Thursday, August 29, 2013

Like us on Facebook!

Pleeease Like Us!
Make sure you “Like” HealthEd Connect!  A small organization like HealthEd Connect grows through committed donors like you sharing the news of the work being done in the DR Congo, Nepal, Malawi, and Zambia.  Tell others about HealthEd Connect on Facebook.  “Like” the HealthEd Connect Facebook page and check back often for news and picture updates.  Our goal is 400 “likes” before the end of the summer!  Click on and scroll to the bottom of the page.  Just above the 3 pictures across the bottom is a small thumbs up you can click to Like Us.  Don't disappoint our kids!

Tuesday, August 27, 2013


The children at the little Zamtan school are so cute!  They now have 150 Kindergarten and first graders so the community got together and built a temporary open-air shelter so they could split the groups.  There is only one government school in the community and it is full and won't accept more students.  There are 3 community schools including ours but they all just do Kindergarten and first grade.  When we asked our teachers what happens after first grade they said, "they quit school (at the age of 7????) or come back to first grade again."  The parents are begging for the school to add 2nd grade next year so looks like we will be expanding.

When we visited the kindergarten class they were all attentively watching their teacher, counting in unison, saying A B C's etc.  When they  finished, they clapped their hands in unison and loudly chanted "WE'LL DONE! WELL DONE!  SUCH A GOOD GIRL/BOY!"  Absolutely adorable with 100 little brown-eyed charmers!

Thursday, August 22, 2013


Dismas and little son Jacob a year ago
We were walking back to our lodge from Chipulukusu one evening and saw a woman sitting on the ground leaning against the church.  When she spoke I realized it was Alice, Dismas' widow.  We stopped to visit a few minutes and to tell her how sad we were about Dismas' death. Tears rolled down her checks.  What a difference 4 months has made.  Alice was always the best dressed, the most fashionable, the best educated, the most self confident and a bit 'superior' to the other women.  Now she sat in front of us a broken woman.  Her refrigerator and other possessions had to be sold to settle debts, she lost her house, and now she and her children are living with her mother.  She said little  3-year-old Jacob refused to eat at first saying "I will wait to eat until Daddy comes home."  They didn't tell him his Daddy died at first but now he knows.  So very sad.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Meet Mr. & Mrs. Novelli!

Kelsey and Colin
The wild flowers covered the meadows, the crisp Colorado weather was invigorating, the setting in Crested Butte was breathtaking --- and the bride was stunning!  Our very own Kelsey Welch (now Novelli) who has traveled to Zambia with us several times to nurture, lead, and encourage the Child Support Specialists and orphan support groups ---   married Colin Novelli August 4.   The original plan was to have the wedding in the lovely wedding garden but the rain dictated otherwise; fortunately the plan B pavilion offered an even more amazing view.  Our warmest congratulations to Kelsey and Colin!  We now have another HealthEd Connect recruit who shares Kelsey's commitment to the kids in Zambia.  There would have been ululation and dancing in the aisles if the health workers could have attended the wedding!

Plan A:  The wedding garden

Plan B: The actual setting with an equally stunning view

The flower girl that slept through it all...

Friday, August 16, 2013

The CSS leader

 - Reported by Kelsey Welch Novelli

Ireen the Child Support Specialist (CSS) group chairperson in Kasompe arrived Saturday morning with her bag of supplies and immediately jumped right in playing with the children gathered outside who were all either past or present support group participants. Ireen has 3 biological children and one orphan she cares for that she calls her own child. Her husband died 4 years ago just before her last child was born and a few months later her father died unexpectedly.

She said that she is a CSS because she knows the pain that these children are feeling and can be a support as someone who truly understands. What a wonderful example she is for these children of not allowing pain and heartache to define you, but to weave it into your story in a way that is life-affirming. 


Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Our hero!

Run, Jeff, Run!

He did it!  He ran the good race in the cool of the Colorado mountains this week and finished to the applause of all of his fans.  Amazingly he INCREASED his HealthEd Connect goal several times while he was in training and came very near his final goal of $5,000.  He's hoping a few procrastinators will still come through and push him over the top.  If you'd like to help Jeff (and HealthEd Connect) go to www.HealthEdConnect and click on the Donate Button.  Jeff's Run is in the drop-down menu for designations.  What an amazing achievement -- both the marathon and the money raised!  Congratulations, Dr. Jeff Manuel!!

Beautiful Bride!

Announcing Mr. and Mrs. Alan and Colleen Savage!

Colleen and her WSC partner, Lauren, in Zambia.
Colleen (Brian) Savage, previous World Service Corps volunteer to Zambia and current HealthEd Connect Connector Specialist had a great idea to support the Zambian schools and beadmakers—she took our beautiful hand-made bead jewelry to her own Wedding Shower!  She sold out immediately.  Her guests loved the jewelry; what an awesome Connector Specialist!  Our bead makers are paid a fair wage for their crafts and the profits from the sales go to support our schools.  It’s a win-win-win!

Congratulations Alan and Colleen!!!

Monday, August 12, 2013

HealthEd Connect goes to Camp!

Katie Marshall and Michael Seagraves leading -- what else? --- campfire!

Our very own Cromberg campfire entertainment
Make new friends but keep the old.... a familiar camp song that many of us remember from our youth.  Never was it more meaningful than the first week in August when we (Jac and Sherri) had the opportunity to attend a church Family Camp nestled in the big trees in Cromberg, California with many new and old friends. This was a camp we established 40 years ago when we lived in California and has continued ever since.  Camping in tents, RVs, and cabins, the attendees cooked most of their meals individually but came together for a special BBQ and home-made ice-cream night as well as many other fun activities.

Every camp needs some R&R (Sherri & Tukey)
The classes we taught all centered around the community health worker heroes that have so inspired us (surprise!).  Thanks to the many generous donations and paper-bead jewelry sales, the HealthEd Connect programs came out big winners!!!
If you haven't tried Slow Boil for a camping dinner, you've really missed out!!  Potatoes, corn, shrimp and sausage boiled together -- and served on newspaper!  If you'd like the recipe let me know.

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

USAID here we come!

Our networking has expanded.  Our friend Samantha, the Country Director for Room  to Read, suggested we contact Conrad  the Province director for Time to Learn,  a USAID funded project that works with community schools.  He volunteered to drive over to Castle Lodge to meet us and we hit it off immediately.  He has 67 community schools to track and mentor.  He had visited our Chipulukusu and Kasompe schools and wants them to become model schools where he can send head teachers to see good schools in action.  How about that!  His focus for the next 6 months is Literacy and he is sponsoring monthly workshops for teachers. He also just happens to be the one that reports findings to the Ministry of Educarion from whence good things like books, desks and supplies come from :-).  When we arrived at our Kasompe school we found out the training for that area had been held in our new classrooms the weekend before and our head teacher, Loveness, had been one of the instructors.  Whoo  Hooo!  How exciting to be identified as model schools!