his career. We look forward to hear all about his successes in the near future.
We have 8 days left, and 17 more children who are in need of sponsorship. When a child enters our education program it changes their lives.
Tamrat, Teddy, and Eyerusalem are a few individuals who entered the Education Support Centers at a young age, and have now grown to be outstanding individuals.
By sponsoring a child you give them hope, education, and love – so begin sponsoring today!
Teddy came to our Education Support Center in 2009.
He loves to participate in sporting activities and is very athletic and outgoing. The younger children consider him a role model and a leader. He has a smile that lights up a room!
Teddy is in the process of becoming an entrepreneur and beginning his own business doing shoe repair. He already has his business model, investor, and the government has donated a section of land where he has built a little building. He is very egger to get started, and we can’t wait to hear all about it. We know he will be extremely successful!
Mark Saturday, June 7th 2014 on your calendar and join us in the 13th Annual Run for Rights. Whether you choose to walk, run, cycle or rollerblade, this event is a great way for you and your family to get outside while supporting Canadian Humanitarian!
This non-competitive “fun run” is great for all ages because participants can choose either a 5km or 10km route, on foot or on wheels!
For more information and to participate in this great event, download a Canadian Humanitarian pledge form for each participant at runforrights.org Under the section “Take Part” scroll down to Canadian Humanitarian Organization for International Relief and click “Download”.
For more information about the Winnipeg Chapter of Canadian Humanitarian, email us.
We hope to see you there!
Tamrat is one of our students who entered the Education Support Program in 2008.
When he first entered the program his favorite things to do were going to the library to study, and playing Football (soccer) with his friends. He also told us that his ultimate goal when he finished school was to become a businessman and take care of his mother.
Today, his hard work and dedication is paying off. Tamrat is currently at University in the Tourism Degree Program. He has an outstanding GPA of 4.0.
During our February Expedition, Tamrat was the recipient of the Manji-Burghardt Scholarship Award. He is well on his way to becoming the businessman he once thought was only a dream.
Cherilyn Pepper has been given this award, and will be joining our Global Youth Expedition in July.
Eyerusalem joined one of our Education Suport Centers in 2009.
She is an extremely bright young woman and is currently attending University to become a Health Officer. She has an impressive GPA of 3.7. Eyerusalem is looking forward to the completion of her degree and what the future has to hold.
When we have a group of medical expedition volunteers she enjoys coming to the Education Support Centers to help take medicals on all the currently enrolled students.
During our February expedition she was the female recipient of the Manji-Burghardt Scholarship Award. She is an extremely hardworking individual and is very deserving of this award. We look forward to hearing about all her successes in the near future.
By the time we had finished packing we had 9 hockey bags that weighed 50 pounds each. It was absolutely incredible. There were tons of school supplies, and art supplies that will be taken to all seven of our Education Centers. There was also diapers, baby clothes, and blankets that will be donated to a local orphanage in Ethiopia.
Thank you to everyone who donated, we couldn’t do half the things in our Education Centers if it wasn’t for all the wonderful people who donate to this cause.
Stay tuned for pictures of the children receiving all the supplies.
Eric, Kayzia and Rachel are all fundraising for the trip. Help them out!
We are still accepting applications for this expedition – so if you are interested, send Deb an email! You have until June 6th to register for the trip.
I was with the expedition group for a week. I met some wonderful people in this group of volunteers. We worked together, traveled together, and shared illness together. As an employee I am grateful to those volunteers who give of themselves to come with us, work to make things better and engage with the children that we work with. As a person I am grateful to know other people who strive to make this world a better place and to help those not born into the resources we have here in North America.
One of the most memorable days in Ethiopia for me was our last Sunday there. In the afternoon we split into groups to do home visits with a number of the children and their families. Our group saw three families. The living condition of all of these families was not what we are accustomed to in North America. However, the homes were kept clean and tidy and the families welcomed us with warmth. The hope I saw in a mother’s eye as she told us of her gratitude for our programs and the chance that one of her children would now be able to succeed touched me greatly.
