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Brenda’s Travel Diary

Tuesday, 23 Oct 2007

Location: Canada

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The One Person Project

“Changing the world, one person, one family, one community at a time.”

It's nice to see that there are a lot of you still logging on to my travel page. I thought I would give an update of what is going on since my last entry.
Our next trip to Africa is fast approaching. There will be three of us making the journey. Joining me will be Mary -Jean Tremblay, from Penticton who is a psychiatric nurse that I work with and have known for years and Wendy Creed, whom I met and roomed with on my last trip to Africa. We are flying out on Feb 2nd of 2008 and will be going to Rwanda and Tanzania, returning on the 27th.
Our objectives for this trip are to gather as much information and pictures as we can to help us do presentations and continue to raise awareness here in Canada as to the continuing struggles that the African population is facing with poverty and especially HIV/AIDS. While in Kahama, Tanzania we will be meeting with Theresa Mahongo, the District Executive Director, and her associates, to begin the first stage of the “Friendship Agreement” that we now have between Summerland and Kahama. We also will be spending time with all of the children that have been sponsored locally here in the Okanagan through World Vision Canada.
We have formed a group called TOPP (The One Person Project) here in the Okanagan The following is our mission statement:

"The One Person Project (Okanagan) is a grass-roots organization committed to establishing an enduring connection with the citizens of Kahama, Tanzania. To further this aim, Summerland and Kahama have officially formed a Friendship Agreement.

The One Person Project co-founder and Summerland resident, Brenda Lowe wanted to make a difference and bridge the divide between Canada and Africa and discovered that others in the Okanagan were also prepared to do more than just talk.

A major component of The One Person Project (TOPP) is to encourage the sponsorship of children through the relief, development and advocacy organization, World Vision. Since its inception in 2006, TOPP has facilitated the sponsorship of over 40 children. All the sponsor children are in the Kahama region of Tanzania and all the sponsor families are from the Okanagan. In 2006 Brenda spent time in Tanzania as a World Vision Volunteer and met the 18 children who were sponsored at that time.

In February 2008 Brenda and a small (self-funded) group will be re-visiting those families on behalf of TOPP and will meet the families of children sponsored since then. They will take gifts, photographs and messages from the many Okanagan sponsor families, individuals and businesses who are a vital part of The One Person Project.

On her 2008 trip Brenda will also be meeting with families and representatives of the citizens of Kahama to further establish what projects are likely to lead to the ultimate goal of self-sustainability and social transformation for the whole community.

TOPP AIMS
v To host regular fund-raising events and accept donations to be used towards education, healthcare and agriculture. Check out our website, and Summerland’s Royal Canadian Legion Branch #22 for upcoming events.
v To give talks and presentations to raise awareness about poverty issues in Africa – please contact us if you want to know more.

According to UNICEF figures 9.7 million young lives are lost each year. The good news is that the figure has fallen from 13 million preventable child deaths in 1990. Lives can be saved, even if it’s just one child at a time. We know that there is strength in numbers and that just One Person can make a world of difference. That person is you."

End of Statement.....

I will also give you the TOPP email address which is: isegehe@shaw.ca and the address for our new website:
http://www.members.shaw.ca/isegehe/ This website is being attached to the Official Town of Summerland's website. We have a lot of other exciting projects in the works and are always looking for more people to get involved. Please call me at 250-494-9795 if you would like to be a part of our project, sponsor a child in Kahama or help us with fundraising. In the words of Margret Mead...."Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world, indeed it is the only thing that ever has."