Thursday, June 29, 2017


Thousands of graduates are proudly walking down university aisles this month wearing the traditional robes.  For 99.9% of those graduates, the robes will never be worn again.

Graduates of Graceland University, however, donated their robes to HealthEd Connect to give to people in the villages.  The robes have been proudly repurposed as choir robes and are now dancing down the aisles amidst singing and clapping in villages in the Democratic Republic of Congo.  How awesome is that??

Note:  Be sure to look for the wide-eyed wanna-be choir member on the front row!

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Ready for School!

Shy but happy children in Nepal show us their new school supplies and clothes.

Pinkey Malla, our Nepali representative, reports that there were lots of smiles in remote Rai Village recently! After learning that the children of this village were not attending school because they lacked required attire and supplies, our volunteers  carefully measured the children for school uniforms that were then sewn by local seamstresses. Within two weeks uniforms and school supplies were delivered into the hands of the excited new students!

Pinkey states, "Children and parents are so much happy and thankful to us. Parents are sharing that because of poorness they didn't get proper dress to their children. This is first time in Village they got this precious help. Now children are so happy and exited to go school by wearing proper school dress, they have enough copies and pen also. Volunteers will check children's attendance at school time to time and encourage children and parents. You can see happy faces of Rai Village's children in photos. Thank you HealthEd Connect's team and supporters who think for Nepal and their heart for Nepal.
Many many Thanks from Rai Village Children,Parents, Volunteers and HealthEd Connect team of Nepal."

Michelle Mahlik
BOD, HealthEd Connect (

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Kudos to Ben Vinck!

 Ben Vinck, one of our loyal HealthEd Connect supporters and former Zambian travelers, was recently honored with the following tribute in the Lee's Summit School Newsletter:

Sixth-grade teacher helps students learn to believe in themselves, have confidence and to support one another
I am writing to not only recognize but also thank my daughter's sixth-grade teacher; Mr. Ben Vinck.  Reagan has been a student at Richardson Elementary since kindergarten. We have been blessed to be a part of such an amazing school and fortunate that our children have always had amazing teachers. With that being said, going into Reagan's sixth-grade year she learned that for the first time of her elementary life she would have a male teacher. Sixth grade came with great intimidation as is and now a male teacher....she was terrified to say the least. Reagan has always been our shy child so we knew we had to reassure her that she would have just as an amazing relationship with a male teacher as she would a female teacher.  

Well, needless to say, not only did Reagan grow out of her shyness but she as well as other classmates came to love Mr. Vinck. Mr. Vinck taught the students more than just the required curriculum. He taught them to believe in themselves, have confidence, never give up and how to support one another. Mr. Vinck listened to each and everyone of them. He gave them his time and undivided attention. He made sure every student knew that they mattered. One of the ways Mr. Vinck built these relationships was showing interest in their life not only in school but outside of school. Mr. Vinck told each and every student that he would  attend at least one of their extracurricular activities; for my daughter that activity was dance. One thing we have learned over the years of dance is that the competition days are long and usually out of town. We did not expect her teacher to honor his commitment considering the circumstances. Well, to our surprise and our daughter's, Mr. Vinck kept his commitment and drove an hour out of his way to support his student and watch her dance. Not only did he come but also brought his older sister who was previously a dancer 
and is now a nurse -- exactly what Reagan wants to do when she grows up. It was so awesome to see the excitement in Reagan's eyes and an incredible opportunity for her to meet someone that she aspires to be like.  
I cannot say thank you enough, Mr. Vinck. I hope you know how much you are appreciated for going above and beyond. What you have done for our daughter as well as other students is remarkable. You have taught them skills and given them memories that they will hold onto for a lifetime. Thank you!
Brett and Jennifer Maynard

Sunday, June 11, 2017

Happy work

The older boys in the Kasompe school have a heavy-duty job  that keeps them smilimg.  They carry water each day  to the cookshack for the porridge the Kafwa make.  Thoughts of the  cracked corn, ground nut, sugar and milk porridge soon-to-be served, make this happy work!

We bid our Zambian friends adieu yesterday and are now in the midst of the neatly 40 hour journey homeward.  Good to go but also always good to come home!!

Comfort food

We knew it was time to get Heather, Sydney, and Melissa home when they began to show a preference for potato chips and Coke over nshima!  

Monday, June 5, 2017


Calling all nshima lovers!  After cooking nshima, greens, pumpkin leaves and chicken for our team,  the never- tiring Kafwa finally  sat down long enough to enjoy dinner themselves.  There's quite an art to rolling the nshima in the palm of your hand, dipping the resultant ball into the greens and popping it into your mouth.  The Kafwa are experts as you can imagine.
 No surprise that the hearty nshima sticks to your ribs as well as your hands!!!


---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: "Sherri Kirkpatrick" <>
Date: Jun 1, 2017 8:33 PM
Subject: Bees!!
To: <>

It's all about bees!!  The Graceland team, Jared Doty, Melissa Sherer, Heather Smith, and Sydney Dorrance introduced a business plan and discussed an income generating program with the leaders at Chipulukusu today. Things are buzzing here!!!

Sunday, June 4, 2017

GAP scholars

What a joyous morning!  We met with 12 of our 7th grade Chipulukusu graduates who are now in secondary school on HealthEd Connect scholarships.  We  have almost 30 students in 8th, 9th, and 10th grade and In two more years will celebrate with our first high school graduates!  As one of our board members said today, 'The sleeping giant has come awake.'.  Once education is made available, lives are changed forever.

Thursday, June 1, 2017

School welcome

What a warm and lively welcome from 500+ children at Chipulukusu this morning.  Wow!!  A production worthy of an Academy Award.  Dances, choreography, songs, speeches and signs declaring LOVE, JOY, and PEACE, welcomed us in abundance.  It was a moving experience to see happy thriving children who, a short time ago, were hanging out on the streets before they had a school to attend.