Our last visit of the day was very difficult; a small family was living in a tiny place for which they were grateful because it had gotten them off of the streets. However the place was falling apart and the lock on the door didn’t work. The most angering situation because of this was the fact that men had broken into their house and tried to harm the oldest daughter, fortunately neighbours came to their rescue and the tragedy was lessened. This teenage girl lives and sleeps in fear; her younger brother now sleeps on the floor between the door and the bed as an added layer of protection. The bureaucracy of it all is infuriating. The very first step should be to put a lock on the door that works, but to do that you have to go through the local government to get approval for “house improvements”, which can take weeks. I am grateful for staff over there that can check up on this family and follow up with the government so that we can make this a safer place for this family.
Travelling overseas can be mentally and physically exhausting, especially doing humanitarian work where the days tend to be long and active; but each time I have gone I have received more than I have given. Not in the sense of material things, but my life view has been opened and my mind and heart filled by the wonderful people I have met.
The work we are doing over there is incredible, if you think you can give something then please do. If you want to travel, we have multiple expeditions each year. If you have an extra $35 a month, we have children who need sponsors. There are many ways to get involved ask us for ideas and we will share them with you.
Heather Woodward, Program Development Coordinator
Helping children wash their hair at Kality
The injera making project with the guardians
~Colleen Bakke (Registered nurse, Regina, Sask.)
The further we walked through the hospital the more a little piece of my spirit was taken from me. It honestly reminded me of what you would expect to see at a mass casualty triage scene where all resources have been exhausted and people are just trying to make it out alive. The services provided at this hospital were substandard, non-patient centered care. The most surprising to hear was that patients are only physically ambulated/repositioned, toileted, and fed if they have family members to come provide those services for them. If they do not have family the patient is at risk for starvation, as food is not provided in the hospital. I was told there was no running water on the top two or three floors of the hospital. I saw raw sewage running between the hallway and the start of the pediatric ward. The pediatric ward was the last of the tour I could handle with the rows of mothers with such sick children laying in their laps with a ticket waiting to see an attending physician. As a Registered nurse I could tell there were many of those kids who were not going to make the night but their mothers were anxiously waiting their turn in line as if in a line at the bank. This trip made me feel very privileged to have access to the health care that we do here in North America! If any child, adult, or seriously sick/injured person were to come into a hospital they would be seen immediately by an attending physician with a team of health care workers already inserting IV’s, assessing the patient, and investigations would start immediately, with patient centered care being of top priority. Let us be thankful!
I was able to be a part of doing routine medicals for the children who are enrolled in Education Support Programs and Centers. I really enjoyed being able to perform initial and follow up medical examinations to the children and their families during my time in Ethiopia. It was awesome to see the difference the program had made from a child’s initial assessment to how the child was doing now. I could see many improvements in the children’s’ health such as growth and body weights increasing comparative to the year before. I could also see a difference in a new child entering the program compared to a child who had been in the program for a while. The new child presented with more health concerns/complaints than a child who had been in the program for over a year. It is a great feeling to see the statistics and hear the child express how much better they feel mentally, emotionally, physically by being given the opportunity to participate in programs that are offered through Canadian Humanitarian. From a health care perspective I was also able to see many things I would not see at home in Canada: malaria; typhoid; secondary infections from HIV/AIDS; active TB; polio; untreated otitis media (middle ear infection) resulting in either a perforated ear drum to having no ear drum; tapeworm/roundworm; Chlamydia trachomatis (chlamydia in the eyes); and many other interesting conditions/diseases.
One commonality between the family members and children of these programs is they were all looking for an opportunity. Organizations such as Canadian Humanitarian make these opportunities possible and the children have seized every ounce that has been offered to them. It is quite amazing to see these bright children excel and hear their laughter as they dance and enjoy being children. It is such an accomplishment to see children who were so poor and unhealthy become apart of a supportive family at the different centers in Ethiopia where they have access to fresh water, warm nutritious meals, hygiene materials to improve sanitation, education, medical examinations and medical interventions provided. Not only do the programs offer services on site but if a child or their family members need increased care needs or medical interventions they are referred to the private hospital (not government hospital) in which Canadian Humanitarian covers the cost so the children can get healthy and back to school. If it is a child’s family member who is sick the child then knows their family member will be taken care of and can continue to focus on school.
