| Jun 11, 2009

Back to HomeFeature Article - June 11, 2009 Helping Team Hope, at Hinchinbrooke PSBy Julie Druker

HPS students Alanna Running and Hanna Smail present Sandy Foster and her team with a cheque for $1200. Photo courtesy of Kathy Reynold

Students and staff at Hinchinbrooke Public School were treated to a special presentation in their gym last Wednesday by members of Team Tumaini Kenya. Tumaini is the Swahili word for hope and the team, made up of a group of volunteers, will be traveling to Kenya again in September to continue their efforts that focus on helping people to become self-sufficient in areas of education, clean water and health care.

Hinchinbrooke PS has been assisting the team in their efforts since 2006.

Sandy Foster, who founded and leads the team, traveled from North Bay to thank HPS for their ongoing fundraising efforts and pointed out that of the 10 schools she has been working with on the project, HPS raised the most money for its size.

Her visit to HPS was also an opportunity to educate the school regarding the important work that the team has been carrying out in the small villages of Kenya.

Her presentation included a typical day in the life of Kenyan children, how they live and eat, the toys they play with, and how they are benefiting from the efforts of the Kenya Hope team.

Projects undertaken by the team have included the making of plastic bag mats for more comfortable and clean sleeping conditions, supplying pencil cases, food, footwear, school uniforms and school construction and renovations.

The team also supplies the village communities with tools like sewing machines and candle makers so that they can become more self-sufficient.

Marilyn Picard, Sandy’s sister, is a retired teacher from Kingston and also a Kenya team member. She brought the fundraising effort to the attention of Hinchinbrooke PS via Debbie Jones, a grade 4/5 teacher at HPS.

Jones’ class runs the Fun Day events at HPS that raise the funds for the Kenya team’s projects. A total of four fun days were held this year and students from Jones’ class presented a cheque of $1200 to the team members.

Jones has long been aware of the difficulties facing children in poorer countries since she taught in Egypt in 2005. “We have so much here and it is important to know that all of the funds that we raise here are benefiting the people who most need it.”

While Jones feels it is important to make HPS students aware of how much they have and how little Kenyan children have, she feels it is even more important to make her students realize that they have the ability to make a difference.

According to Jones one toonie can feed a child in Kenya two meals a day for 6 months. She says, “The bottom line is the kids need to see that there is a bigger world and that they can make a difference with their loonies and toonies.”

Fundraising efforts for team Kenya are not new to HPS. In the past the school has been involved in the “Happy Feet” campaign to raise money to buy flip flops for school kids, the “Seeds of Hope” campaign, which purchased food for village members and now the “Brick by Brick” campaign to raise funds for the building of the Kolongola school

The fundraising efforts are obviously going a long way to change the lives of Kenyan children and proves that the will and efforts of a few can go a long way to help the many in need.

For more information on the team's work please visit www.hope2kenya.org

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