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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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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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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Back and better…

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

Our high school boys, Shadihu and Faziri recently came home for their semester break. Happily they  had a successful term. Sadly they came home with serious cases of malaria. Apparently they are not the only ones. Most of the kids in their classes are also sick. At first Mama Medina thought it was not unusual, but soon it was clear that our boys were VERY unwell. They are in the hospital in Mbarara now.

Amidah, their oldest cousin who studies kilometres away in Kampala, has been handling  this situation for us all. She is attending the boys in the hospital while staying in contact with me. Another Ugandan wonder woman! Today brought  an email reporting that with care and medications the boys are beginning to do much better. They must stay in hospital for 2 weeks more. This means they will be a little late returning to school, but Shadihu and Faziri will be back in strong, healthy form ready for another successful semester! Good luck boys….you make us proud!

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Feeling boxed in???

Posted by on Mar 19, 2012 in Education, FAMILY, Medical | 0 comments

Feeling boxed in???

I received this Deepak quote on my facebook page on the w/e.

It’s pretty cool. When we all get rid of the box, we will all be together. Right where we all belong….knowing our ‘inter-being’ as Thich Nhat Han would say.

I met with my pal Kimberly late last week to discuss our website, our next steps and plans for creating some abundance for The Candles. We have lots of great things cooking. We’re definitely box-less. Stay in touch. We’ll keep you posted.


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Girl candle-power…

Posted by on Mar 9, 2012 in Education, FAMILY, FUNDRAISING, Medical | 0 comments

In Africa, a girl who attends primary school reduces her chances of contracting HIV/AIDS by 50%.         If she joins secondary school, she is 75% less likely to contract HIV.

We have 3 girl Candles: Asiati, Marion and Royis.They are all Primary School students in their village of Kabesheshe.

Asiati is in Primary 3. Her favourite subjects at school are mathematics and English. She also loves net ball and jumping. Asiati dreams of becoming a teacher.

Marion is a Primary 2 student who also loves netball plus singing. At school she enjoys reading and writing. Marion hasn’t yet decided what she wants to do in the future.

Royis is our third and eldest girl Candle. She is in Primary 4 and dreams of being a nurse. At school she likes mathematics, social studies and netball.

We have the memories of a fourth girl Candle, Jazira. She  was a  Primary 1 or kindergarten student who loved writing, drawing and singing. She became very, very ill late last summer and was taken to hospital in Mbarara where it was discovered that her CD4 cell count was very, very low. Her immune system was exhausted and she died of  kaposi’s sarcoma, a week after she was admitted to hospital. We were all very shocked and saddened. The other Candles were also very afraid.

As a result, we fund raised and at the end of last year all the Candles were tested. HIV testing is free in Uganda if you can get yourself to a hospital or clinic that provides it. Our results showed that 7 of the 18 Candles are HIV positive from birth. Now we know who must be watched especially closely. We have had the positive Candles examined and they are all on a regimen of arv’s, improved nutrition and reduced stress. Their oldest cousins, Blessed and Amidah, are working on projects in their studies at college and university in Kampala, to develop programs to educate and assist children and communities living positively.

Our girl Candles are special as they are breaking new ground, walking new paths and shining their lights in new ways for girls in rural Uganda. Education in all its ways is key to this change.


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