Monday, October 08, 2007

Project Proposals

October 8, 2007

Dear family and friends,

I have a proposal to make for something that I think is very important. Many opportunities to help people arise (almost daily) but there are some that stick out as a cause that can make a long term difference. There are a couple that I will mention here, one is for an Angolan and the other is for CHI-Namibia. I will begin with the one from Angola.

A young man from our church approached us one day after church. He was heading back to Angola due to lack of funds to finish University, he was accepted for last year but could not go due to lack of money to cover the course. He explained to us his difficulty and left it with us to pray about. We have decided that we would like to give our friends and family the opportunity to help if they so choose. The young man’s name is Sateco Manuel Guengo, he lived 4 years in the Osire Refugee Camp in Otjiwarongo. The United Nations High Commission sponsored his schooling as a refugee and he did well in High School. His grade point average was a 37 out of a possible 42. His desire is to attend UNAM (University of Namibia), taking Information Technology and/or Engineering (Oil field related). The course takes 4 years and the cost per year is N$8000 which is currently $1142 CND. The next school year begins February 2008 but he must register soon in order to ensure a spot for himself in the course.

Our desire is that God will lay it on several of your hearts to give. If ten people gave $114 per year for 4 years this young man would exit school with a degree in Engineering. His desire is to return to Angola after schooling, and he is a fine young Christian man. Please pray about this opportunity.

The second opportunity is a project that I have started with Care and Compassion. For those of you who do not know what that program is all about here is a quick overview. Care and Compassion is a program that CHI has in the community, reaching out to those who are ostracized from their communities due to being infected with HIV/AIDS virus. Most of those who are involved in the program are women, many of them destitute, sick, alone and trying to care for children! Pete is involved in helping with Bible Studies every weekday, along with helping to meet the personal needs of these women; some days they drive them to the hospital, some days they take them to social services to help with paper work, other times they bring food and distribute it to those who need it, and other times they go into their homes (made from tin corrugated roofing material) and visit with them.

The project I have begun to pilot is a beading project. It started out with Jenny (who does not have HIV/AIDS but is a widow looking after her two young children), and expanded to ladies who work at the Ark. When product sells 33% of the proceeds is given to Care and Compassion ministry, therefore helping to take care of the practical needs of these women involved in the program. A few weeks ago I expanded even further by including 5 of the women from the community of 5 Rand who are registered as C&C patients with us. These 5 women weave baskets and so I decided to start with those who are already creative. It has worked very well, however some of the other women in 5 Rand are complaining that they weren’t invited into the project. Currently 5 is all that I can handle at one time and unless I get some assistance we cannot expand to more until these ladies are fully trained and can help others.

I have also gone to Keetmanshoop and helped to train some of the ladies in their Care and Compassion program. It is going very well and the women have enjoyed not only meeting together but producing something that they can be proud to say ‘I made that!’ It is very exciting to see the effect that this has on the women, it gives them a sense of accomplishment. When they get paid for their work (when the product sells) they feel a sense of dignity that they have made their own money by working with their hands, and not by asking for a hand out!

My project proposal is one that would allow us to expand to sewing as well as beading, and to be able to do so we would need sewing machines, material and other supplies. The overhead is more than I can carry, as I have done with the beading project. I would like to start with 5 sewing machines… I have not looked at the price of machines but if there are those who are interested in helping with a project like this one I will go and find out proper prices. I figure that a basic machine is somewhere in the vicinity of $250 CND, I have only looked at top end Bernina machines lately, it would be nice to have one machine that does embroidery. There are also machines that are run by hand crank in Chinatown, but I am not sure how they will hold up long term!

There is a project that is currently very successful in Keetmanshoop called People in Need. They sew, bead, fabric paint, etc and they export most of the bulk of their stock to the Ukraine. We would like to model the business end of things after this group. Having the money to travel to Keetmanshoop to meet with the project coordinator, and to purchase the materials needed to expand this project is what I desire for this project. If you have a desire to help with this project please email and pledge your desired amount. Please feel free to ask any questions you may have or to give ideas!

The beading/sewing project is not as urgent as the University project, so please don’t feel overwhelmed by requests. My desire is not to inundate you with things but to open up your eyes and heart to the needs here so that you may choose which way you would like to help. Shortly CHI-Canada will be set up and running (being able to take money and receipt you for your donations) and we will hopefully have the beading/sewing project entered as a possible selection for giving… so if you would like to hold off for a receipt that is fine. However, for the project for Sateco we cannot issue a receipt. You would need to deposit the money in our account and we would then pass it on to him. If more money comes in than is necessary for his tuition we would gladly give it to him for his books, lodging, food, etc!

May God bless you as you pray and give toward these projects!
God Bless,
Charlene & Pete

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