Christmas Cards are here!

Posted by on Nov 6, 2016 in Education, FAMILY, Featured, FUNDRAISING, Medical | 0 comments

We’re receiving requests already! Halloween is over and Christmas is a-coming.

We have some new additions to our collection of Christmas cards with heart this season.
We named them, ‘cards with heart’ because our customers are shopping with their hearts. 100% of card sales go directly support The Candles, our family of 18 HIV orphan cousins. Each design incorporates a heart or two. Look closely you’ll see Each design is underscored with a pun! Some are funny, some are corny. It all depends on YOUR sense of humour!

These cards are specially designed by a local graphic artist who takes NO MONEY for his designs but offers them freely. They are works of the heart sold as a fundraiser for the kids. Cool, eh?photo-on-2016-11-06-at-10-23-am

These Christmas cards plus as our lines of birthday, baby congrats, new home, thank you and UNbirthday cards are major contributors to the wellbeing of the Candles. Who would have thunk it?
These greeting cards provide food, shelter, medical care, education as well as funds for 2 food production projects and start up money for small businesses. Really cool, eh?

Education is one of our priorities.
So far, we have 2 college graduates, 1 senior senior secondary graduate, a first year secondary student, a vocational high school student plus 10 Primary school students! As the kids graduate and find jobs they pay forward money for the tuition of the younger ones. For the past year Amim, our graduate in tourism and hotel management has paid the school needs of the 10 primary students. Really, really cool, eh?

Survival and self-reliance is another priority.
We have 2 sustainable garden projects underway. The kids are expected to work hard at school, at home and in the gardens. JEMBE Kabasheshe has been underway for a year. At the end of the third harvest there were enough onions to sell in the market, making enough money for the fourth seeding of the garden.
The second garden project, JEMBE Kabwoya has just been seeded with veggies and bananas for the first time. We have high hopes for JEMBE Kabwoya as a good return is needed to rebuild a house, dig new latrines, raise tuitions plus afford a second seeding.

Our goal for this family is a sustainable, healthy, happy future.
The kids are learning how their own hard work and commitment at home in the gardens, at school and in their careers author their success.
(FYI… JEMBE is a Kiswahili word for a short handled hoe commonly used throughout subSaharan Africa.)

photo-on-2016-11-06-at-10-16-amHere are some of the Christmas line.
Enjoy our cards with heart! And merry greetings to all!

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Eyes on the prize

Posted by on Sep 18, 2016 in Education, FAMILY, NEWS | 0 comments

It is very, very exciting!

It is Term 3 : Senior 6.
Our Shahidu is back in class. He is beginning his final term in secondary school.
He will write university scholarship exams in late November.
He will win. His teachers all agree.
SHAHIDU2015He has his eyes on the prize!
Thanks to the sport of many, Shahidu is living his dream! unknown

Shahidu is not just making a huge difference in his own life. His young cousins are watching and listening closely.
Their lives and their family’s life are all touched by the success story called Shahidu!
Here on Vancouver Island we all are impressed with the determination, handwork and brilliance of this young man.
Keep your eyes on the prize, Shahidu!

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18 for 18 for 18 : Candles for The Candles

Posted by on May 21, 2012 in Education, FAMILY, FUNDRAISING, Medical | 0 comments

We have a new project alight. We call it:  18 for 18 for 18.                        It is also known as Candles for The Candles.

We have made beautiful, reuseable, kitenge or African batik cotton drawstring bags, each containing 18 soy tealights which we are  selling  for $18 to support The 18 Candles…our family of 18 HIV orphans in Uganda. Yes. 18 for 18 for 18. Makes sense now?

We have had such a lot of expenses of late and in Uganda like here,  prices for everything including food, medical care, medicines, back to school supplies, household items are sky-rocketing really fast! So to meet this increasing need, one of our clever friends came up with this fund-raising idea: candles for The Candles. A natural really. We chose soy candles because they burn so cleanly and are way more freindly to humans as well as the environment. And also because The Green Store in Nanaimo has so willingly and generously supported our 18 for 18 for 18 project.