~Colleen Bakke (Registered nurse, Regina, Sask.)
“I never knew of a morning in Africa when I woke up that I was not happy.”
With over three million people in Addis Ababa there is a major concern regarding overcrowding and overpopulation. Overpopulation can affect a country in many ways: increased spread of disease; increased scarcity of jobs; increased demand for resources such as food; and increased human waste. Many of the residents who do not have a latrine (hole in ground to use as bathroom) will void and defecate outside. The areas outside where children are playing can be littered with human and animal waste. This is a concern as with minimal access to sanitation/personal hygiene products such as toilet paper, soap, and water the spread of disease and sickness is increased. Many of the citizens of Ethiopia already suffer from malnutrition and poverty, which makes them even more vulnerable to illness. This is a health care concern, as with a yearly increasing population the amount of people living in extreme poverty will increase.
After spending a few weeks in Addis Ababa I was able to see how daily life is for many of the residents of Ethiopia. I felt culture shock within days of being in Addis Ababa, as the living conditions were unspeakable. It affected me as a mother to see women who survive on the streets begging for money to feed their children; to have seven-year-olds coming up to your vehicle begging for food. I wondered how “we” as humans sleep at night knowing an entire country lives like this? Most of the citizens in Addis Ababa, including orphaned children, have to find daily work by shining shoes, selling random objects (bracelets, necklaces, gum etc.) to get some sort of income. The jobs that are available in Addis Ababa would be offered to those who have an education. People who live in poverty do not have the opportunity to get their education, as they often go to work at a young age doing agricultural or domestic work to help their family survive. Until your basic needs are met (shelter, food, water) there is no way to strive towards higher goals until the most basic necessities of life are met.
One of the main and special objectives of Canadian Humanitarian is the strong belief in providing and supporting children in attaining an education. One of the priorities of this organization is to get the children in their programs to complete school and go on to get technical certification or a college/university degree. What is so special is that Canadian Humanitarian forms relationships with the children when they are first enrolled into the program. They support the children through school right up until they are graduating from university and entering into their careers. This is one of the many reasons that after my eighteen-day trip to Ethiopia I felt hope for these children. In fact, while visiting children who are a part of these programs I was able to witness personal testimonies in how these programs have impacted their life. Many of the children expressed how they can see a bright future and are able to openly discuss their dream careers.
During my group of home visits I was lucky to have met a boy from one of the centers who did not have a sponsor yet. I had the opportunity to meet his mother whom was very ill with AIDS. I was shown his tiny home, in which only three of us could fit in at a time. His daily living conditions were shocking. His home did not have running water, did not have a bathroom, and the only meals the child and his mother ate were the leftovers the restaurant next door had given to them when they closed each night. This child has so much potential and this program helps him be able to see a future and have a chance to overcome the obstacle of severe poverty. I am grateful that my family and I are able to support this child and program by becoming his sponsor. I must say that for anyone interested in going to Ethiopia through Canadian Humanitarian regardless of your career background it is a trip you will never regret. It was one of the most eye opening and surreal experiences of my life and I am so happy I was able to have this journey! For anyone who may not be able to make it to Africa please consider supporting the amazing work this organization is doing, it is truly remarkable. Sponsor a child, donate money towards providing education supplies or food, fundraise or invest, however little or large it does not go unnoticed by the beautiful children and families in Ethiopia!
~Colleen Bakke (Registered nurse, Regina, Sask.)
20 Volunteers traveled to Ethiopia with our February 2014 Expedition Group. Because the group had a wide range of skills, we were able to offer medical care, renovate and paint two education centers and much more! Read about our adventures by Heather, and Colleen on our blog.
January 2014 marked a new Chapter’s birth for Canadian Humanitarian.
We are delighted to announce the formation of a new fundraising Chapter, with an enthusiastic group of volunteers, in Lethbridge, Alberta .
If you would like to begin a chapter in your area contact us.
Child Sponsors Needed
Our Child Sponsorship Program is growing!
Help us sponsor 22 children in Ethiopia in 22 days. Please share to help us reach our goal.
