Thursday, November 25, 2010

Another first!

After lots of trial and error and helpful feedback from a very patient USPS employee, our first HealthEd Connect brochure bulk mailing was sent yesterday.  The theme is "Deck the Halls...And Build School Walls" -- a wonderful way to celebrate the true meaning of Christmas.  We are hoping to build our next two classrooms very soon so we can keep the kids in school.  We currently have grades K-3 but hope to add a grade each year eventually providing a 7th grade education for each child.  It simply won't work to add more grades in our already bulging one-room church school houses.  We must have classrooms to provide a viable learning environment.  We're dreaming big because the challenge is big.  We don't want to let the kids down.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

It's now official!

We can now reveal the 'secret' that we were so excited about last week!  We received the full amount of the grant proposal we submitted to World Hunger/Tangible Love!!!  This will provide a holding tank and water stand as well as desks, benches, textbooks, school lunches, and a major portion of the construction costs for two classrooms.  This is a HUGE boost to the school programs.  The lives of so many children will be impacted significantly from the grant.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Awesome team!

Jac and I spent the day in Lamoni with Justin Akers, leader, and the Students in Free Enterprise (SIFE) who will be going with us to Zambia in January.  The six students are Jennifer Abraham, Rhonda Bradford, Margaret Clark, Taylor Johnson, Garrett Shank and Matthew Waite -- what a terrific group!  One of their primary objectives will be to help initiate a new small income generating program --a bicycle generator project to charge cell phones.  It is such an environmentally cool idea!  I'm sure this will take them all the way to the World Cup in SIFE competition next year!!

How cool is Africa!

Just for fun, here's another photo sent to us by our good friend Catherine, in Zambia!  The best of plans...

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Another proposal submitted!

Heroic efforts by two board members allowed us to meet a very tight deadline and submit another grant proposal this week.  The competition is incredibly high but they have to give their money to someone so we think they should choose HealthEd Connect!   A very impressive document when we got it all together!!  How can they possibly turn us down??
Fortunately, we didn't have to do the extreme teamwork that an African team demonstrated in painting the last corner of a swimming pool! How would you like to be the guy doing the painting?? (Thanks, Catherine, for sharing this!)

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

It's a Secret!

We received some super terrific good news this week!!  But we've been asked to keep it secret for a few more days.  You'll have to stay tuned to find out what's cookin'.  It's definitely something to cheer about!!!

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Report from Chipulukusu

We just received the quarterly report from Gershom for the school in Chipulukusu.  It was a good news/bad news/good news/bad news story.  They recently brought in temporary shelter boxes for a conference held at the church.  Knowing how badly the school needed more space, they decided to keep the containers and use them as classrooms.  That's the good news.  The bad news is that they somehow caught on fire and burned down.  The good news is no one was injured.  The bad news is we're back to square one with only the one-room church building for classrooms for the kids.

Here's the African version of a Walkman!

Catherine just sent us a series of "Africa is Cool..." pictures.  Look for the next installment....they are really fun!

Friday, November 5, 2010

Rotary to the Rescue!

I received a call from a very enthusiastic Rotarian yesterday saying his Club was eager to partner with the Zambian Rotary club to support HealthEd Connect.  Even though there is not an exact dollar commitment yet, he thinks the donation will be around $2,000.  This will be added on to the Zambian donation and then we are eligible for matching grants from Rotary International.  So the end gift could be very nice!  This is really good news!  The proposal to Rotary was actually written last March -- it finally got to the right person who could make things happen.  I'm trying to learn patience.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Mortenson introduction

It was such a privilege Friday night to introduce Greg Mortenson to the 1500 in attendance at the Temple as well as the audience that watched via streaming video.What an inspiring story and wonderful man!  He more than met our expectations as he kept us enthralled with his 45 minute presentation.  When he was presented with the $20,000 award check he said, "I'll make a phone call tonight and tell them to start building another school."  That would be number 166!  After the service he immediately began signing books for the hundreds who lined up and didn't leave until he finished at midnight.  It was a special treat to talk to him during the reception and dinner prior to the presentation.  It was also fun to present him with the pictures that Polly had taken of his wife, Tara, some 15 years ago during her trip to Bhutan.  After he looked at them, I suggested that I give them to his aid to carry for him.  He said, "Would you mind mailing them to her?  It will be 3 weeks before I get back home."  With that he took out a pen and wrote her name and address on the envelope.  I didn't get his autograph in his book but I did get his home address on the back of an envelope in his own handwriting.  How about that!

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Scary thought!

It's been reported that these are some of the most ardent supporters of HealthEd Connect.   Scary isn't it!!  But they do look vaguely familiar...maybe a faint resemblance to Michelle, Dan, and Bella.???   Just proves that anything goes on Halloween....

Ringing Endorsement for HEC!

Our almost-eight-year-old granddaughter, Kali, was assigned the school project of writing an essay this week.  After interviewing me, this is what she wrote:

Together We Can Help Poor People
by Kali Kirkpatrick

My grandma and grandpa went to Africa and met boss Mirriam.  She is three years old and has HIV.  This is how my story starts.  Wait I forgot to tell you that boss Mirriam is not really a boss they just call her boss.  After my grandpa and grandma met boss Mirriam they started to raise money.  The money they got they used to build schools for orphans and provide food.  A school lunch cost twelve cents.  Wait,      they also train moms to be health workers in Africa.  My grandma and grandpa don't really do it themselves.  They have a whole company called Health Ed Connect and they all want every one to be happy, healthy and educated!  I learned that together we can help poor people.