So far we have our bags of soy tea lights for sale at Old City Organics and Bend-Over Backwards Yoga Studio in Nanaimo. They will also be for sale at the upcoming NanGo Grannies’ African Marketplace on June 2nd from 10 to 4 at St Paul’s Church downtown .

I have heard these bags of candles have been used as birthday candles, as well as Mother’s Day, birthday and hostess gifts. They are great for indoors and outdoors, like at patio tables, picnic tables and campsites. And Father’s Day is up-coming.

Thanks to everyone who has supported this venture already and in advance to those who make this choice in the future! Let your little soy lights shine!

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Meant for me…

Posted by on May 4, 2012 in Education, FAMILY, KAMPALA LIFE | 0 comments


Blessed is finishing up his second semester and first year in Social Sciences at Makerere University in Kampala. He has been extremely busy these past weeks doing his readings, getting his notes on-line while completing a leadership program in Nairobi that leads him into a new job starting Monday. Now he is following up on his lectures, meeting with classmates and doing final prep for exams. Busy or what!

Blessed says, “I was very happy that I was able to finish my leadership course, like every student doing my course would like to.
It’s even better for my course while at Makerere University. I am so glad that am finishing another incredible semester. I have leaned a lot, and am using all the knowledge and skill in my world, my work.I have to admit that yes, this course was meant for my career…just for me, thank you mother        for being there for me.”

And I say thanks to everyone who has contributed to the education of The Candles. Can you see a promising leader of the future growing here?” It grows hope in me and in the world.


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Honouring Mothers

Posted by on May 3, 2012 in Education, FAMILY, FUNDRAISING | 0 comments

Mothers’ Day is coming. We all have wonderful mothers in our own families and beyond that we cherish. Sunday, May 13th is the day we collectively celebrate them all. We all know that truly every day of the year is Mothers’ Day. Where would be without them?

I found this email and link in my mailbox this morning from The Nyaka School foundation. They have undertaken a wonderful Mothers’ Day project. There is a 2 minute video in the limk below that explains everything.

The Nyaka School Project was founded and is directed by an amazing Ugandan, Jackson Twingye Kaguri. His foundation is developing community schools include programs for widows and grandmorther. They do amazing work. And they are just 2 districts away from where The Candles live. I dream one day of visiting the Nyaka School Project and of working alongside them to spread and expand their incredible model. They are a stellar example for Africa and for the world.

The Nyaka AIDS Orphans Project <>

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Wonder Women…Amidah and Medina

Posted by on Apr 29, 2012 in Education, FAMILY, Medical | 0 comments

We are so lucky to have such strong, capable and compassionate women caring for The Candles.

Medina is a widow living in Kabesheshe  who came forward to care for The Candles when their first mama after Grandmother Sophia died          left to have her own baby and family. Mama Medina stepped up to the plate. How do you cook, clean and care for 18 kids? I always felt my hands were full with my 2 !  I am so grateful to Medina. I  totally admire her willingness to help and keep The Candles’ lights shining!

Amidah is The Candles’ oldest girl cousin. She is Blessed’s twin sister. Like her brother and Mama Medina, Amidah is a wonder. Like Medina, she has saved the day many times. Amidah is a full-time college student in Kampala studying Community Development. She also has a part-time job to cover her living expenses. She  often travels to care for Candles who are in the hospital in Mbarara while carrying on her other responsibilities. In her time off, Amidah makes the long and rugged journey to her village, Kabesheshe, to help care for, teach and play with The Candles.

Amidah is a marvellous role model for all her cousins, especially the girls. They can see that it is possible, like her, to accomplish their dreams through education. Amidah is the first girl in their family to have this opportunity. Along with Medina, Amidah is a  lovely, inspiring, key woman in the lives of The Candles. Together these wonder women daily make the impossible possible. There is absolutely no doubt…..African women hold up the sky.

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