Canadian Humanitarian is also pleased to announce our new programs in Uganda and Malawi. We are very excited to offer Canadian Humanitarian’s unique afterschool program in these countries. Help us sponsor 100 new children by September in time for their new school year!
The following post was written by one of our volunteers on the February Expedition, we want to be able to share these trips through their eyes and words. Thank you to Shelly for allowing us to use this post.
What Did You DO?
A couple of weeks ago, we had the privilege of spending an evening with an astronaut. Which astronaut? How about Col. Chris Hadfield, the former commander of the International Space Station – and a fellow Canadian!
Why was he taking the time to have dinner with around 250 of his fans? Well, he came to support something bigger than even himself! He came to support Canadian Humanitarian!
Yes, this was a magnificent fund raiser for Canadian Humanitarian, organized by the Regina, Saskatchewan chapter, and sponsored by K+S Potash Canada. It is a yearly event, called “Heroes of Hope” and they always have fantastic guest speakers.
We arrived in Regina about an hour before the event to help get a few last minute preparations done. It was set up beautifully, and filled the large room at the Conexus Arts center.
Each table had these for the center pieces, which were also auctioned off. They included a variety of astronaut food (way cool) and a copy of Col. Chris Hadfield’s fantastic book, “An Astronaut’s Guide To Life On Earth”.
The event had a silent auction as a part of their fundraising efforts. There were SO MANY fantastic items for absolutely anyone and everyone, including sports memorabilia, purses and jewelry, paintings, and even framed artwork created by the children in the programs run by Canadian Humanitarian (more on that later.)
Some of the wonderful items they had for their silent auction:
This was only half of the silent auction display. Like I said – there were SO MANY wonderful and unique items to bid on.
There were other excited individuals in attendance who were anxious to hear from ,and meet, their hero! This fine looking group of cadets were looking sharp and happy to be there!
Lots of wonderful people came out to support the event!
Canadian Humanitarian’s Heather Woodward and her husband, Lyle, manning the child sponsorship table. There are a lot of children in Ethiopia, Uganda, and Malawi who need sponsorship so they can benefit from the wonderful programs run by Canadian Humanitarian in their communities.
There was a lot of media buzz around the event, and different tv stations there to interview Col. Chris Hadfield.
A lot of people took their time browsing through the silent auction items, placing their bids on their favorite items!
Some interested folks asking about child sponsorship:
Lots of posters displaying kids in Africa who can see their dreams realized through the help that Canadian Humanitarian offers !
We had the wonderful Sheila Coles, host of the CBC Morning Edition in Saskatchewan, not only sit at our table with us, but was a wonderful emcee for the evening.
There was a great turn out for the event!
As part of the fundraiser, the Regina Public and Catholic School Districts held a rocket – designing contest where children would design, build, and launch a rocket. The four winners who built the best rockets won a limo ride to the event and sat at the same table as Chris Hadfield, who enjoyed dinner with them after his speech. These were a couple of the winning students:
Our Executive Director, Lyndon Grunewald, spoke about the wonderful work that Canadian Humanitarian is doing and garnered even more interest and support for the charity, sharing stories from his experiences during his recent trip to Ethiopia in February and March.
We will be sharing a post shortly, sharing more details about the amazing experiences we had on our recent expedition to Ethiopia – amazing! But now, back to the fundraiser and Chris Hadfield!
It was time for Chris Hadfield to speak to us, and he did not disappoint! He shared his experiences from when, as a child, he watched the first moon landing, to his (bumpy) landing after his last mission as commander of the International Space Station – with so much in between. It was a fabulous presentation.
He was a very engaging speaker and a wonderful story teller!
His presentation also included stunning photos that he took from the space station, as well as photos that illustrated his journey as an astronaut.
Chris Hadfield also tirelessly made himself available to each and every one in attendance who wanted to meet him personally. These Cadets were beside themselves with excitement to shake his hand and meet him.
It was a wonderful evening; one that anyone who was there would love to be able to do again. Canadian Humanitarian has similar events in chapters all across Canada (and some starting in the States through Kids Hope Ehtiopia) that you can get involved with any time.
