November 2015 - Feast for Education
Thank you to Chefs Calvin Burt and Bev Campbell for hosting the 4th annual Feast for Education at Shipwright's Cafe in support of Farmers Helping Farmers on Sunday October 4th. The initiative came from Calvin and his wife Christine Schulze of Shipwright's. They attend Southwest River United just down the road from their restaurant and home. They learned about the work of Farmers Helping Farmers in 2012 while Christine was also leading the Sunday morning youth group. Southwest River United is twinned with Marinya School in Kenya, through Farmers Helping Farmers.
This year's Feast raised another $2,500 for Farmers Helping Farmers.
Asante sana to Calvin, Bev and everyone at Shipwright's.
Asante to FHF board member Anne Singer for taking photos of this year's Feast. And she also washed dishes!
October 2015 - Swimming for Water Tanks in Kenya
UPEI Varsity Swim Team members Katie VanLeeuwen and Rebekah Nitschmann spend hours every week submerged in water, training in their chosen sport. Twelve hours a week, in fact, gives them lots of time to think. So a fundraising swim seemed like the logical way to raise money for their chosen charity…water tanks for families in Kenya.
Katie VanLeeuwen travelled to Kenya with her family in 2011. She saw firsthand the effect that drought has on families there. Her father, Dr. John VanLeeuwen has been to the African country more than a dozen times, working on improving the health of dairy cows, with assistance from Farmers Helping Farmers.
"When I was younger I would do small fundraisers like raffles or collecting donations for Farmers Helping Farmers and I was excited to see that all I needed was the idea and the motivation to get a fundraiser started, "explains Katie VanLeeuwen. "My sister and I got to visit that school we fundraised for and to see the impact that the classroom had as we watched all of the students and parents dancing and singing for us."
Building on her connection to Kenya, Katie and Rebekah came up with the plan for a fundraising swim.
On July 19th, they swam 14 kilometres in Silver Lake near Perth, Ontario. The money raised is being split between swim team expenses and purchasing water tanks for farming families in Kenya.
The girls were able to overcome the waves and fatigue during the 5 hours of open water swimming, thanks to the fantastic support of Rebekah’s family members who accompanied them by kayak and boat.
"It was amazing to see how much support I had from such a small town, and my family really came through for us that day, donating their time and energy to our cause,” says Rebekah Nitschmann.
"I would definitely consider doing this type of swim again. It's an awesome feeling to accomplish such a feat when you are impacting the world in a positive way at the same time,” adds Nitschmann.
Her teammate, Katie VanLeeuwen, agrees.
"One of my favourite quotes is from Mother Teresa when she says ‘I alone cannot change the world, but I can cast a stone across the waters to create many ripples’. "
"If the waves from our swim are enough to help others realize that they can do something too, it will be an added bonus on top of the great impact we have had so far," says VanLeeuwen.
Along with the excitement of completing the swim, Katie and Rebekah are eager to follow the impact of the water tanks purchased through this fundraiser since the ability to collect and contain rain water to use during the dry season can have huge benefits for farm families.
"For example, if girls are no longer required to walk for miles to get water they might be able to spend that time going to school," explains Katie VanLeeuwen.
Katie and Rebekah say they would like to thank everyone who helped make their effort worthwhile. They are already talking about new creative ways to fundraise for these causes since there is still so much more that can be done.