Thursday, September 27, 2012

Gabby and Mulenga

Happy kids at Kasompe school
Our teachers are always on the look out for kids needing a little extra attention.  Ethel and Abygail are excellent at keeping track of their students' needs.  Abygail noticed that 12-year-old Gabby always seemed to be sitting alone looking sad.  His mother is a widow and had little time to provide stimulation for Gabby since she had to care for 8 people.  The extra attention Abygail provided did a real turnaround for Gabby.  He is now involved in school, has friends, and feels free to share his concerns with his teacher.

Ethel noticed a similar situation with little 5-year-old Mulenga.  By taking time to talk to Mulenga who always kept to himself, she was able to encourage him to be friendly and make friends.  Mulenga's mother is also a widow who cares for 6 people.  The school lunch is a big help since meals at home are sporadic.  Thanks to Ethel, Mulenga is now paying attention in class and learning well.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

She did it!

Callie and supporters at finish line
Our breathless and persevering runner, Callie Streich, finished her half marathon last week.  She said it was wonderfully smooth and effortless -- until she hit mile 11.  After that she knew she was engaged in the real deal.  Hats off to Callie for running for HealthEd Connect and providing additional funding for the Teacher Mentor program in Zambia.  Thank you Callie!!

Monday, September 24, 2012

Little Nana

The Kafwa cooking nshima for school lunches
Little Nana is a 5-year-old orphan living with her widowed grandmother in a small mud-brick home.  In the past, Nana was always sad, crying and, according to her teacher, Trascilla,  "absent-minded in class."   When our Child Support Specialists (CSS) invited Nana to attend the support groups things began to change.  Nana now plays with her friends and is happy to come to school.  What a difference it makes to know someone loves and cares about you and you get a warm meal everyday!  Our CSS are amazing nurturing women!

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Put Back the Smiles

Penlope (green skirt) helping Sherri tell a story
One of our teachers, Penelope, in Kasompe has observed big changes in some of her pupils since they've been coming to school.  She's been especially impressed with 12-year-old Helen who in the 4th grade.  Helen lives with her grandparents and 5 siblings in a two-room house.  Her father and mother both passed away leaving 6 children for the grandparents to care for.  The children were not attending school until Penelope talked to the grandparents and told them about the Kasompe School of Peace.  Penelope says that things are so much easier for the family now that the children receive a nutritious meal each day at school and a free education.  She adds,  "HealthEd Connect, you have put back the smiles into the orphans and vulnerables in our community.  Please!  We still need your support....we love you!"

Monday, September 17, 2012

Becoming a reality

Beginning stages of Kafwa Center
The Kafwa Center in Zambia is rapidly taking shape.  This picture was taken several weeks ago and we're now told the windows are all installed and preparations are being made to "raise" the roof.  The building committee is amazing!  We received an email from the building committee chairperson, Samuel Mushibwe, this week assuring us that they not only had a watchman to guard the construction materials, but they also had committee members assigned to watch the watchman.  Now that's true dedication!  No stone is being left unturned to assure success for this incredible building that is bringing new hope to the community.  The list of uses for the building keeps expanding.  The Kafwa health workers now have plans for: preparing school lunches, providing a health room for the sick children, hosting the government clinics for pre-school children, housing a REAL library for the school, providing space for Income Generating Activities such as sewing, paper-bead making, etc. etc.  They are installing electricity (almost unheard of in the community) because, as the electrician says, "in that building there will be lots of activities."

Thursday, September 13, 2012

100 Mile Ride

Nearly 3000 riders participated in DCC
Marty & Michelle display poster while Bella and Grandma Joyce
work the back of the booth.
Paul, our best cookie salesman!
The Door County Century was a huge success.  Nearly 3000 cyclists enjoyed the highways and bi-ways of beautiful Door County September 9.  The weather was spectacular adding to the enjoyment.  But for HealthEd Connect it was more than just another nice day.  It was an event that reached around the world.  A HealthEd Connect booth in the expo building provided us with an opportunity to share our story with numerous people.  In addition, Joyce Mahlik again made amazing home made cookies and Whoopie pies that kept our booth busy.  Coupled with sales from Stone Creek Coffee and our Kafwa paper-bead jewelry, we made enough from the booth to provide almost 12,000 bowls of porridge for the kids in Zambia.  That's what I call a successful event!