(All photos of this event are courtesy of Bobbi-Jo Grunewald Photography who donated her time, talent, and photos for this event.)
4th annual mountain bike race
September 21, 2014
Register for the race
November 5th, 2014
Key Note Speaker: Dr Samantha Nutt
Drip irrigation slowly waters individual plants all day long from a water source. Gravity feeds the water through the hoses to individual plants. The barrel holding the water needs only be filled once a day, and then waters each plant during the day.
The farmers, gardeners, and families who received these systems were thrilled with the prospect of reduced time, effort and water needed to help their gardens produce!
But if you stopped in-between and washed your hands, then the germs pieces you had collected were all given away. The object of the game was to get to the end with NO germ pieces. The kids really enjoyed this!
We so enjoyed having Rick and Kevin as part of our group. When they were not filming, they pitched in to help wherever they could!
We again went to the Kersa area, to do intake medicals on the youth and children in this new program, as well as medicals for the Foresight Fathers and their families.
Over all we managed to complete 386 medical examinations, many of which required prescribed medicines! Sometimes our surroundings were quite simple or primitive, but the care received was very appreciated!
The group left behind a set of yoga balls, exercise instructions, mats so that the youth and children could continue to practice.
What do you get when you take 25 total strangers who are doctors, nurses, teachers, agronomists, economists or financial experts and put them together for 15 days? The October 2013 expedition to Ethiopia!
It is always amazing to watch strangers become friends, as they work together to serve others.
Check out our other blog posts to find out about all the wonderful work our expedition teams worked on:
The Sewing Team
The Drip Irrigation Team
The Medical Team
The Fitness Team
Self Esteem Class
The Health Class
Tickets are $100 each, or $800 for a table.
ticket sales are now closed
Our keynote speaker for the evening is Frank O’Dea.
As a young man, Frank O’Dea was a homeless person, living on the streets, panhandling for nickels and dimes. Today, he is a celebrated business person. Best known as a founder of The Second Cup, he also was involved in founding a number of other successful international businesses and not-for-profits. These include Proshred Security, War Child Canada, Street Kids International and the Canadian Landmine Foundation. He has been appointed an Officer of the Order of Canada and two Canadian universities have awarded him honorary degrees. This is an inspiring story of resilience and triumph in the face of adversity, which is also recounted in his best-selling book “When All You Have is Hope”. He is also the author of Do-the-Next-Right-Thing: Surving Life’s Crises. Mr. O’Dea’s most recent projects include developing sustainably affordable housing in Sao Paulo. To find out more about Frank O’Dea, you can visit his website www.frankodea.com
4th Annual Hope For Tomorrow: Dinner and Auction
with special guest
Dr. James Orbinsk
The Westin Calgary
November 20, 2013
Ethiopian Fusion Meal: 6:30
Dr. Orbinski: 8:00
Tickets: $200 each Table of 8 $1,300
ticket sales now closed
Hope For Tomorrow is an annual event bringing the best of Canada’s international development practitioners to Calgary to address its business community. In 2013 our event is focused on Canadian Humanitarian’s Kid’s Hope Kirkos Center in Addis Ababa Ethiopia.
Kid’s Hope Kirkos:
Canadian Humanitarian’s Kid’s Hope Center focuses on 50 orphaned and vulnerable children, their foster families in the neighbourhood of Kirkos. This programs is focused on orphaned and vulnerable children and assisting them in reaching their potential through education and acting as a launch pad for their education, social and physical development. Provision of tuition, school uniforms and materials, after school tutoring, student run clubs, a hot meal every day and access to health care all serve as catalysts to ensure the children succeed. Our Kid’s Hope Centers also serve as a meeting point for guardians to learn skills, and receive support and training. In Kid’s Hope programs children and families are receiving hope!
James Orbinski Bio:
DR. JAMES ORBINSKI – Humanitarian Advocate and Past President of Doctors Without Borders
Dr. Orbinski is a globally recognized humanitarian practitioner and advocate, as well as one of the world’s leading scholars and scientists in global health. He believes in humanitarianism, in citizenship and in actively engaging and shaping the world in which we live, so that it is more humane, fair and just.
After extensive field experience with Medecins Sans Frontieres / Doctors Without Borders (MSF), Dr. Orbinski was elected MSF’s international president from 1998 to 2001. He launched its Access to Essential Medicines Campaign in 1999, and in that same year accepted the Nobel Peace Prize awarded to MSF for its pioneering approach to medical humanitarianism, and most especially for its approach to witnessing.
Dr. Orbinski worked as MSF’s Head of Mission in Goma, Zaire in 1996 -97 during the refugee crisis. He was MSF’s Head of Mission in Kigali during the Rwandan genocide of 1994, and MSF’s medical co-ordinator in Jalalabad, Afghanistan in the winter of 1994. He was MSF’s medical co-ordinator in Baidoa, Somalia during the civil war and famine of 1992-1993. Dr. Orbinski’s first MSF mission was in Peru in 1992.
For his leadership in Rwanda during the 1994 genocide, Dr. Orbinski was awarded the Meritorious Service Cross, Canada’s highest civilian award. This citation reads:
“Chief of Mission to Rwanda with Medecins sans Frontieres/Doctors Without Borders during the Civil War and genocide from April to July 1994, Dr. Orbinski provided an extraordinary service by delivering medical assistance and alleviating the suffering of victims, on both sides of the front line. Unwavering in his efforts, Dr. Orbinski opened the Agha Khan (King Fayed) Hospital in Kigali, in the middle of a contested area that often became the target of mortar and machine gun fire. Through example, he provided inspirational leadership to a multinational team of medical staff and managed to spur their flagging spirits through the bleakest days of the genocide.”As international president of MSF, Dr. Orbinski represented the organization in numerous humanitarian emergencies and on critical humanitarian issues in among others, the Sudan, Kosovo, Russia, Cambodia, South Africa, India and Thailand. He has also represented MSF at the UN Security Council, in many national parliaments, and to for example, the WHO, and the UNHCR.
We even washed down the tables and chairs from the kids’ dining hall. It looked BEAUTIFUL when we were done!
They did intake medicals, Susan taught them how to take blood pressure, and learned the technique of medical examination these past two days. As Eyerus said in our discussion at suppertime – “It was a perfect day”.
One of the neatest things about this trip is to be working alongside some of the kids we took into the program years ago, now working with us to provide services to the new kids. As we watch the first generation of graduates enter into the workforce and into professional schools, we feel that all the effort has been worth while. These children have permanently broken the cycle of poverty. I asked Eyrusalem, who is in Health Officer training, what would have happened to her if this program had not been there. Would she be in Health Officer training? “Oh no,” she said, “I would be working as a cleaner or a server.” Imagine the tragedy of having this bright mind working as a cleaner, never able to reach her potential! It is good to be here.
So they came and joined us for a time. It was great to see them!
Ron- as usual kept the crowds begging for more of his magic tricks. They absolutely love seeing him making a hankie disappear!
With some spices and salt, these were wonderful to taste!
Today two of these units were installed to two homes. This first home was a 22 year old man, one of the Foresight Fathers, who has 5 children and two wives (yes polygamy is still practiced in this part of Ethiopia)
This home was on a quiet street in the village with lots of trees, their own backyard garden, stock holding pen and everything!
This has been Dr. Northcott’s medical clinic. it has two rooms, shade, and walls that are wooden slats so the breeze can blow through. Since it has been about 28 C each day and a bit humid.. this has been the best place to be to work!
Adults were receiving a training session under the warka tree.
The youth group was busy making seedling plantings of coffee bushes… they hope to raise a crop of coffee this year and earn about $40,000 Birr profit in 2014 from their efforts.
Here they have packed up the beautiful backpacks given to Canadian Humanitarian to give to students.
They visited the Kirkos Education Support Center to complete the art program and give the students their own backpacks.
May 4, 2013
Selam Ethiopian Restaurant
2115 S Broad Street, Regina
Tickets are available at the Selam Restaurant, at Regina General Hospital 3E, or email us to purchase your tickets.
ticket sales now closed
March 9, 2013
with special guest W.Brett Wilson
ticket sales now closed